Sanremo fest won’t have audience – RAI

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(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 1 – This year’s Sanremo Song Festival will
not have an audience in its historic venue, the Ligurian Riviera
town’s Ariston Theatre, Italian public broadcaster RAI said
    Outdoor events and programmes linked to the annual extravaganza
will also be stopped, RAI said in a safety protocol it is
sending to the government’s COVID technical and scientific
committee on Tuesday.
    Preparations for he festival, which has been pushed back from
February to March 2-6 due to COVID this year, were thrown into
turmoil last week 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 were not possible to have any sort of
audience because of COVID prevention rules.
    Amadeus later had a rethink.
    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,” Franceschini said via Twitter on Friday.
    “Let’s hope it is soon”.
    The much-loved music extravaganza gains record TV audiences in
Italy and around the world each year. (ANSA).


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