Festival da Canção

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Festival da Canção
Genre Pop music etc.
Location(s) Portugal
Years active 1964–present
Founded by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP)
Website Festival da Canção Official Site

Festival da Canção or Festival RTP da Canção is the name given to the national festival, produced and broadcast by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) to choose the Portuguese entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. It was first held in 1964.


Like most pop festivals in isolated countries, it was a very important event for the still incipient music industry of the 1960s and 1970s. Left-wing composers and writers would try to squeeze subversive lyrics in the contest, with great effect. After the 1974 revolution, incidentally code-triggered by that year's winner being played on national radio, Portugal became increasingly open to foreign culture, thus deeming the Festival as a lesser musical event, dominated by below-standard pop songs with little or no impact in the industry, although remaining a popular TV show.

The 1990s saw a recovery of the contest's image, then considered a viable means for a new singer to start a career. Internationally acclaimed Portuguese singers Dulce Pontes and Sara Tavares made their debut in the 1991 and 1994 editions, respectively. Many other unknown performers like Lucia Moniz and Anabela leaped to national stardom after taking the RTP trophy.

After reaching an all-time high 6th place in the 1996 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the festival steadily declined from then on. In 2000, the winner Liana did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2000, as Portugal had for the first time been relegated due to consecutive poor showings. In 2002, the Festival da Canção wasn't organized, contradicting the tradition of staging a Festival da Canção even without participating in that year's Eurovision Song Contest, as happened in 2000 and 1970. Since 2001, the festival saw consecutive changes of format. 2005 saw RTP commissioning a song for Eurovision, rather than organizing some kind of competition.

Since 2006 RTP seemingly settled for a traditional multi-singer, multi-composer competitive format, claiming the memory of older contests and songs. Producers have since been invited to come up with songs, lyrics and singers, and the 2007 result with Sabrina almost making it to the Eurovision final, gave RTP the necessary confidence to maintain the current format. In 2009, an open call for songs was held by RTP, abolishing the invited producers method, with online voting deciding the qualifiers to the televised final from a list of 24 songs, with 12 competing in the live contest.

More changes to the format of the contest were made in 2010. Two semi-finals and a final are now held to select the winner. Foreign composers were once again allowed to compete, but performers must still be Portuguese and all songs must still be sung in Portuguese.[1]


Green room presenters[edit]

Year Presenter(s)
2010 Sérgio Mateus
2011 Joana Teles
2015 Jorge Gabriel and Joana Teles
(1st semi-final)
José Carlos Malato and Sílvia Alberto
(2nd semi-final)
Júlio Isidro and Catarina Furtado
2017 Filomena Cautela


Year Song Translation Artist Songwriter(s) ESC result
1964 "Oração" Prayer António Calvário João Nobre, Francisco Nicholson, Rogério Bracinha 13th
1965 "Sol de inverno" Winter sun Simone de Oliveira Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa, Jerónimo Bragança 13th
1966 "Ele e ela" He and she Madalena Iglésias Carlos Canelhas 13th
1967 "O vento mudou" The wind changed Eduardo Nascimento Nuno Nazareth Fernandes, João Magalhães Pereira 12th
1968 "Verão" Summer Carlos Mendes Pedro Vaz Osório, José Alberto Diogo 11th
1969 "Desfolhada portuguesa" Portuguese husking Simone de Oliveira Nuno Nazareth Fernandes, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 15th
1970 "Onde vais rio que eu canto" Where are you going river that I sing Sérgio Borges Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa, Joaquim Pedro Gonçalves did not enter
1971 "Menina do alto da serra" High ridge girl Tonicha Nuno Nazareth Fernandes, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 9th
1972 "A festa da vida" The party of life Carlos Mendes José Calvário, José Niza 7th
1973 "Tourada" Bullfight Fernando Tordo Fernando Tordo, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 10th
1974 "E depois do adeus" And after goodbye Paulo de Carvalho José Calvário, José Niza 14th
1975 "Madrugada" Dawn Duarte Mendes José Luís Tinoco 16th
1976 "Uma flor de verde pinho" A green-pine flower Carlos do Carmo José Niza, Manuel Alegre 12th
1977 "Portugal no coração" Portugal in my heart Os Amigos Fernando Tordo, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 14th
1978 "Dai li dou" - Gemini Vítor Mamede, Carlos Quintas 17th
1979 "Sobe, sobe, balão sobe" Rise, rise, balloon rise Manuela Bravo Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa 9th
1980 "Um grande, grande amor" A great, great love José Cid José Cid 7th
1981 "Playback" - Carlos Paião Carlos Paião 18th
1982 "Bem bom" Very good Doce Pedro Brito, Tozé Brito, António Pinho 13th
1983 "Esta balada que te dou" This ballad that I give you Armando Gama Armando Gama 13th
1984 "Silêncio e tanta gente" Silence and so many people Maria Guinot Maria Guinot 11th
1985 "Penso em ti (eu sei)" I'm thinking of you (I know) Adelaide Tozé Brito, Adelaide Ferreira, Luís Fernando 18th
1986 "Não sejas mau para mim" Don't be mean to me Dora Guilherme Inês, Zé Da Ponte, Luís Manuel de Oliveira Fernandes 14th
1987 "Neste barco à vela" In this sailing boat Nevada Alfredo Azinheira, Jorge Mendes 18th
1988 "Voltarei" I'll come back Dora José Niza, José Calvário 18th
1989 "Conquistador" Conqueror Da Vinci Ricardo, Pedro Luís 16th
1990 "Sempre, há sempre alguém" Always, there's always someone Nucha Luís Filipe, Ian van Dijck, Frederico Pereira, Francisco Pereira 20th
1991 "Lusitana paixão" Portuguese passion Dulce Pontes Jorge Quintela, José Da Ponte, Fred Micaelo 8th
1992 "Amor d'água fresca" Fresh water love Dina Ondina Veloso, Rosa Lobato de Faria 17th
1993 "A cidade (até ser dia)" The city (until it's daytime) Anabela Paulo de Carvalho, Marco Quelhas, Pedro Abrantes 10th
1994 "Chamar a música" Calling the music Sara Tavares João Mota Oliveira, Rosa Lobato de Faria 8th
1995 "Baunilha e chocolate" Vanilla and chocolate Tó Cruz António Vitorino d'Almeida, Rosa Lobato de Faria 21st
1996 "O meu coração não tem cor" My heart has no colour Lúcia Moniz Pedro Osório, José Fanha 6th
1997 "Antes do adeus" Before goodbye Célia Lawson Rosa Lobato de Faria, Thilo Krassman
1998 "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" If I could embrace you Alma Lusa José Cid 12th
1999 "Como tudo começou" How everything began Rui Bandeira Jorge do Carmo, Tó Andrade 21st
2000 "Sonhos mágicos" Magical dreams Liana Gerardo Rodrigues, Maria da Conceição Norte did not enter
2001 "Só sei ser feliz assim" I only know how to be happy this way MTM Marco Quelhas 17th
2003 "Deixa-me sonhar" Let me dream (only once more) Rita Guerra Paulo Martins 22nd
2004 "Foi magia" It was magic Sofia Vitória Paulo Neves SF:15th
2005 "Amar" To Love 2B José Da Ponte, Ernesto Leite, Alexandre Honrado SF:17th
2006 "Coisas de nada" Meaningless things (Gonna Make You Dance) Nonstop José Manuel Afonso, Elvis Veiguinha SF:19th
2007 "Dança comigo" Dance with me (Come be happy) Sabrina Emanuel, Tó Maria Vinhas SF:11th
2008 "Senhora do mar" Lady of the sea Vânia Fernandes Andrej Babić, Carlos Coelho 13th
2009 "Todas as ruas do amor" All the streets of love Flor-de-Lis Paulo Pereira, Pedro Marques 15th
2010 "Há dias assim" It's one of those days Filipa Azevedo Augusto Madureira 18th
2011 "A luta é alegria" The Struggle is Joy Homens da Luta Jel SF:18th
2012 "Vida minha" My life Filipa Sousa Andrej Babić, Carlos Coelho SF:13th
2014 "Quero ser tua" I want to be yours Suzy Emanuel SF:11th
2015 "Há um mar que nos separa" There's a sea that separates us Leonor Andrade Miguel Gameiro SF:14th
2017 "Amar pelos dois" Love for both Salvador Sobral Luísa Sobral 1st
2018 "O jardim" The garden Cláudia Pascoal Isaura 26th

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Costa, Nelson (2009-11-19). "Foreigners can compete in 'Festival da Canção'". Oikotimes. Archived from the original on 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 

External links[edit]