Plans for an audience at Sanremo 2021 are in flux with the Italian Government in direct disagreement with the Italian public broadcaster.
ANSA reports that plans for Sanremo 2021 are in turmoil after the Italian Culture Minister came out in disapproval of audience members attending the live shows for Sanremo in March. Dario Franceschini, the Minister of Culture took to Twitter to state that the Teatro Ariston which hosts the contest cannot have an audience for the contest:
Sanremo’s Teatro Ariston is a theatre like all the others are and so, as (Health) Minister (Roberto) Speranza clarified yesterday, the public, whether they pay, are let in free or are extras, can only return when the rules allow it for all theatres and cinemas.
Currently threatres and cinemas are closed in Italy due to COVID-19. The dispute currently centers around whether the Ariston is a theatre or becomes a TV studio under which an audience would be allowed.
Just two days ago RAI opened applications for a paid audience of extras for Sanremo. Audience members would only be allowed if they were cohabiting and live in Luguria or Imperia.
It is reported in the Italian press that the Artistic Director of Sanremo 2021, Amadeus, is threating to quit the show if an audience cannot be in place for the shows in March.
Image Source: RAI | Source: ANSA / Eurofestival News
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Italy returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 having last participated in the contest in 1997, the country has withdrawn from the contest on a number of occasions in the past.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 seven occasions.