While Italian broadcaster Rai is busy planning their hosting of Eurovision 2022, they are also putting together the 72nd edition of the iconic Sanremo Music Festival. Rai has released the official rules of Sanremo 2022, including the new show format and Eurovision requirements.
Unlike some song contests, the rules of Sanremo tend of change a little each year. The tweaks to the show structure and voting system adds fresh elements to the iconic song contest.
This year, 24 acts will compete in the Sanremo shows. This will be made up of 22 Big Artists and the two winners of the Sanremo Giovani competition held in December 2021. This means there will be no seperate newcomers content at Sanremo in February.
Other changes include the covers night moving to the Friday night show. There are also changes to the voting system. This year, the Sanremo orchestra will not have a vote, while the media in Sanremo’s press centre will the be ones deciding the votes on the first two nights.
The Big Artists will be decided by Sanremo 2022 artistic director Amadeus. He will consider “the quality and originality of the songs, as well as the interpretation and requirements of contemporaneity, fame and recognised value of the performing artists.”
The rules are focused on the unique Sanremo experience rather than being tailored for Eurovision. The maximum length for a Sanremo entry is four minutes — one minute longer than the Eurovision maximum.
The Sanremo 2022 rules are clear that Italy’s act for Eurovision 2022 will be decided through Sanremo. All competing acts will need to confirm in advance if they wish to also be a contender for Eurovision. If the winner of Sanremo 2022 has said yes to Eurovision, they will get the ticket to Turin. However, if the winning act does not wish to go to Eurovision, then broadcaster Rai will select another act from any of the Sanremo competitors.
Sanremo Music Festival 2022 format
First night: Tuesday 1 February
- The first 12 artists will perform their competing songs for the first time.
- Voting will be done by media juries, made up of a print and TV jury (33%), a radio jury (34%) and a web media jury (33%).
- There will be no eliminations, but a ranking of the 12 acts will be announced at the end of the night.
Second night: Wednesday 2 February
- The other 12 artists will perform their competing songs.
- Again, the voting will be decided by the three media juries.
- There will also be no eliminations, and a ranking of these 12 acts will be announced. There will also be a combined ranking of all 12 competing songs.
Third night: Thursday 3 February
- The 24 artists will perform their competing songs throughout the night.
- This time, the voting will be decided by demoscopic jury (50%) and televote (50%).
- The voting from the third night will be combined with the voting of the first and second nights for a new overall ranking.
Fourth night: Friday 4 February
- Covers night. All 24 competing artists will each perform an iconic Italian or international song from the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s. Artists will be able to sing songs with non-Italian lyrics. The artists will be able to perform the song solo or together with an acclaimed Italian or international guest artist.
- Voting will be done by televote (34%), combined press jury (33%) and demoscopic jury (33%).
- An average will be made of all voting to date and a new ranking will be announced.
Fifth night: Saturday 5 February
- The 24 competing artists will perform their songs for the third and final time.
- Voting will be determined by public televote and a new overall ranking will be announced. The top three ranked acts will then compete in the super final.
- Voting will then be reset. Of the top three acts, the winner will be decided by 34% televoting, 33% press jury and 33% demoscopic jury.
The Sanremo Music Festival has been held since 1951 and was first televised in 1955. It was an inspiration for the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest, which began in 1956.
Since Italy’s 2011 Eurovision return, Sanremo acts have given Italy eight top-ten finishes, including Måneskin’s 2021 victory.