Adriano Celentano, Riccardo Fogli, Ricchi e Poveri, Al Bano, Eros Ramazzotti, Andrea Bocelli… Of course, we know all these names very well! They are Italian performers, famous all over the world.
All of them are united by a victory in the popular song contest – “Festival della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo” (“Italian Song Festival in Sanremo”).
The festival takes place annually, starting in mid-February, in the city of San Remo.
The history of its creation goes back to the middle of the 20th century. After the lost war, Italy, the Motherland of the most musical and talented people in the world, began to recover spiritually. In 1948, the “Festival Canoro Nazionale” (“National Song Festival”) was organized on a voluntary basis. However, a year later it was canceled because of insufficient funding.
In 1950, Angelo Nicola Amato, responsible for hosting public events at the casino in San Remo, together with Angelo Nizza, decided to organize the first Italian song festival. Amato went to Milan to offer an idea of holding a competition for a record company. The idea was accepted. The winner of the competition was determined by a decision of a professional jury or through a popular vote. The first festival in San Remo was held from 29 to 31 January 1951 and was broadcast on the radio “Rai 1”.
Already in 1955, millions throughout Europe followed the song festival on the air. It is worth noting that the best period for the festival was in the 50’s and 60’s. The number of viewers reached more than 30 million.
Since 1964, the world famous stars have taken part in the competition program of the festival in San Remo.
1970 was triumphant for the song “Chi Non Lavora Fa L’amore“ (“Who Does Not Work, Makes Love”), performed by the couple Adriano Celentano and Claudia Mori. This composition has become loved not only in Italy, but throughout all Europe.
In 1984, there was an innovation. The performers were divided into two groups: famous singers and “new voices”. In the same period the festival became very popular in the USSR. On the central television of the USSR there was a one-hour telecast about the festival – “Melodies and Rhythms of Foreign Stage Music”.
1986 brought victory to Eros Ramazotti, who won the jury with his song “Adesso Tu” (“Now You”).
In the 90s, foreign performers started to join: Sting, Ricky Martin, Tina Turner, and others.
To date, the competition continues to exist. In 2015, the opera trio Il Volo won with the song “Grande Amore” (“Great Love”), capturing music lovers around the world.
In 2018, the festival was held for the 68th time in San Remo on February 6-10. The winner was the duet Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moreau with the song “Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente” (“You Did Not Do Anything to Me”), dedicated to the wave of terrorist attacks that swept the world in recent years. It is this duet that will represent the country in Portugal at the “Eurovision”.
The official website of the festival: www.rai.it/programmi/sanremo/