Song festivals

Although suffering from a bad image the song contest / festivals around Europe have been very influential for Europop. Although the Eurovision is best known Europe knows more music festival who all have the same basic idea's. To be a platform for the world to see local music talent and local musical culture. Sadly over the years this basic idea has been watered down a bit in favour of pleasing the international market with easy popmusic. Still the festivals are still around and each year still feature talent from across the Europe.

Hereby a (by far not conclusive) list of the European song contests:

The San Remo Festival della canzone italiana is the popular Italian song contest running since 1951 and held annually in the city of Sanremo. Usually referred to as Festival di Sanremo, or outside Italy as Sanremo Music Festival, it was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Danish Melodi Grand Prix (in Danish, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix) is a song contest that has been held since 1957 by Danmarks Radio. The winner of the annual contest represents Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest

The Benidorm International Song Festival or Festival Internacional de la Canción de Benidorm (in Spanish) is an annual song contest which takes place each summer, since 1959, in the city of Benidorm, Spain.

Melodifestivalen is the annual music competition organised by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR). It determines the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, and has been staged almost every year since 1959.

Melodi Grand Prix (MGP or Grand Prix) is the Norwegian national final that selects the entry to represent Norway in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. The national final has been held every year since Norway first participated in 1960.

Knokke song festival Belgium. Music contest in the Belgian seaside town Knokke-Heist. The festival was organised at the start of the sixties until it transferred into the more rock festival kind Kneifestival in the eighties. Many Dutch and Belgian artists like Conny vandenBos, Liesbeth List, Anne Christy and Karin Kent thanked their breakthrough to the festival. Non Benelux artists could also enter the competition.

The Sopot International Song Festival is an international song contests, often compared to the Eurovision Song Contest but then for Eastern Europe. It has been organized annually by the Polish state television TVP since 1961 and later private channel TVN in the coastal resort of Sopot, Poland. Together with National Festival of Polish Song in Opole it the biggest Polish music festival.

National Festival of Polish Song in Opole (Polish: Krajowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej w Opolu, KFPP) is a yearly music festival in Opole, Poland. Together with Sopot Festival it is the most important music festival in Poland. Established in 1963 the festival takes place yearly except in 1982 due to martial law in Poland.

SkopjeFest began in 1968 in the Universal Hall in Skopje, FRS Yugoslavia, and continued until 1980. After Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991, SkopjeFest was revived, and has since taken over from Makfest as Macedonia's premier music festival.

Croatia has always been rich with music festivals and contests showcasing the top Croatian musical acts, in both traditional and contemporary music. The oldest is the Zagreb Festival which started in 1954. The first festival in Zagreb was meant to be showcase for composers, not the singers, so they selected 12 songs to be promoted and only two singers sang them in different versions/arrangements. Four years later the Opatija festival (1958) joined. This festival was more focussed on promoting the artists and the first Croatian festival broadcasted on TV. Because it focussed on showcases it was not recognised as a festival until 1962. By that time the Split Festival (officially Festival zabavne glazbe Split) already was created. Although at first Split focussed on the Dalmatian region it soon became a nationwide event. In fact it is the only of the above festivals that still exists. Since the independence in 1997 Croatian Radio organises the Hrvatski Radijski Festival which gives out several awards, its highest being the Grand Prix. The Opatija festival changed into the Dora festival which selects Croatia's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Humo's Rock Rally is a Belgian contest for rock bands, organized every second year since 1978. It is organized by the Belgian magazine HUMO. Every band that has not yet released an official recording, may enter the Rock Rally, by submitting a demo to HUMO. The Rock Rally is an important possibility for young Belgian rock bands to get in the picture. Many notable Belgian bands and musicians, such as dEUS, Evil Superstars, Novastar, Arid, An Pierlé, Das Pop and Admiral Freebee, launched their career in the Rock Rally.

The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la Chanson) is the annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The Contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956, made in the image of the San Remo festival. It is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world.