After winning Eurovision 2017, Salvador Sobral returned to a jubilant Portugal gripped by celebrations over the historic win.
And as the “Amar pelos dois” singer has enjoyed a glorious airport welcome, numerous TV appearances and even invitations from Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning Britain, the team at RTP has been busy throwing itself into next year’s extravaganza.
In an interview with Magazine Notícias, Nuno Artur Silva — RTP’s Content Administrator and a member of its Board of Directors — spoke about the challenges of organizing a massive event like Eurovision and what will happen to Festival da Canção as the country prepares to host Eurovision 2018.
While hundreds of screaming fans welcomed the Sobrals to Humberto Delgado airport, the Portuguese Head of Delegation Carla Bugalho faced a different reality. She arrived with the EBU’s thick file of specifications for the 2018 edition. Talk about a shift in pressure!
“Eurovision is an event that entails a high level of requirements,” Silva said. “It’s Europe’s biggest entertainment show and that means a lot of responsibility. RTP has all the abilities to create a memorable event. Technologically it’s going to be a challenge but we have all the conditions to create an amazing Eurovision.”
RTP’s own evening news program previously confirmed Lisbon as the host city of Eurovision 2018. But, following interest from other cities, Silva talks about the matter with caution and says it hasn’t been confirmed.
“Everything is still to be decided, but it has to be a place with enough hotels and space for everything — an event like Eurovision requires. It’s not only the final and the semis, but weeks of preparation.”
After revamping Festival da Canção — the Portuguese national selection for Eurovision — last year, RTP has decided to maintain the same strategy this year. It will invite quality composers (rather than staging a public call) to produce good songs. However, it hasn’t closed the possibility of opening up the process in the years to come.
“We have good music in Portugal,” he said. “We must value that. Maybe with time we can democratise the process, but for now our efforts are in the quality of our compositions. Last year we were not interested in copying the formula many countries do. Big shows and fireworks. We just wanted good music and that’s it.”
Europe ate it up — and not just the jurors and televoters who chose Salvador as the winner during the Saturday finale. Luisa and his sister also won two Marcel Bezençon awards — for composition and artistry — as chosen by their fellow composers and the various national commentators at Eurovision.
Are you confident Portugal will organise a successful Eurovision? Do you think Lisbon is the perfect city to host the musical extravaganza? What about sticking to the same formula with Festival da Canção? Tell us all in the comments section below!