Last week we learned that Festivali i Këngës producers are taking things up a notch in 2019 with a star-studded list of singers that includes Elvana Gjata, Arilena Ara and Olta Boka. And today RTSH confirmed the dates of the three-day festival, adding a break on December 21.
FiK 58 will take place on December 19, December 20 and December 22. In recent years, the contest has been staged as late as December 23, lending to the seasonal phrase “Merry FiKmas” owing to its proximity to Christmas. Naturally people frequently have other things to do on the eve of Christmas Eve, so perhaps this will help attract even more viewers.
As ever, the three nights of big ballads and beautiful ball gowns will unfold inside the Palace of Congress in Tirana.
Now about that day of rest. It seems like a good idea. As any Eurofan can attest, sitting through three days straight of Albania’s traditional song festival can be a bit time consuming and strain relations with friends and family who may not be as keen on our niche interest. The day off will give us all a chance to pay attention to our long-suffering friends and loved ones (for a night anyway).
But more importantly, the day of rest will give producers and contestants a chance to prepare for the final of this television spectacle. It’s known that this day will consist of general rehearsals. But perhaps producers also need some time to install extra pyro, to push in extra large wind machines, or to hang extra rigs for an even bigger final.
That would fit with this year’s seemingly more ambitious take on the festival, which serves as Albania’s Eurovision selection. The host Alketa Vejsiu and the show’s director Vera Grabocka both come from X Factor, where they’ve helped put on some of the most eye-popping shows on Albanian television. Their drive and mission of purpose with FiK seems clear. They’re turning up the heat and pulling the contest firmly into 2020.
Will you be attending FiK this year? Do you think that the show is evolving in a good way? And what do you make of that day of rest? Let us know down below.