Planning for Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival is well underway, but based on recent comments from Sanremo 2021 Artistic Director Amadeus, it’s still not decided if the show will have a live audience. But Amadeus is keeping positive, saying that regardless, it will be a “festival of rebirth and positivity”.
Amadeus made the comments at the launch of AmaSanremo, the December contest that will decide the eight newcomer acts who will go on to compete in the Giovanni section of Sanremo 2021.
As well as talking about the newcomers’ contest, Amadeus was also asked about plans for Sanremo 2021 — specifically if the show would have a live audience.
Amadeus said that now wasn’t the time to decide such a thing. He said, “In January we will understand what conditions we are in and therefore we will be able to evaluate and make a final decision.”
This is less certain than the comments that RAI’s Director Stefano Coletta made in September. Back then, he assured media that Sanremo 2021 would take place with a live audience. Coletta said that all Sanremo audience members would be given a swab test and have their temperature checked before entering the Ariston Theatre.
At the recent AmaSanremo launch, Coletta was not able to confirm the status of the Sanremo audience. He said, “Speaking of the audience today is irrational, given that situations change from one moment to the next.”
Italy is currently faced with a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and faces new levels of restrictions to limit the impact of the virus.
Twice as many entries as normal for Sanremo 2021
But while some festival details are still being finalised, the Sanremo production team are more busy than usual with the song submissions. Amadeus explained, “The amount of songs that came from the big names to participate in Sanremo is double compared to last year.”
The Artistic Director also gave a few hints as to the type of artists who had entered. He said, “There are important and very current names but also names not known to the general public but in which Sanremo must invest. In Sanremo the song wins.”
The increase of entries may be a reflection of the current situation for musical artists. With a huge reduction in live performance opportunities due to pandemic restrictions, Sanremo 2021 is one place where Italian singers can perform to an audience.
The question now remains whether that audience will be live at the Ariston or only watching at home on television.
Broadcaster RAI earlier confirmed that the winner of Sanremo 2021 will have first refusal to represent Italy at Eurovision 2021. The contest is due to take place from 2 to 6 March 2021.
What do you think? Would Sanremo 2021 be the same without a live audience? Who would you like to see in the festival this year? Tell us your thoughts below.