Back in July, Albania’s broadcaster RTSH confirmed that it will go ahead with the 59th edition of its long-running song contest Festivali i Këngës. And on August 14 RTSH officially opened the submission process, calling on songwriters and performers to submit their entries in person or by e-mail on October 1 and 2, 2020.
FESTIVALI 59-të i KËNGËS NË RTSH Radio Televizioni Shqiptar fton të gjithë krijuesit dhe interpretuesit të marrin…
The announcement does not mention the Eurovision Song Contest. But it’s safe to assume that, as ever, the contest will be used to choose Albania’s entry for Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam.
While the song festival predates Albania’s Eurovision participation, since 2003 the winner of FiK has always gone on to represent Albania at Eurovision the following year.
That likely means that last year’s winner Arilena Ara will not receive a free pass to Rotterdam for 2021. She’ll have to sing for her legacy like everybody else if she wants another shot at Eurovision glory.
Arilena won the last edition of Albania’s national final and was expecting to head Rotterdam last May with her song “Fall From The Sky”. Unfortunately, Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This meant that the X Factor Albania winner did not have the chance to realise her Eurovision dream in 2020.
More details about Festivali i Këngës 59
Local news media Zëri reports that although there are still many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that the Festivali i Këngës will take place no matter what.
Currently, all large public gatherings in Albania are indefinitely cancelled. It is not known if this restriction will remain in place in December and what effect, if any, COVID-19 precautions will have on Festivali i Këngës 59.
Festivali i Këngës has been held annually since 1962. In 2003, the festival began double duty as Albania’s national selection, with the FiK winner also representing Albania at Eurovision.
Are you excited about Festivali i Këngës 59? Do you think it’s fair that Arilena Ara will not be chosen automatically for Eurovision 2021? Let us know in the comment section down below!