Il Festival di Sanremo, or as it is officially know, Il Festival della Canzone Italiana, is Italy’s most famous annual song contest and awards ceremony, which is held in Sanremo, Liguria during the month of February. What makes it unique is that it awards new songs that have never been heard before rather than previous hit songs. Spectators can read the lyrics in the TV guide or online in advance, but no one knows what the songs will actually sound like until they are performed for the first time at the festival itself.
The very first edition of the festival was held in 1951, a whopping 72 years ago, making it the longest running annual TV music competition in world history. It is also the original inspiration for the extremely popular Eurovision Song Contest.
The first edition of Sanremo was three days long and featured just three artists – Nilla Pizzi, Achille Togliani, and Duo Fasano – singing twenty different songs but more recent editions last five days and feature 30 singers, each of whom performs just one song.
How is the Sanremo winner picked?
The festival relies on a mixed voting system consisting of press jury voting, public televoting, and demoscopic poll. The percentage weight attributed to each voting system depends on the evening as you can see below:
- First Evening: 100% press jury voting
- Second Evening: 100% press jury voting
- Third Evening: 50% public televoting; 50% demoscopic poll
- Fourth Evening: 34% public televoting; 33% demoscopic poll; 33% press jury voting
- Fifth Evening: 100% public televoting
The overall winner will usually have the honour of attending the Eurovision Song Contest as Italy’s entry. Having access to such a large international audience has launched the careers of many Italian artists, the latest example being the Italian rock band Måneskin who won both Sanremo and the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.
How to Watch Festival di Sanremo 2024 Online (Live Stream)
If you are interested in watching the Festival di Sanremo via live streaming but don’t live in Italy, never fear! RAI is streaming all five nights of Sanremo, including the final, on RAIPlay. (Normally, the RAI player is geo-blocked for viewers outside Italy, but during the Sanremo live shows, all restrictions will be lifted.) You can access the RAIPlay website here or you can download the app on your phone.
The festival takes place from February 6th to 10th. The first four evenings start at 20:40 CET and end at 01:30 CET, whereas the final starts just a little later, at 20:45 CET and ends at 01:45 CET.
This year’s favourite to win is Loredana Berté with her autobiographical song Pazza.
Who is performing at Sanremo 2024?
Here are the artists who will be performing at Sanremo 2024 over the course of the five evenings.
Alessandra Amoroso – Fino a qui
Alfa – Vai!
Angelina Mango – La noia
Annalisa – Sinceramente
BigMama – La rabbia non ti basta
Bnkr44 – Governo Punk
Clara – Diamanti grezzi
Dargen D’Amico – Onda alta
Diodato – Ti muovi
Emma – Apnea
Fiorella Mannoia – Mariposa
Fred De Palma – Il cielo non ci vuole
Gazzelle – Tutto qui
Geolier – I p’ me, tu p’ te
Ghali – Casa mia
Il Tre – Fragili
Il Volo – Capolavoro
Irama – Tu no
La Sad – Autodistruttivo
Loredana Berté – Pazza
Mahmood – Tuta gold
Maninni – Spettacolare
Mr.Rain – Due altalene
Negramaro – Ricominciamo tutto
Renga e Nek – Pazzo di te
Ricchi e Poveri – Ma non tutta la vita
Rose Villain – Click boom!
Sangiovanni – Finiscimi
Santi Francesi – L’amore in bocca
The Kolors – Un ragazzo una ragazza
Watching Sanremo, or any Italian television program for that matter, can be a great way to improve your listening skills as a learner of the language. We highly suggest you check it out!
Heather Broster is a graduate with honours in linguistics from the University of Western Ontario. She is an aspiring polyglot, proficient in English and Italian, as well as Japanese, Welsh, and French to varying degrees of fluency. Originally from Toronto, Heather has resided in various countries, notably Italy for a period of six years. Her primary focus lies in the fields of language acquisition, education, and bilingual instruction.