ITALY – The 2021 Sanremo Music Festival is in turmoil after Culture Minister Dario Franceschini came out against it taking place before an audience, even if it were made up of paid extras rather than paying members of the public.
Sources said presenter and Artistic Director Amadeus was thinking of quitting if it is not possible to have any sort of audience because of COVID-19-prevention rules.
At the moment, Italy’s cinemas and theatres are closed as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
“Sanremo’s Teatro Ariston is a theatre like all the others are and so, as (Health) Minister (Roberto) Speranza clarified yesterday, the public, whether they pay, are let in free or are extras, can only return when the rules allow it for all theatres and cinemas. Let’s hope it is soon” Franceschini said via Twitter.
The much-loved annual music extravaganza, screened by State broadcaster RAI, usually takes place at Sanremo’s Ariston Theatre in February but has been pushed back to from March 2 to 6 this year due to the pandemic.