Rotterdam 2021

🇮🇹 Amadeus considering postponing Sanremo in case of no audience

The festival is due to take place from 2nd to 6th March

Sanremo’s artistic director Amadeus has spoken about the possibility of postponing the 71st edition of the Sanremo Music Festival until 2022 if there can be no audience at the Teatro Ariston, according to reports.

The director, who announced yesterday that supermodel Naomi Campbell would host the opening night of the festival, seems fixed on having an audience present at the five-night long event. It has been reported that he has talked about how the audience is an integral part of the long-running music festival.

Not considered as a TV show

Under current guidelines, television productions in Italy are allowed to have an audience present at recording. However, Sanremo is not being classed as a “television event” and can therefore not host an audience – regardless of whether or not they are a paying audience.

According to Corriere, Amadeus has stated that:

Without an audience, there is no festival and we will talk about it again in 2022: what’s the problem?

– Amadeus, Sanremo artistic director

Despite this, last week, Italian broadcaster Rai insisted that this year’s Sanremo Festival would not be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as this, back in September, it was confirmed that the festival would have an audience, which would all have their temperatures checked prior to entering the venue.

The Teatro Ariston, which will host Sanremo 2021, has changed its layout to ensure the safety of the audience, if one is allowed to be present. 18 rows of seats have been removed from the theatre and the viewing gallery has been closed.

With mixed messaging coming from the broadcaster and the artistic director, it is not yet known whether the festival could be postponed, despite the announcement last week confirming that it will take place. If Sanremo is postponed, this would mean Italy would have to select their Eurovision entry an alternative way. Currently, the winner of Sanremo gets “first refusal” on the Italian ticket for Rotterdam.

Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest

Italy were amongst the seven countries that took part in the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Before their first win, Italy scored two third place finishes in 1958 and 1963. Italy’s first win came in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti’s “Non ho l’età” in 1964 which won the contest in Copenhagen with 49 points. Their next top three didn’t come until 1974 – again with Gigliola Cinquetti. “Si” finished in 2nd place, behind Sweden’s ABBA.

In 1990, Toto Cutugno became Italy’s second, and most recent, winner with “Insieme: 1992”. It won the contest with 149 points. Italy took part a further 4 times in the 1990s, before taking a 13-year break from the contest from 1998 to 2010.

They returned to the contest in 2011 and has since finished in the top three on three occasions – 2nd in 2011, 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2019. Diodato was selected to represent Italy in 2020 with “Fai rumore” before the contest was cancelled.

Do you think Sanremo will be postponed? Are you hoping to hear the artists perform?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA.

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