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Sanremo Song Festival – Going on Now


The 57th annual Sanremo Song Festival began this week and runs through Saturday, and is one event the husband and I have wanted to see in person for a few years now. I’m not sure why, exactly, and I’m quite confident that the real thing would pale in comparison to what we think it’ll be like, but yet it remains this carrot out on the end of a stick.

The Sanremo Song Festival is Italy’s selection event for the Eurovision Song Contest. Those outside Europe who haven’t heard of or seen the Eurovision Song Contest are scratching their heads right now, right? Well, Eurovision sounds like (and, in fairness, probably is) a kitschy, silly and nationalistic event where countries vote for songs to represent them at the contest, and then people vote for the best song of all. I have no idea what the winning country gets, but the winning group gets a ton of publicity (which never hurts when you’re a musician). Last year’s winner, LORDI from Finland, caused quite a controversy – our friends in Munich were honestly really upset that they’d won, saying they clearly weren’t the best group of the contest, and they seemed unable to see the silliness of it all. To me, LORDI was poking fun at the event, and the music business in general. (If they weren’t, then I’m really misinterpreting what qualifies as good music in Finland.)

At any rate, by the end of Saturday, Italy will have chosen its entry in the Eurovision 2007 contest; but the Sanremo Song Festival is about more than a competition (although that trophy in the picture is pretty sweet) – it’s about entertainment. Penelope Cruz and Nelly Furtado are among the special guests who will grace the stage this week.