The Italian broadcaster RAI that had opened the Sanremo Giovani submission window the first week of September, has received a record number of  submissions by artists interested to compete in  San Remo Giovani Festival that will take place from 17 to 21 December.

The Italian broadcaster has received  5% more applications than last year reaching a total of 677 submissions. From these 19 acts are singers from other countries.

RAI, had announced during the summer the new rules for the 69th edition of Sanremo Festival, Italy’s formula for selecting its Eurovision acts. According to the new rules, the pattern of the two competing categories , that of “Big” and “Nuove proposte” acts , will not be followed again, as from next year’s edition all artists will compete in one unified group of contestants.

 San Remo Giovani is the new event that will give the chance to young acts, under the age of 36, to compete and battle for two spots in the  Festival di Sanremo 2019.This progressive reform of the festival has been introduced under the blessings of the festival’s artistic director Claudio Baglioni and its objective is to give the opportunity to even more new Italian performers to get on the spotlight.

The new music festival Sanremo Giovani will include a total of 24 artists. A serial of four preliminary episodes will give the chance to the competing acts to introduce themselves and perform their songs to the Italian audience. The final of the contest will be held over two evenings, while the final two winners will be announced on the 20 and 21st of December 2018.  The two best acts earn the right to compete in the Sanremo Festival 2019.

The Sanremo Festival 2019 is scheduled to take place from the 5th till the 9th February 2019. The latest years the winner of the festival had the right to represent the country in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, maintaining the right to refuse such proposal. In that case it was RAI’s responsibility to quest and find the next appropriate artist.

THE EUROVISION STORY SO FAR

Italy has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 44 times since making its debut at the first contest in 1956.  After a 14-year absence from 1998 and on, the country returned to the contest in 2011. Italy has won the contest twice  in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti and her song “Non ho l’età”.  Italy’s second victory in the contest came in 1990 with Toto Cutugno and the song “Insieme: 1992”.

Italy’s come back to the contest has proved to be very successful, the country having finished in the top ten in six times of the last seven contests (2011–2018), with Raphael Gualazzi second in 2011, Nina Zilli ninth in 2012, Marco Mengoni seventh in 2013 and Il Volo third in 2015, Francesco Ghabbani 6th in Kiev.

In this year’s Eurovision Song Contest the winners of Sanremo 2018 ,Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, represented Italy in Eurovision in Lisbon with their song “Non mi avete fatto niente”. The Italian duo achieved an honorable 5th place in the Grand final with 308 points and a remarkable 3rd placing in the public voting.