Benidorm Fest

Thirteen acts, three shows and one week full of events in sunny Benidorm. Spain’s national selection for Eurovision has departed from the mediocrity of previous years and turned itself into a mini-Eurovision Song Contest. Get ready for the ultimate week of Eurodrama with our guide below. 

Benidorm Fest 2022: How to watch

Benidorm Fest’s three shows will be broadcast live in RTVE’s La 1 and Canal Internacional. It will also be broadcast live on RTVE’s digital platform Play. If you’re a radio lover, RNE will also broadcast it live, with Eurovision commentator Julia Varela.

  • Semi-Final 1: Wednesday, January 26. 22.40 CET
  • Semi-Final 2: Thursday, January 27. 22.40 CET
  • Final: Saturday, January 29. 22.05 CET

If you’re familiar with Spain’s viewing habits, you won’t be surprised that the schedule is quite late by European standards. But fear not: one of this year’s changes is how long the shows will last. All three shows will be over before midnight: the semi-finals will run for around 80 minutes, and the final, a bit less than two hours.

Here’s the show’s running order:

Semi-final 1 – Wednesday 26, 22.40 CET

  1. Luna Ki – “Voy a morir” (WITHDRAWN)
  2. Varry Brava – “Raffaella”
  3. Azúcar Moreno – “Postureo”
  4. Blanca Paloma – “Secreto de agua”
  5. Unique – “Mejores”
  6. Tanxugueiras – “Terra”
  7. Chanel – “SloMo”

Semi-final 2 – Thursday 27, 22.40 CET

  1. Xeinn – “Eco”
  2. Marta Sango – “Sigues en mi mente”
  3. Javiera Mena – “Culpa”
  4. Gonzalo Hermida – “Quién lo diría”
  5. Rigoberta Bandini – “Ay mamá”
  6. Rayden – “Calle de la llorería”
  7. Sara Deop – “Make you say”

And yes, eurodrama started early. On Sunday, Luna Ki announced their withdrawal from the competition due to the autotune ban. The artist will give a press conference on Monday at 16.30 in which they’ll explain the decision. Writing on social media, some fans have suggested this is all one big publicity stunt and that it’s unfair to artists who, understanding the very clear rules, would have sung live if they had been chosen. 

RTVE has made no further comment on the situation, and has not confirmed whether there’ll be a substitute act or if Luna will perform in exhibition.

Benidorm Fest 2022: The schedule

Besides the three shows, Benidorm Fest will bring a whole week of press events to the city. Wiwibloggs will be live on ground the whole week, so you won’t miss a thing. Here’s your plan:

Monday 24

  • 11.30: Institutional press conference. RTVE’s Director José Manuel Pérez Tornero; Communications Director María Eizaguirre and Head of Delegation Eva Mora will sign the agreement with the Region of Valencia’s president Ximo Puig. It is a protocol event held in Benidorm’s castle. Most of the press conferences will happen there.
  • 13:15: Visit to Palau d’Esports l’Illa, the stage of Benidorm Fest. 
  • 16.30: Luna Ki’s press conference.
  • Prior to Sunday, there was a press conference with the artists taking part in Semi-final 2 at that same time. RTVE is expected to reschedule it: The competing acts are Xeinn, Marta Sango, Javiera Mena, Gonzalo Hermida, Rigoberta Bandini, Rayden and Sara Deop.

During the evening, Semi-final 1 acts will have their first rehearsals. These won’t be open to the press. 

Tuesday 25

  • 11.30: RTVE’S Communications Director María Eizaguirre will host a show live from La Gran Consulta‘s bus with some of the contestants. This is part of RTVE’s campaign in search of new audiences: citizens are welcome to approach the bus and make their suggestions and criticisms about the broadcaster’s programming. 
  • 16.30: Press conference with the artists taking part in Semi-final 1: Luna Ki, Varry Brava, Azúcar Moreno, Blanca Paloma, Unique, Tanxugueiras and Chanel.

Just like on Monday, Semi-final 2 acts will have their first rehearsals during the evening, and they won’t be open to the press neither.

Wednesday 26

  • 11.30: Press conference will all the artists and the hosts Alaska, Màxim Huerta and Inés Hernand. 
  • 16.00 – 17.45: First semi-final’s second rehearsal. The press will be allowed into the hall, but they won’t be able to take images. 
  • 22.40: Semi-final 1.
  • 00.00: Qualifiers press conference. It will be broadcast on RTVE Play. 

Thursday 27

  • 11.30: Press conference with the first semi-final non qualifiers. 
  • 16.00-17.45: Second semi-final’s second rehearsal. The press will be allowed into the hall, but they won’t be able to take images. 
  • 22.40: Semi-final 2.
  • 00.00: Qualifiers press conference. It will be broadcast on RTVE Play.

Friday 28

  • 11.30: Finalists’ press conference.
  • 12.30: Second semi-final’s non qualifiers’ press conference.
  • 15.15-19.30: Final’s rehersals. Press will be able to access as well, but no images will be made public.

Saturday 29

  • 15.30-17.30: Final: general rehearsal. Again, no images.
  • 22.05: FINAL.
  • 00:00: Winner’s press conference.

Sunday 30

  • 11.30: Winner’s press conference and photo shoot.

Press conference lovers, this is for you!

Benidorm Fest 2022: Tickets

Tickets for Benidorm Fest have been on everybody’s mouth for the past few weeks. A dubious handling of the situation justified by the coronavirus crisis has ended with tickets only being confirmed one week prior to the event.

Palau l’Illa will have an audience of 1,300 people each night, and each partner (RTVE, Generalitat Valenciana and Benidorm’s City Hall) have a portion of them.

All tickets will be free. However, the process has been complicated and confusing. At this stage, if you still want tickets for the show, there are several ways of getting them via contests.

First, there’s RTVE itself. The broadcaster has established a page on their website where you can apply for tickets. The winners will be contacted on Tuesday, and they’ll get a double ticket for one of the shows. 

Then, several local media are offering free tickets as well. Generalitat Valenciana’s tickets have been distributed between nine newspapers and radios.

The regional government plans to offer a small part of their tickets to institutions related to music and tourism and authorities.

Each participating media has been given freedom to organise their contests, and most of them have used instagram. Beware if you are participating, as people have spotted several fake accounts.

Didn’t get a ticket? Don’t worry! RTVE, the regional government and the local hall will install three giant screens on Benidorm’s Playa de Levante to watch the contest live on Saturday night.

Benidorm Fest 2022: The EuroClubES

No Eurovision would be complete without the EuroClub, and Benidorm Fest will not be an exception. Our friends at Eurovision-Spain.com are organizing four consecutive nights at club Penélope, one of the oldest and best known of Benidorm.

From Wednesday to Saturday, Penélope will host four nights of Eurovision parties. Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s will happen in Penélope Beach, a smaller club in Playa de Levante.

On Wednesday and Thursday, there will be a giant screen to watch the Semi-finals and the after-party will run until 03.30 in the morning. Friday’s will be an hour longer, until 04.30.

Then, on Saturday the action takes place at the bigger Penélope venue, right next to Palau l’Illa. From 00.30 to 06.30, there will be an intense Eurovision night. Can’t wait!

The impact of Benidorm Fest

At this stage, you might be tired of Spaniards speaking non stop on Twitter about Benidorm Fest. But, come on, bear with us, this national selection is the hugest thing we’ve had in decades.

Not only have Benidorm Fest’s songs made it to the mainstream audience, there’s even members of the government talking about it. And there’s division in the cabinet! 

While Vice-president and leader of leftist party Yolanda Díaz is a fan of Tanxugueiras, fellow ministers Ione Belarra, Raquel Sánchez (from both Unidas Podemos and PSOE) support Rigoberta Bandini. The question is: who will be Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez rooting for? Any guesses? 

 

It’s not only politics, it’s also the social impact of some of the songs. Tanxugueiras’ “Terra” is the clearest example. The first song in Galician competing to represent Spain at Eurovision ever has turned the group into a phenomenom.

The region of Galicia has shown massive support for the band. The regional television even counted with them for their New Year’s special. They have been featuring in a number of programs ever since, and made it to TikTok. Their name is not easy to pronounce, isn’t it?

At this stage, Tanxugueiras are the most successful Benidorm Fest artists on YouTube. Their lyric video for “Terra” has already clocked up 2,4 million views.

Meanwhile, the song that is commanding the streaming platforms is Rigoberta Bandini’s “Ay mamá”. The song has had over 2,7 million streams already, and it’s become Rigoberta’s fifth most listened song. It was released less than a month ago.

“Ay mamá” has also found its way on private broadcaster Telecinco. It is regularly aired on “Sálvame”, one of Spain’s most watched TV shows and has been used to promote the second series of “Rocío” TV show.

More artists from Benidorm Fest have found their way to promote thei entries on Telecinco. Varry Brava also played “Raffaella” on magazine “Viva la vida” on Saturday.

The fact that one of RTVE’s rival broadcasters is using Benidorm Fest entries’ in their programming is a first for Spain. Last year, RTVE was buried in criticism when Telecinco played Eurovision entries from Switzerland, France and Bulgaria before Blas Cantó’s in Rocío’s documentary.

RTVE is also making a huge effort in promoting Benidorm Fest and its entries. Pieces about the contest are broadcast regularly on the news bullettins and “Corazón” has been showing short videos with all the participants daily. 

Are you excited for Benidorm Fest? Do you think the hype is justified? Will you be joining our live coverage from Benidorm? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Kakalia
Kakalia
4 months ago

I’m an American Eurofan living in Galicia and I can tell you that I find it so exciting to see the Galician language and pride of the Galegos this year with the hope of Tanxugueiras representing Spain, I know Catalan hasn’t been able to represent Spain but it has Andorra so it’s nice to see another Iberian Romance language possibly featured in Eurovision.

Isabella
Isabella
4 months ago

I’m super excited as well. Benidorm Fest is actually one of the four NFs that I’m gonna try to watch the whole thing (the others being Sanremo, Festival da Canção and Melodifestivalen), so Wednesday cant come soon enough

baili Atha gloo
baili Atha gloo
4 months ago

I’m incredibly excited
I keep thinking what they are gonna do with 13 artists and I want either Culpa or Ay Mama to win (I’m in Spain)

Esc addict
Esc addict
4 months ago

I hope no more eurodramas will disturb this festival week, I mean it’s the first edition it has to be exemplary in order to let a good image, it’s important if they want this festival to continue the next years, if they want it to shine internationally and in order to attract the artists for the future editions. The first semi, there are 6 acts, and out of this 6, 4 will be qualified, it gives more chance for the semi 1 acts to qualify than for the semi acts 2, I find it kind of unfair but I don’t… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Esc addict
Esc addict
Esc addict
4 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I would add everybody is talking about Tanxugueiras or Rigoberta winning but I can see an unexpected dark horse like Azucar, Chanel or Bianca taking the trophy at the end and it would be well deserved too. At a contest like that everything is reset to zero when the real contest starts, so the hype, the numbers of views or of streams mean nothing. The only thing that disturbs me here is when big politicians show their support for an act, these people are really influencial in Spain so it can already impact the results and I find it unfair… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Esc addict
Jonkonfui
Jonkonfui
4 months ago

If you had the tiniest bit of musical taste you would vote for Secreto de Agua

dinamo
dinamo
4 months ago

As having galician blood in my body but not speaking quite good the language, when I heard Terra I had an immediately goosebumps. The song is very nice, the sounds incredible and I was instantly in Galicia. Good luck. I hope we can see the festival via TVE outside Europe.

eurana
eurana
4 months ago

Is it could be watched worldwide ?

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago

On an unrelated note, one of the cohosts for the semi final allocation has pulled out due to receiving a positive COVID-19 test.

Brian Harradine
Brian Harradine
4 months ago

I am hoping that IU can stream it in the US

Nicomro
Nicomro
4 months ago

How many qualifiers from each SF ? I think I missed the info ^^

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Nicomro

I believe 4.

Jake Dallas
Jake Dallas
4 months ago

So the winner of Benidorm Fest will have to attend 6 press conferences. Are the press trying to write a biography or what?

Aria
Aria
4 months ago

I haven’t heard any of the songs yet, but I might watch the live show. I hope Spain has more luck this year. I recently watched Blas’ performance again and I think it was very unfair he ended up with the other zero pointers. His vocals were great, he looked amazing, the staging was beautiful, he had everything but a good song. Acts get points for much less.

Barry
Barry
4 months ago

Headline pic looks like the Rotterdam Eurovision city dressing.

Adnama
Adnama
4 months ago

I love Terra but Ay mama is just iconic. I suggest everyone to go watch a live performance of it on Youtube.

Rich
Rich
4 months ago
Reply to  Adnama

The fact that you call her breasts “milktanks” demonstrates that you’re a misogynist who’ll never understand the beauty and importance of her song.

Neil
Neil
4 months ago
Reply to  Rich

i completely agree. The whole point of the song is to educate people about this situation. Even though Terra is my winner, I love the message of this song more <3