While preparations for the 2021 edition of Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival continue, it’s still not clear sort of audience the show may have — or indeed, if there will be a live audience at all. But now Italian media are reporting there may be a pandemic-safe solution. Organisers are said to be looking at quarantining the Sanremo audience in a cruise ship, docked at the local port.
The proposal has reportedly come from the Costa Cruises, who are offering their flagship vessel, the Costa Smeralda. The ship has a maximum occupancy of 6,554 and boasts 11 restaurants.
Media are reporting that the plan will be to house around 3000 to 4000 people on the ship, along with Sanremo’s artistic team. The passengers will be quarantined on the ship for two weeks prior to the start of the show and will remain based there during Sanremo week. From 2 March, they’ll be transported to shore, then bussed to the Ariston Theatre for the daily Sanremo shows.
Italy currently has a variety of restrictions, including curfews, and limits on stores and restaurants. While spending three weeks on a cruise ship may feel somewhat restrictive, it may also offer passengers a chance to take a break from the limits of everyday life.
The Sanremo bubble is said to be a similar idea to the NBA Bubble. In this situation, teams in the American NBA basketball league moved to Disney World hotels to enable the remaining games of the 2019-2020 season to be played without fear of a Covid outbreak.
Earlier in the year, cruise ships were at the centre of many Covid-19 outbreaks, with some describing such vessels as “floating petri dishes”. However, more is now known about how to minimise the spread of Covid.
To date, the Sanremo cruise ship bubble is still a proposal. Broadcaster RAI have yet to comment on whether it will, in fact, be used for Sanremo 2021.
Casa Sanremo will be hosted at the Palafiori Convention Centre
The Palafiori Convention Centre has again been confirmed as the home of Casa Sanremo. With the Ariston Theatre limited in size, the Palafiori will be the base for Sanremo technical staff, record company representatives, the media centre, along with radio and television broadcasting facilities.
The convention centre is located close to the Ariston Theatre, a five-minute walk from the Sanremo location.
Casa Sanremo will be run in full compliance with anti-Covid restrictions. As a result, broadcast events are unlikely to include a studio audience.
The lineup of Sanremo 2021 was confirmed earlier in the month. It features returning Eurovision acts Ermal Meta and Francesca Michielin as well as hot band Måneskin.
Sanremo 2021 will begin on 2 March, with the grand final on Saturday 6 March.
What do you think? Should Sanremo quarantine its audience on a cruise ship? Or should they forgo the audience entirely? Tell us your thoughts below!