Albania’s Festivali i Këngës — the festival that traditionally marks the start of the Eurovision national finals season — finally has some provisional dates. It will take place between December 17 and December 26, depending on conditions dictated by both the coronavirus pandemic and, in a huge twist, the weather. That’s because producers are going for an open-air location to help reduce the risk posed by coronavirus.

RTSH, the Albanian national broadcaster, communicated the new info in a first meeting with artists, composers and journalists. The director of the Festival, Martin Leka, revealed that, because of the pandemic, the festival will move to an outdoor location near Tirana’s Italia Square. That’s down to prevailing health advice — from the likes of the World Health Organisation — which says outdoor locations reduce the risk of transmission. Performers can have no more than seven people on stage (including the artist).

We do not yet know how the pandemic will unfold, but the weather is a bit more predictable. Tirana is a sunny capital with an average temperature between 3.2ºC and 13ºC  in December.

Leka also announced key staff for this year’s festival. It will be directed by Pali Kuke, and presented by journalist Bledi Salaj and the famous Albanian actress and moderator Jonida Vokshi.

Last month, RTSH published the 26 competing artists, including familiar names like Orgesa Zaimi, Era Rusi, Mirud, and Inis Neziri.

This year, Festivali i Këngës will be a mix of returning artists such as Anxhela Peristeri, Manjolla Nallbani, Rosela Gjylbegu, Erik Lloshi and newcomers like Sardi Strugaj, Giglioala Haveriku, and Stefan Marena.

It has not been revealed whether producers will use RTSH’s orchestra or if there will be an actual audience.

Are you excited for an outdoor festival? Do you think that will impact acoustics and staging and costume? Let us know in the comments box below!

Read more Albania Eurovision news here

14 Comments
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Ulvi
Ulvi
1 year ago

I’m albanian and I think we will easily win in 2021.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ulvi
Linus
Linus
1 year ago
Reply to  Ulvi

dont you wanna here the songs first haha?

zheng
zheng
1 year ago

I don’t understand why not hold in the arena, as in previous years only without an audience.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago

This will be interesting to watch. I can see some cons, but depending on the place, it may lead to beautiful shots. My only concern is that FiK has been a little prone to some technical difficulties, so I imagine the shows can take a little longer than predicted to start or finish.

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
1 year ago

People often joke about what if Albania or Moldova ever won where would they host it, in a field? Didn’t think Albania would take the teasing seriously!

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

I think the backyard thing for San Marino comes about not due to the wealth of the nation but due to how small it is.
But Albania and Moldova have organised several NF in good venues and would only need to upgrade them for hosting ESC

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago

Why don’t they have it somewhere INDOORS and put huge screens or whatever those are, in an OUTDOOR area where people can watch?

Malo
Malo
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

I doubt anyone would stay out in the cold to watch it. At least this way it will be like a concert.

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago
Reply to  Malo

Is it about the audience or about the talent? Having them sing and perform in the cold and running the risk of damaging their voice is quite outrageous. What kind of broadcaster/show organizer puts the talent thru such experience? It’s unreasonable and cruel.

Malo
Malo
1 year ago
Reply to  Whisker

Hey I’m with you. Just trying to explain the broadcaster’s logic. They apparently want an audience.

Last edited 1 year ago by Malo
Stardust
Stardust
1 year ago

If I recal correctlly, some of the older Ukrainian and Russian national finals were held outdoors. I think those were around the 2013-2018 period for both countries.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 year ago
Reply to  Stardust

In junior eurovision maybe. I don’t recall any outdoor ukrainian and russian nf’s in that period and russia has done only internal since 2013

Whisker
Whisker
1 year ago

I think it’s a bad idea since cold weather is not a singer’s throat best friend.

Leo
Leo
1 year ago

Good move
But I dunno if there’s going to be any live orchestra this year.
Does anyone have an idea?