Last week, RTVE the Spanish national broadcaster confirmed their plans for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. During a press conference, RTVE announced the return of national selection Benidorm Fest 2023, as well as revealing the dates of the three day gala and expanded format.
Benidorm Fest 2023
Last July, RTVE announced the revamped return of the former Benidorm Song Festival. Not only to select their Eurovision 2022 representative, but also to celebrate local Spanish music and artists. The festival was organised in collaboration with RTVE, the Generalitat Valenciana and the Benidorm City Council. As well as this, the broadcaster signed a four-year agreement with the Generalitat Valenciana for Benidorm Fest to run until 2026.
Now the national selection is back and bigger than ever. Once again the Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm is the host venue. Much like Eurovision itself, the event will take place over three nights. Before the live shows, an opening ceremony will be held on January 29. After this, the two Semi-Finals and Grand Final will air on January 31, February 2 and February 4.
Changes to the format
Previously RTVE refused to rule out possible changes to the selection process. Although some tweaks have been made for Benidorm Fest 2023, the core format remains broadly the same. One thing that remains unchanged is the voting format which originally sparked the calls for change from the fandom. Across all three shows, the voting will consist of a professional jury (50%), demoscopic jury (25%) and public televoting (25%). Among the professional jury includes industry music exports, as well as professionals from abroad.
We want to know what Europe thinks of us.Eva Mora, (Head of Delegation)
So far RTVE have announced Nacho Cano will act as President of the Jury. Back in the early 80s, Nacho formed Mecano, the most successful Spanish band of all time. Also on the jury is Sweden’s Eurovision 1992 representative, Christer Björkman. Nowadays he is better known as the former producer of Melodifestivalen and Head of Delegation for Sweden. In recent years, Christer has worked to expand the Eurovision format across the world with events such as the American Song Contest and Eurovision: Latin America.
Bigger is better in Benidorm
However some changes that did go through include the expansion of participants. Last year a total of 13 acts took part in the inaugural Benidorm Fest. Following on from the success of not just Chanel, but all the 2022 acts domestically, RTVE have increased the participants to 16. Thus the Grand Final will take place with 8 artists. Meanwhile the artists will perform together in a Christmas special. As well as this, a daily show will report on the Benidorm Fest action.
The venue itself also increases in size to accommodate more fans. Later this Summer tickets will go on sale with a cost price between €20 to €60.
The submission window for Benidorm Fest 2023 will open on September 1 and closes on October 10. Any solo artist must be a resident or citizen of Spain. For groups, at least 50% of the group must be Spanish based. Of the songwriters, at least one must be from Spain. The composition of the songs can include other languages, however 40% of the lyrics must be at least one of the co-official languages. Artists can submit proposals to RTVE online, however RTVE will also directly invite recognised artists to participate and offer them songs from the online submissions.
After this time, 16 entrants and 6 reserve acts will advance to the live shows. Final versions of the songs must be submitted for the gala shows by November 28. The live shows will be presented by Mónica Naranjo, who replaces previous host, Máximo Huerta, alongside more presenters yet to be revealed.
Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022
Since their debut in 1961, with Conchita Bautista and ‘Estando contigo‘, the Iberian nation has participated in 61 consecutive contests. Only the United Kingdom has a longer unbroken streak. So far Spain has won the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions. Firstly in 1968 with Massiel and ‘La la la‘ and the following year in the dramatic four-way tie, with Salomé and ‘Vivo cantando‘.
Earlier this year Chanel won the inaugural Benidorm Fest in what was one of the most hotly contested and strongest national finals of the season. From then on, the Spanish sensation captured the nation and fans worldwide to become one of the favourites to take the Eurovision crown in Turin. During the contest Chanel and the booty hypnotic ‘SloMo’, achieved third place with 459 points. The biggest ever points total for Spain and their best result since 1995. However the long-suffering nation is still waiting to break their 53-year victory drought. Will Benidorm Fest 2023 change all that?
Who do you want to see take part in Benidorm Fest 2023? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, @escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2023 Eurovision season.