Today at the Sanremo Casino, a press conference was held providing more details of the upcoming 68th annual Sanremo Music Festival.
As in previous years, it was confirmed that the winner of the contest will have first refusal on representing Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Should the winner decide not to take the Italian ticket to Eurovision then Italian broadcaster RAI reserves the right to choose its own Eurovision entrant from the remaining artists. This is likely to be an artist who achieved a strong result in Sanremo. In 2016, Francesca Michelin finished second in Sanremo with Nessun Grado Di Separazione and went on to represent Italy in Stockholm after the winner, Stadio, declined the offer.
Today’s press-conference which included the hosts of Sanremo 2018, Claudio Baglioni and Michelle Hunizker and RAI’s Director and Deputy Director, Angelo Teodoli and Claudio Fasulo revealed many more details about the upcoming festival.
Laura Pausini, Sting and Liam Gallagher will all confirmed as guest performers for the Festival which will take place over 5 nights from 6 February to 10 February 2018.
Mr Baglioni confirmed that 650 songs were received in the Newcomers/Nuove Proposte category and 150 were received in the Campioni/Big category. One of the “Big” artists returning to San Remo this year is Eurovision 2012 artist Nina Zilli who is competing with the song “Senza appartenere” (Without belonging). A full list of the competing songs can be found here.
Mr Baglioni also confirmed that the intention this year is to bring the Festival back to a “more Italian dimension.” Even guest performers will be required to bring an Italian flavour to their performances.
The winner of Sanremo 2018 will be determined by a combination of televoting, professional jury vote and press vote. According to today’s press conference, during each evening information will be revealed on the classification of the artists although it is not yet clear whether a complete ranking will be given.
Tickets for Sanremo 2018 went on sale yesterday.
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Italy debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and has participated a total of 42 times to date. Italy returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 having last participated in the contest in 1997, the country has withdrawn from the contest on a number of occasions in the past. Italy has won the contest twice, the first time being in 1964 and the latest being in 1990. Italy’s hosting of the contest in 1991 has been remembered as one of the most chaotic contests to date. Since their return in 2011 Italy has finished in the top 10 on five occasions.