Today the national broadcaster for Italy RAI have announced rule changes for their up and coming Sanremo Music Festival 2018. Again, this will be the method in which Italy will use to chose its Eurovision participant, with next year marking the 68th edition of the competition.
The competition which will take place between the 6th-10th February 2018 will under go some changes. The competition will stick to the format of having two categories: "Campioni" (Champions) and "Nuove Proposte" (Newcomers). However, there will be no eliminations throughout the week which was common in previous years. The organisers have wanted to include involvement from record labels who could put forward their own artists. Hence spreading the appeal of the competition. Applications for the Campioni category closed on the 6th of this month.
The organisers state that, "the winning artist in the Campioni section will have the right to participate, representing Italy, at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest". However, if the winning artist does not wish to participate at Eurovision, then the broadcaster RAI retains the right to choose their own participant. This happened in 2016 when the band "Stadio" declined to be present in Sweden with the honour then going to Francesca Michelin.
RAI have also announced that this years edition will also see the "Duets" portion of Sanremo brought back, and be held on the fourth night (9th October). It was last used in 2011, and see artists singing alongside one or more guests. These "Duets" will also have an effect on the scoreboard, and could help decide the winner of the festival.
Songs can be up to 4 minutes long, however with accordance with EBU rules, a winning entry would have to be trimmed down to 3 minutes.
Voting will take place throughout the week in both the Campioni and Nuove Proposte events, the results of which will determine who will win each category. What hasn't changed is that the winner will be declared through a mixed system which will include a public televote, jury and pressroom vote.
A full set of rules, and where you can buy tickets to see the event live can be found via the official website here .
Who ever wins will have the honour of representing Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Lisbon for the Grand Final on the 12th May 2018. Stay tuned for further information.
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