RUSSIA – Sochi hosted the 16th edition of the most prestigious music festival in Europe, The New Wave Festival which ended up with three winners last night. Uzbekistan, Moldova and Armenia won the festival for the first time.
Does this mean something for Eurovision 2018? Well the festival is known to be a breeder of Eurovision participants. After all all in 2002 Sergey Lazarev and in 2009 Jamala won the festival, later on participating and winning the contest. The same happened with Natalia Gordienko.
Moldova this year seems to have impressed everyone with the band DoReDos praised even but the Moldovan president.
In the meantime we have the issue of the Russian participation in Lisbon. Yulia Samoilova as promised after the crisis with Ukraine last April? or Sergey Lazarev as promised by Kirkorov when Lazarev lost the trophy although winning the tele voting in 2016.
Philip Kikrkorov though spoke out last night and when Philip speaks, it always means news! “It’s not over yet, We’re yet to take revenge. I promise you, I believe you will make it.”
How will this work and eventually which of the Russian national broadcasters will finally take place in Lisbon after the withdrawal in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
The festival also included once again another hint (maybe). Dimitris Kontopoulos (producer/songwriter Belarus 2007, Ukraine 2008, Greece 2009, Azerbaijan 2013, Russia 2014 & 2016, Greece 2017) participated again in the jury (not to mention he sang for the very first time in his life).
The winner(s) of the festival always decided by the juries although there is also an online voting for people’s choice award.
Kontopoulos’ participation surely is an acknowledgement of his contribution to the Russian success in Eurovision Song Contest the recent years but also his close ties with Kirkorov and Lazarev could mean planning ahead for Lisbon(?).
New Wave Festival included a tribute night to Philip Kirkorov. But is Kirkorov that important to Russia? Well actually not only in Russia but in all CIS countries Philip is the ultimate superstar and if I am not mistaken has been categorised as one of the top ten powerful and influential people in Russia. It’s no secret that he has close ties and contacts with the government. During the tribute night, the top of the tops of artists and his family performed his songs during an exquisite and sentimental evening, marking the highlight of the event this year.
Sergey of course wasn’t out of this. He performed his Eurovision entry in Russian and played the stage once again.