RTSH, the Albanian broadcaster, has kicked off the preparations for its annual music event ‘Festivali i Kenges’, confirming that it will take place despite the extraordinary circumstances caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
Preparations for the 59th ART Song Festival are underway. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus, the biggest music event in the country will take place as every year.
The Deputy General Director of ART, Martin Leka, held the first consultative meeting with the people related to the event, musicians and songwriters, during which a discussion took place about the evaluation committee for the songs’ selection and the criteria for participation in this year’s edition of the festival.
In September, the creators are expected to present the songs that will be selected for the 59th edition of the Song on ART.
However, RTSH though, hasn’t sought out what will happen with last year’s winner Arilena Ara who was to represent Albania in this year’s cancelled Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore it is not clear whether Festival i Kenges will select a new hopeful for next year or Arilena will be internally selected.
Arilena was set to perform her song Fall From Sky on the Eurovision stage in Rotterdam, but never made it to the Eurovision stage as the competition was cancelled for the first time in history.
The Story so Far
In 2004 Albania participated for the first time in the contest with Anjeza Shahini and the entry “The Image of You”, which came 7th . The country hasn’t scored a victory yet in its 16 participations up to date. Its best result was achieved in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and her 5th placing in Baku with her song “Suus”.
In 2019 Jonida Maliqi won the Festivali i Kenges 2018 and became the 16th Albanian representative in Eurovision. Her song Ktheju Tokes ended in the 17th place of the Grand final.