Tel Aviv 2019

Albania’s Festivali i Këngës makes big changes to engage younger audience

Albania continue to strive for success after a top-half finish in Lisbon

Once again, RTSH will use their famous music festival Festivali i Këngës to select the Albanian entry for the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Now, it has been revealed that the show is undergoing its most significant changes in years, primarily with the aim of engaging with a younger audience.

Showing off potential Eurovision performances

Festivali i Këngës will take place over three consecutive nights, from December 20th to December 22nd 2018. In the first show, all 22 artists will perform their entry with the Albanian National Symphonic Orchestra, as is typical of Festivali i Këngës.

However, in the second show, all 22 artists will perform once again, this time gearing their songs towards a potential Eurovision audience. Indeed, artists will be able to use a backing track and make full use of staging effects to enhance their entry.

A number of qualifiers will then be chosen to take part in the final night on December 22nd, in which the orchestra will return. A jury will then choose which act will win Festivali i Këngës 57 and represent Albania in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Engaging a wider audience

These changes are designed to increase the compatibility of Festivali i Këngës entries with the Eurovision Song Contest environment as well as re-engage with a younger and wider viewing audience across Albania. Speaking at the RTSH press conference, new artistic director Inva Mula explained the following:

My aim is to restore the freshness and the enthusiasm of Festivali i Këngës to a public which, perhaps for many reasons, is disconnected [with the festival]. We want to get them back and have the desire to attend the event and perhaps to take in its most beautiful songs. For this reason, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education, a group with the best students of the 15 high schools of Tirana will be established. Those students will follow closely and will be a jury that will evaluate the best song.

Inva Mula, RTSH

Striving for success

In Lisbon earlier this year, Albania qualified for their first Eurovision Song Contest final since 2015 courtesy of Eugent Bushpepa and his anthemic rock ballad Mall. Finishing in 11th place, Eugent gave his nation their third best ever finish at the contest. Only Rona Nishliu (5th) and Anjeza Shahini (7th) had achieved higher results, in 2012 and 2004 respectively.

Are you looking forward to seeing RTSH’s new plans in action? Let us know your thoughts @ESCXTRA!

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One Comment

  1. It’s a good sign to open the FiK in a way like that. Nonetheless, Albania really needs to introduce a (partial) public vote for their festival. That’s absolutely necessary or all the new changes won’t have a big impact.

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