Festival de la Canción de Benidorm to return as Spanish national final?

A Eurovision-related event will be held in Benidorm

After RTVE revealed that preparations are underway for Eurovision 2022, rumours have began to circulate about whether the Festival de la Canción de Benidorm will return to act as the Spanish national final for Eurovision. The annual festival was last held in 2006, when 1988 Eurovision representatives La Década Prodigiosa won the event with “A tí”.

Valencia’s regional government, La Generalitat Valenciana, has confirmed that plans to hold a Eurovision-related event in Benidorm will be announced on Thursday – this lines up with RTVE’s plans to make an announcement regarding Eurovision 2022 on the same day. According to the tweet from the region’s government, Benidorm’s City Council will be involved in running the event.

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Following initial stories regarding the Festival de Benidorm, ESCPlus reported that the relaunched festival would be held in the last week of February and would last for three nights. The event is likely to be held in the Benidorm Palace concert hall which has a capacity of over 1,600 people.

The head of the Valencian government, Ximo Puig, also tweeted regarding the plans to hold a Eurovision related event in Benidorm. He said that “Benidorm can be a meeting point for what we need most now: music, Europe and diversity”. Puig said that the news would be welcomed by the tourism industry in the Valencia region.

Despite the festival’s similarities with Italy’s Sanremo – which produced Italy’s first Eurovision winner since 1990 this year – the plans are to take inspiration from Chile’s Viña del Mar Festival which sees world-famous artists invited to perform alongside Latin artists. The contest also has a competition element which has been won in the past by Eurovision artists – Elpida (Greece 1979 & Cyprus 1986), Gisela (Andorra 2008) and Hera Björk (Iceland 2010).

A musical history in Benidorm

The Festival de la Canción de Benidorm was first held in 1959, taking inspiration from the Sanremo Music Festival which launched eight years earlier. The festival gained international status until 2004 but just two years after, the last edition of the annual event was held. The winner was awarded the Golden Mermaid Trophy and €36,000 to produce a record.

Despite being a popular Spanish music festival for many years, during its final years the contest became seen as outdated and old-fashioned. This is something that organisers would hope to change in 2022, with the festival set to bring a more modern image to the Eurovision stage with highly-produced entries.

The final edition of the festival in 2006 was won by La Década Prodigiosa who have had a long history related to Eurovision – representing Spain in 1988 and taking part in the Spanish national finals in 2001, 2005 and 2007.

Would you like to see Festival de Benidorm return as the Spanish national final? Do you think it could deliver a better result than Spain’s 24th place finish in Rotterdam?

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

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