While Romania might not be enjoying much luck at Eurovision, the Eurovision-inspired singing festival Cerbul de Aur (Golden Stag) is going from strength to strength. After its successful 2018 revival, the contest is back for 2019. The 2019 lineup is full of names familiar to Eurovision fans.
Recent Eurovision alums Anna Odobescu (Moldova) and Tamara Gachechiladze (Georgia) are in the list of competing artists. Neither of them made it to the Eurovision grand final, so the Golden Stag may be their chance to shine.
Alongside them will be national final stars Alfie Arcuri (fifth in Australia’s 2019 national final), Monika Marija (runner-up in Lithuania’s 2019 national final), Sara de Blue (the Austrian singer who was the runner-up in San Marino’s 2018 national final) and Syuzanna Melqonyan (third in Armenia’s 2017 national final).
The list of the 12 competing artists is rounded out by other singers from around Europe, all vying for the Golden Stag.
Golden Stag 2019 – competing artists
- Alfie Arcuri (Australia, national final 2019)
- Anna Odobescu (Moldova, ESC 2019)
- Cynthia Verazie (Cyprus)
- Eliza G (Italy)
- Florin Raduta (Romania)
- Monika Marija (Lithuania, national final 2019)
- Ralfs Eilands (Latvia)
- Renate (Romania)
- Sara de Blue (Austria, San Marino national final 2018)
- Syuzanna Melqonyan (Armenia, national final 2017)
- Tamara (Georgia, ESC 2017)
- Veronica Liberati (Italy)
The competing acts will perform a song of their own choice and will also interpret a Romanian song from a list of 25 modern classics. Among the list of Romanian songs is Voltaj’s 2015 Eurovision entry “De la capăt”, as well as tracks from Romanian stars such as Feli, Dan Bittman and M I H A I.
It’s also expected that the festival will feature performances from international stars. While the 2019 guest line-up has not been confirmed, last year’s Golden Stag included performances from Nicole Scherzinger, James Blunt and Eleni Foureira.
The return of the Golden Stag
The festival was born 50 years ago, in 1968. Loosely inspired by Eurovision — which Romania was not a part of until 1994 — the Golden Stag quickly became the most important music competition in Eastern Europe. It also attracted young talents from the West, most notably Julio Iglesias. Ever since its inception, the festival has been taken place in the Transylvanian city of Brasov, which also hosted the Selectia Nationala final in 2014.
The Golden Stag has been running from 1968 to 1971, then from 1992 to 1997, from 2001 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2009. The festival was revived again last year, where Albanian singer Inis Neziri took the top prize.
Unlike Eurovision, which is a song contest, the Golden Stag festival is a singing contest and there is no televote. However, the festival has always been wildly popular among Romanians, primarily because of its pomp that aims to emulate Italy’s Sanremo.
This year, a jury will choose a winner who will go home with the coveted Golden Stag trophy. Other prizes will also be awarded, to the total amount of 55,000 euro.
The 2019 Golden Stag festival will take place between 22 August – 24 August, in Brasovs Sfatului Square.
Will you be following Romania’s Golden Stag festival? Are you excited about the line-up? Let us know in the comments!