Mascletà! La Generalitat Valenciana, the regional government of Valencia has confirmed it is involved with RTVE’s Eurovision project. The government and the broadcaster will announce further details on Thursday. The event is to be held in Benidorm, the region’s most touristic city.
On Saturday, the regional government announced on their social media that they were preparing an “event related to Eurovision” in Benidorm together with RTVE. The city’s administration will also be involved.
? El proyecto contará con la colaboración del Ayuntamiento y se conocerán las novedades el próximo jueves
— Generalitat (@generalitat) July 17, 2021
On a more political note, the move is quite an unusual one. It’s worth noting that the Generalitat (you should learn that name) has a left-wing coalition government, while Benidorm’s mayor is one of the closest allies of the conservative party leader in the region. This is what you call building bridges.
Later, on Sunday, the region’s head of government Ximo Puig also tweeted about the news. Puig (PSOE, Spain’s equivalent to Labour) has been trying to build himself a reputation in Europe and is particularly active on the Committee of Regions. His tweet comes as no surprise then:
“We’re working with RTVE to make sure Benidorm will be a meeting point of what we need the most right now: music, Europe and diversity. We’ll communicate the details on Thursday. Good news for the Region of Valencia’s emotional and touristic reactivation”.
Estamos trabajando con RTVE para que Benidorm pueda ser un punto de encuentro de lo que más necesitamos ahora: música, Europa y diversidad.
El jueves comunicaremos todos los detalles.
Buenas noticias para la reactivación emocional y turística de la Comunitat Valenciana. pic.twitter.com/9hTCliJzQw
— Ximo Puig (@ximopuig) July 18, 2021
Festival de Benidorm in 2022?
Now, the question is: which kind of event will RTVE hold in Benidorm? Festival de Benidorm was Spain’s version of Festival di Sanremo. The festival launched in 1959 and it was last held in 2006.
For years, it was a referent for Spanish music, but in the later years, the contest’s popularity faded until it was discontinued in 2006. During its later years, it was known as an outdated and old-fashioned show, and its songs had little mainstream success.
Ever since it was cancelled, there have been several attempts to bring it back. However, that didn’t eventuate, and the city has opted for a more mainstream approach to music and hosts several summer festivals now. Low Festival is the best known, and artists like Foals, Bastille or Phoenix performed recently (pre-pandemic).
Benidorm and Eurovision? An untried formula
Coral Segovia — a Spanish fan favourite in the last decade — was one of the last winners of the festival in 2005. She would later go on to finish second twice in Spain’s national selection, in 2008 and 2010. Barei entered in 2001, as part of a duo, but she didn’t win.
Spain has used small-scale national finals to select its act in recent years, including Mira quién va a Eurovisión, the drama-filled Objetivo Eurovisión and the talent show Operación Triunfo. RTVE internally selected Blas Cantó for 2020 and 2021.
Are you excited about Spain’s new national selection? What do you expect from RTVE? Will 2022 see the birth of Spain’s golden age at Eurovision? Let us know in the comment section below!