The Italian Song Festival, or more commonly the Sanremo Festival or simply Sanremo, is a music festival held every year in Italy, in Sanremo, starting from 1951. It is one of the most important and longest running music festivals.
The statue of the Lion of Sanremo is the most prestigious award for Italian pop musicians and performers . Since 1956 (with the exception of the period between 1998 and 2010 and many other occasions) the winner of the competition has obtained the right to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest, which draws its inspiration from the Italian festival. However, this does not represent an obligation for the singer, who can leave the decision on the Italian representative to Rai. It represents one of the main Italian media events, with a certain response also abroad, as it is broadcast live on both television, Eurovision and radio.
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