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San Remo Song Festival

Jim Liddane
Jim Liddane: Festival di Sanremo 2015

Introduction by Jim Liddane
The San Remo Song Festival, also known as the Festival della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo, is one of Italy's most prestigious and beloved music competitions. Held annually in the picturesque city of San Remo, this festival has been a cornerstone of Italian culture since its inception in 1951. It has not only launched the careers of countless Italian artists but also played a significant role in shaping the country's music scene.

A Historical Overview
The San Remo Song Festival was born out of a desire to revive the post-war Italian music industry. Organised by the Italian state broadcaster RAI, the festival aimed to promote Italian songs and provide a platform for new talent. The first edition took place at the Sanremo Casino, featuring a modest line-up of artists and a live orchestra. Over the years, the festival evolved, growing in size and prestige. By the 1960s, it had become a major national event, attracting top Italian and international artists. The festival's format, which includes multiple rounds of performances and voting by both a jury and the public, has remained largely consistent, although it has seen numerous tweaks to maintain its relevance and appeal.

The Festival's Structure
The San Remo Song Festival typically spans five days, with each night dedicated to different aspects of the competition.

First and Second Nights
These evenings feature performances by all participating artists, who are divided into two groups. This allows the audience to familiarise themselves with the competing songs.

Third Night
Known as "Cover Night," this segment showcases the artists performing classic songs, often with special guest appearances. This night is a tribute to the rich history of Italian music and provides a nostalgic interlude in the competition.

Fourth Night
This is the semi-final round, where a combination of jury votes, public votes, and media votes determine the finalists. The tension builds as only a select few proceed to the final night.

Final Night
The grand finale sees the remaining artists perform their songs once more, with the winner being determined by a combination of jury, public, and press votes. The climax of the festival often features elaborate performances and high emotions as the new champion is crowned.

Cultural Impact and Legacy
The San Remo Song Festival has had a profound impact on Italian culture and music. It has been instrumental in launching the careers of many iconic Italian artists, such as Domenico Modugno, who achieved international fame with his 1958 winning song "Nel blu, dipinto di blu" (commonly known as "Volare"). Other notable winners include Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti, and Laura Pausini, all of whom have gone on to achieve global success.

The festival has also served as a mirror reflecting societal changes and trends in Italian music. From the traditional ballads of the 1950s to the pop and rock influences of the 1980s and the contemporary sounds of today, San Remo has continuously adapted to the evolving musical landscape. Its ability to stay relevant and popular for over seven decades is a testament to its importance in Italian society.

International Influence
While the San Remo Song Festival is primarily a national event, its influence extends beyond Italy's borders. The festival inspired the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the world's largest and most-watched music competitions. Italy's participation in Eurovision has often featured songs and artists that first gained prominence at San Remo, further cementing the festival's role as a launchpad for international careers.

The San Remo Song Festival is more than just a music competition; it is a celebration of Italian culture, creativity, and talent. Its enduring popularity and ability to adapt to changing musical trends have ensured its place as a cherished national institution. As the festival continues to evolve, it remains a beacon of Italian musical excellence, promising to delight audiences for many years to come.

San Remo - The Winners

1951: Nilla Pizzi - "Grazie dei fiori"
1952: Nilla Pizzi - "Vola colomba"
1953: Carla Boni and Flo Sandon's - "Viale d'autunno"
1954: Giorgio Consolini and Gino Latilla - "Tutte le mamme"
1955: Claudio Villa and Tullio Pane - "Buongiorno tristezza"
1956: Franca Raimondi - "Aprite le finestre"
1957: Claudio Villa and Nunzio Gallo - "Corde della mia chitarra"
1958: Domenico Modugno and Johnny Dorelli - "Nel blu dipinto di blu"
1959: Domenico Modugno and Johnny Dorelli - "Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)"
1960: Tony Dallara and Renato Rascel - "Romantica"
1961: Luciano Tajoli and Betty Curtis - "Al di là"
1962: Domenico Modugno and Claudio Villa - "Addio... addio..."
1963: Tony Renis and Emilio Pericoli - "Uno per tutte"
1964: Gigliola Cinquetti - "Non ho l'età (per amarti)"
1965: Bobby Solo - "Se piangi, se ridi"
1966: Domenico Modugno and Gigliola Cinquetti - "Dio, come ti amo"
1967: Claudio Villa and Iva Zanicchi - "Non pensare a me"
1968: Sergio Endrigo and Roberto Carlos - "Canzone per te"
1969: Iva Zanicchi - "Zingara"
1970: Adriano Celentano and Claudia Mori - "Chi non lavora non fa l'amore"
1971: Nada and Nicola Di Bari - "Il cuore è uno zingaro"
1972: Nicola Di Bari - "I giorni dell'arcobaleno"
1973: Peppino Di Capri - "Un grande amore e niente più"
1974: Iva Zanicchi - "Ciao cara come stai?"
1975: Gilda - "Ragazza del sud"
1976: Peppino Di Capri - "Non lo faccio più"
1977: Homo Sapiens - "Bella da morire"
1978: Matia Bazar - "...E dirsi ciao"
1979: Mino Vergnaghi - "Amare"
1980: Toto Cutugno - "Solo noi"
1981: Alice - "Per Elisa"
1982: Riccardo Fogli - "Storie di tutti i giorni"
1983: Tiziana Rivale - "Sarà quel che sarà"
1984: Al Bano and Romina Power - "Ci sarà"
1985: Ricchi e Poveri - "Se m'innamoro"
1986: Eros Ramazzotti - "Adesso tu"
1987: Gianni Morandi, Enrico Ruggeri, and Umberto Tozzi - "Si può dare di più"
1988: Massimo Ranieri - "Perdere l'amore"
1989: Anna Oxa and Fausto Leali - "Ti lascerò"
1990: Pooh - "Uomini soli"
1991: Riccardo Cocciante - "Se stiamo insieme"
1992: Luca Barbarossa - "Portami a ballare"
1993: Enrico Ruggeri - "Mistero"
1994: Aleandro Baldi - "Passerà"
1995: Giorgia - "Come saprei"
1996: Ron and Tosca - "Vorrei incontrarti fra cent'anni"
1997: Jalisse - "Fiumi di parole"
1998: Annalisa Minetti - "Senza te o con te"
1999: Anna Oxa - "Senza pietà"
2000: Avion Travel - "Sentimento"
2001: Elisa - "Luce (Tramonti a nord est)"
2002: Matia Bazar - "Messaggio d'amore"
2003: Alexia - "Per dire di no"
2004: Marco Masini - "L'uomo volante"
2005: Francesco Renga - "Angelo"
2006: Povia - "Vorrei avere il becco"
2007: Simone Cristicchi - "Ti regalerò una rosa"
2008: Giò Di Tonno and Lola Ponce - "Colpo di fulmine"
2009: Marco Carta - "La forza mia"
2010: Valerio Scanu - "Per tutte le volte che..."
2011: Roberto Vecchioni - "Chiamami ancora amore"
2012: Emma - "Non è l'inferno"
2013: Marco Mengoni - "L'essenziale"
2014: Arisa - "Controvento"
2015: Il Volo - "Grande amore"
2016: Stadio - "Un giorno mi dirai"
2017: Francesco Gabbani - "Occidentali's Karma"
2018: Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro - "Non mi avete fatto niente"
2019: Mahmood - "Soldi"
2020: Diodato - "Fai rumore"
2021: Måneskin - "Zitti e buoni"
2022: Mahmood and Blanco - "Brividi"
2023: Marco Mengoni - "Due vite"
2024: Angelina Mango - "La Noia"

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