Mark your calendars! Italy’s broadcaster Rai has confirmed that the Sanremo Music Festival‘s 71st edition will take place later than usual. The legendary festival will take place from 2 to 6 March 2021, owing to the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
In most years, Sanremo typically takes places in the second week of February. Rai’s director, Stefano Coletta, confirmed the new dates on Thursday while introducing the broadcaster’s 2020-2021 season. He described Sanremo 2021 as being “a festival that will reopen our normalcy.”
Coletta also confirmed that Amadeus and Fiorello will host the show again.
The pair are well known in Italy, but Eurovision fans will remember them for a certain iconic performance from their 2020 hosting. The duo’s 20-minute interval act with a autotune microphone at 1am while waiting for Diodato to be announced as the winner of Sanremo 2020 wasn’t easy to forget.
There are still many things unknown about next year’s festival. For example, the venue. Teatro Ariston has hosted Sanremo since 1977, but it can only fit 2,000 people.
With the stage and the orchestra alone taking up a lot of space, will the Ariston be a suitable venue given all the conditions introduced because of the pandemic? While Italy is slowly easing its pandemic precautions, some social restrictions still remain in place.
Will Rai need to book a bigger venue or even host it outdoors? And most importantly: what kind of facemask eleganza will the glamorous audience bring?
Sanremo and Eurovision 2021
Italy is yet to confirm their Eurovision 2021 participation, and there’s no news neither about Diodato’s eventual involvement in the competition.
Rai has used Sanremo to select most of Italy’s acts since their return in 2011, but it’s not always been the case. In 2014, for example, the broadcaster internally picked Emma Marrone.
However, the new dates would fit the EBU’s schedule for 2021. There’s not a deadline yet, but countries usually have to submit their entries by mid-March.
The fact that Sanremo has been moved back to the first weekend in March could make it clash with other big national selection shows. Are we heading to a heavyweight Super Saturday?
While Sweden’s Melodifestivalen has not yet confirmed its dates for 2021, the grand final typically takes place on the second Saturday of March. However, given how late in the evening Sanremo runs, we expect Melodifestivalen would have selected their act, held the afterparty and for everyone to be calling it a night before Italy crowns its champ in the wee small hours of the morning.
There are still many questions regarding Sanremo 2021, but the show is already underway. What do you expect from it? Will Italy use it to select their entrant? Will they invite Diodato back for Rotterdam? Tell us in the comment section below!
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