Recent comments from Sanremo Music Festival artistic director Amadeus had fans worried that the 2021 holding of the legendary Italian song contest would be cancelled. The Italian presenter had made remarks that suggested that there was no way Sanremo 2021 could take place with Covid-19 restrictions. But he has since clarified that even if that’s the case, Sanremo WON’T be cancelled.
Amadeus had previously made comments about how he would not want to see Sanremo go ahead with extreme Covid precautions. He had said, “I can’t imagine a Sanremo without an audience in the hall or without an orchestra.”
In the same interview, he said there was “no plan B”, suggesting that if Sanremo 2021 couldn’t go ahead in the usual way, it would be cancelled.
But it turns out that Amadeus was not envisioning cancelling Sanremo 2021. His manager Lucio Presta clarified, “He did not say that. Rather, he said that without the public it is better to move things to a later date. To be precise.”
Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper explained that if there were new restrictions that required no audience, no orchestra and no press at Sanremo, it wouldn’t make much sense to go ahead and hold the festival.
It is important to note that Amadeus is only the Artistic Director of Sanremo 2021. It is not in his power to cancel the contest outright. This is a decision that would have to be made by the broadcaster RAI.
Alternatives for Sanremo 2021 and Italy’s Eurovision selection
But cancelling Sanremo 2021 is not a likely option for RAI. If it wasn’t possible to hold a Sanremo with an audience and orchestra in March, the next option would be to postpone it to a later date, not cancel it outright.
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic had already been felt on Sanremo 2021. The 2021 holding of the show will take place one month later than usual — from 2 to 6 March 2021. The later dates give the Sanremo team more time to produce the show.
However, if Sanremo 2021 was postponed to a later date, this would most likely push it beyond the EBU’s deadline for song submissions to Eurovision 2021. This means that Sanremo 2021 could not be used to select Italy’s entry for Eurovision. RAI might end up internally selecting its act for Eurovision, which it last did in 2014 with Emma Marrone.
Planning for Sanremo 2021 continues. Amadeus has revealed that some proposals have already been received and meetings with record companies will begin today, Monday.
Coming in October will be Ama Sanremo — the semi-finals of the Sanremo Giovani contest. The semi-finals will select the acts who will head to the Sanremo Giovani grand final in December. That contest will then decide the eight acts who will perform in a separate contest as part of the Sanremo festival.
What do you think? Would you rather see Sanremo with no audience or held later in the year? How should Italy select its act for Eurovision 2021? Tell us your thoughts below!