sanremo

Italy‘s Festivali di Sanremo 2021 may have hit another hurdle in the age of the pandemic. The Italian government has introduced new restrictions that mean RAI cannot use a live audience at Sanremo 2021. Italian media reports that RAI and Sanremo stakeholders will have an emergency meeting to discuss the fate of Sanremo 2021.

The Italian government has introduced new restrictions in an effort to curb the impact of Covid-19. The restrictions began on 15 January and are scheduled to end on 5 March.

The new rules permit television productions, including those filmed in concert halls and theatres, provided safety measures are followed. However, the rules are clear that such events cannot be held with a live audience.

Sanremo 2021 is due to run from 2 to 6 March, while the new Italian restrictions are scheduled to end on 5 March. This means that for the first four of the five nights of Sanremo, the show would not be allowed to go ahead with a live audience.

The new restrictions have reportedly taken RAI by surprise. The broadcaster is said to have been hoping for the opposite — to have more relaxed restrictions in place by the time Sanremo 2021 came around.

Faced with this upheavel to Sanremo 2021, RAI has scheduled a meeting in the coming week with the stakeholders of Sanremo 2021, including artistic director Amadeus, the municipality of Sanremo and show sponsors.

What options does Sanremo 2021 have?

One possibility is to hold Sanremo 2021 without a live audience. This is said to be the favoured solution of the show sponsors, seen as the simplest way of going ahead with the show. Sanremo is primarily a television show with a small live audience. While the audience does create atmosphere, it is not a core part of the festival.

Holding Sanremo with no live audience would also be in line with the staging of many Eurovision national finals around Europe, where broadcasters have chosen to not to take the risk of using a live audience.

Sanremo organisers have also been considering a proposal to have the show audience housed in a cruise ship for the duration of Sanremo week, with daily testing, essentially creating a Covid-free bubble. However, health experts have pointed out that if Covid did make it onto the ship, the vessel could see the virus rapidly spreading to others on board.

Another possibility is to further postpone Sanremo 2021. RAI is said to be considering a date in the second week of April, after Easter. Doing this, however, would be disruptive to the marketing calendars of sponsors and the release plans of record companies.

It would also mean that Sanremo 2021 could not not be used as Italy’s selection method for Eurovision 2021. RAI would instead need to internally select a non-Sanremo act in order to meet the EBU’s mid-March deadline.

Otherwise, the production schedule for Sanremo 2021 is still going ahead. The orchestra is due to begin rehearsals in Rome at the end of January.

What do you think? Should Sanremo 2021 go ahead without a live audience? Should RAI shift the festival to a later date? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Italy Eurovision news here

19 Comments
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Olga
Olga
10 months ago

Since the last day of restrictions is on 5th March, I think that the final evening on 6th March should be with live audience and the evenings before that without it. Nobody can say now what may happen in April.

James
James
10 months ago
Reply to  Olga

March 5 will be tentative at best depending if the situation across the country improves. Regardless, it would probably better for Sanremo to go on without a live audience.

khm
khm
10 months ago

It would be quite sh***y if Italian contestant for ESC2021 doesn’t come from one of the best line-ups in the last six years.

Una
Una
10 months ago

I actually think this Sanremo edition to be quite interesting. From what I remember reading around here, EBbU learns from the different bbroadcasters and other event organizers from how they host/organize their events/shows. Now we see how, for example, NRK is doing their live shows without an audience present in the venue. They have one show every week. On the other hand, RAI do the Sanremo during 4-5 consecutive days. I would think it’d be better to use the orchestra for the live shows. Because this could provide a sort of blue print regarding “human management” for total lack for… Read more »

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
10 months ago

I’m from Italy and I totally don’t understand why they want to have an audience so bad. During these times it’s better if everyone stays safe. I also hope there won’t be an orchestra like in Fik for the same reason.

Luke A
Luke A
10 months ago

Can’t they just get a virtual audience, that’s what many shows are doing here in UK

sam
sam
10 months ago

as long as måneskin wins im fine with whatever they decide to do

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
10 months ago

I think they should hold the show without audience because I’m sure that some artists decided to participate with eurovision in their minds so if RAI postpones Sanremo so their work on their potential eurovision songs will be wasted

sucof
sucof
10 months ago

they are interested in the Italian record market, the latest thought is Eurovision

Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago

Anything related to a ship and covid sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Either have it without an audience or internally select Diodato.

Tho
Tho
10 months ago

No audience. Same like Eurovision in may

Graft
Graft
10 months ago
Reply to  Tho

I really hope we’ll get a scenario C and not a scenario D in May ;(

Denis
Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Tho

Dont be so quick to assume Option D and that everything will be in lockdown. Option D is not the only option..

Alex
Alex
10 months ago

I am wondering why they were so optimistic a couple of months ago when everyone knew that things would not be back to normal in March or even February. No audience is the only option.

Eurofan
Eurofan
10 months ago

Either it’s no audience or go with Diodato again

KRM
KRM
10 months ago
Reply to  Eurofan

Yeah, but the question is if Diodato would want to do it again. If not, they’ll have to choose another artist internally.

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  KRM

If Diodato is offered and declines, the next offer should go to Arisa, as she is the rightful 2014 winner who didn’t go to ESC. I still hope we will get the classic Sanremo, but if not, these should be two next logical steps.

Whisker
Whisker
10 months ago

Why did they ever consider the “ship” option? It.wouldn’t.have.worked.

NickC
NickC
10 months ago

Just ditch the audience. Simple as that.