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

21 Comments
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Ulvi
Ulvi
2 months ago

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

Last edited 2 months ago by Ulvi
Linus
Linus
2 months ago
Reply to  Ulvi

dont you wanna here the songs first haha?

zheng
zheng
2 months ago

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

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months 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
2 months 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!

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Just in response, not as criticising you, RavensHeart: that’s offensive. Valentina’s backyard versus Albania’s or Moldova’s fields? How offensive OMG. Biased.
I seriously doubt that broadcasters with few resources would try to win the contest. Considering how much it costs and the complexity of production and whatnot. Some countries are there to be part of the contest and try to bring the best they can. Few try to win. 2022 should be interesting.

Azaad
Azaad
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

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

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

I strongly disagree. Bias towards countries or broadcasters that are “rich” or “poor” comes across pretty often. One thing is to say that some broadcasters cannot reach a certain production standard and another thing is to be biased or rude about it. And Eastern European countries suffer from this prejudice and plain rudeness.
San Marino can be wealthy but their broadcaster relies on artists/labels to support heavily their act if we are to believe what we read around here.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

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

Last edited 2 months ago by Malo
Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

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

Una
Una
2 months ago

About staging: it will look nice, I am sure of that. The biggest Albanian celebration of the year? Check. No worries.
About costumes: please everyone, do not catch a cold. Artists and teams and all the wonderful people working for FiK included. And the press too.
Happy FiK everyone!!!!!

Una
Una
2 months ago

There is a whole lot of science and technology regarding outdoors acoustics. So they will need experts that know what they do *if* public is allowed. Performing in front of an empty arena/square would be so *sad*. Maybe Albert’s impressions of Lucy the wonderful Israeli co-host (Polish selection 2020) or The Humans’ mannequins (Romania 2018) could fill it up. In a true multi-year cross-border collaboration.

Last edited 2 months ago by Una
Una
Una
2 months ago

How exciting OMG! The most exciting piece of news this week! How fabulous! How innovative for Eurovision! I can’t remember one occasion when a Eurovision selection was held outdoors!

Stardust
Stardust
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

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
2 months 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

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

A bit a like yet different: Romania held a semi-final in a cave made in a salt mine. A sort of museum? open for tourists. Interesting concept.
Not outdoors but underground (not like in Vaida’s 2019 song LOL). That one is the most interesting place I can think of where a Eurovision selection/final was held.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Sacre bleu! Blue heaven OMG how could I forget Tom Leeb’s presentation on top of the Eiffel Tower?

Leo
Leo
2 months ago

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