Festival da Canção

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Festival da Canção
Also known as
  • Festival RTP da Canção
GenreSong contest
Presented byList of presenters
Country of originPortugal
Original language(s)Portuguese
No. of episodes53 editions
Production location(s)Multiple cities in Portugal (Host cities)
Running time
  • 2 hours (semi-finals)
  • 3 hours 30 minutes (final)
Production company(s)Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP)
Original release2 February 1964; 55 years ago (1964-02-02) –
Related shows
External links
Official website

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. Since 2017 different languages are allowed to compete.[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
2018 Inês Lopes Gonçalves


Year Song Translation Artist Songwriter(s) Final Points Semi Points
1964 "Oração" Prayer António Calvário João Nobre, Francisco Nicholson, Rogério Bracinha 13th 0 No semi-finals
1965 "Sol de inverno" Winter sun Simone de Oliveira Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa, Jerónimo Bragança 13th 1
1966 "Ele e ela" He and she Madalena Iglésias Carlos Canelhas 13th 6
1967 "O vento mudou" The wind changed Eduardo Nascimento Nuno Nazareth Fernandes, João Magalhães Pereira 12th 3
1968 "Verão" Summer Carlos Mendes Pedro Vaz Osório, José Alberto Diogo 11th 5
1969 "Desfolhada portuguesa" Portuguese husking Simone de Oliveira Nuno Nazareth Fernandes, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 15th 4
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 83
1972 "A festa da vida" The party of life Carlos Mendes José Calvário, José Niza 7th 90
1973 "Tourada" Bullfight Fernando Tordo Fernando Tordo, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 10th 80
1974 "E depois do adeus" And after goodbye Paulo de Carvalho José Calvário, José Niza 14th 3
1975 "Madrugada" Dawn Duarte Mendes José Luís Tinoco 16th 16
1976 "Uma flor de verde pinho" A green-pine flower Carlos do Carmo José Niza, Manuel Alegre 12th 24
1977 "Portugal no coração" Portugal in my heart Os Amigos Fernando Tordo, José Carlos Ary dos Santos 14th 18
1978 "Dai li dou" - Gemini Vítor Mamede, Carlos Quintas 17th 5
1979 "Sobe, sobe, balão sobe" Rise, rise, balloon rise Manuela Bravo Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa 9th 64
1980 "Um grande, grande amor" A great, great love José Cid José Cid 7th 71
1981 "Playback" - Carlos Paião Carlos Paião 18th 9
1982 "Bem bom" Very good Doce Pedro Brito, Tozé Brito, António Pinho 13th 32
1983 "Esta balada que te dou" This ballad that I give you Armando Gama Armando Gama 13th 33
1984 "Silêncio e tanta gente" Silence and so many people Maria Guinot Maria Guinot 11th 38
1985 "Penso em ti (eu sei)" I'm thinking of you (I know) Adelaide Tozé Brito, Adelaide Ferreira, Luís Fernando 18th 9
1986 "Não sejas mau para mim" Don't be mean to me Dora Guilherme Inês, Zé Da Ponte, Luís Manuel de Oliveira Fernandes 14th 28
1987 "Neste barco à vela" In this sailing boat Nevada Alfredo Azinheira, Jorge Mendes 18th 15
1988 "Voltarei" I'll come back Dora José Niza, José Calvário 18th 5
1989 "Conquistador" Conqueror Da Vinci Ricardo, Pedro Luís 16th 39
1990 "Sempre, há sempre alguém" Always, there's always someone Nucha Luís Filipe, Ian van Dijck, Frederico Pereira, Francisco Pereira 20th 9
1991 "Lusitana paixão" Portuguese passion Dulce Pontes Jorge Quintela, José Da Ponte, Fred Micaelo 8th 62
1992 "Amor d'água fresca" Fresh water love Dina Ondina Veloso, Rosa Lobato de Faria 17th 26
1993 "A cidade (até ser dia)" The city (until it's daytime) Anabela Paulo de Carvalho, Marco Quelhas, Pedro Abrantes 10th 60 Kvalifikacija za Millstreet
1994 "Chamar a música" Calling the music Sara Tavares João Mota Oliveira, Rosa Lobato de Faria 8th 73 No semi-finals
1995 "Baunilha e chocolate" Vanilla and chocolate Tó Cruz António Vitorino d'Almeida, Rosa Lobato de Faria 21st 5
1996 "O meu coração não tem cor" My heart has no colour Lúcia Moniz Pedro Osório, José Fanha 6th 92
1997 "Antes do adeus" Before goodbye Célia Lawson Rosa Lobato de Faria, Thilo Krassman
24th 0
1998 "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" If I could embrace you Alma Lusa José Cid 12th 36
1999 "Como tudo começou" How everything began Rui Bandeira Jorge do Carmo, Tó Andrade 21st 12
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 18
2003 "Deixa-me sonhar" Let me dream (only once more) Rita Guerra Paulo Martins 22nd 13
2004 "Foi magia" It was magic Sofia Vitória Paulo Neves Failed to qualify 15th 38
2005 "Amar" To Love 2B José Da Ponte, Ernesto Leite, Alexandre Honrado 17th 51
2006 "Coisas de nada" Meaningless things (Gonna Make You Dance) Nonstop José Manuel Afonso, Elvis Veiguinha 19th 26
2007 "Dança comigo" Dance with me (Come be happy) Sabrina Emanuel, Tó Maria Vinhas 11th 88
2008 "Senhora do mar" Lady of the sea Vânia Fernandes Andrej Babić, Carlos Coelho 13th 69 2nd 120
2009 "Todas as ruas do amor" All the streets of love Flor-de-Lis Paulo Pereira, Pedro Marques 15th 57 8th 70
2010 "Há dias assim" It's one of those days Filipa Azevedo Augusto Madureira 18th 45 4th 89
2011 "A luta é alegria" The Struggle is Joy Homens da Luta Jel Failed to qualify 18th 22
2012 "Vida minha" My life Filipa Sousa Andrej Babić, Carlos Coelho 13th 39
2014 "Quero ser tua" I want to be yours Suzy Emanuel 11th 39
2015 "Há um mar que nos separa" There's a sea that separates us Leonor Andrade Miguel Gameiro 14th 19
2017 "Amar pelos dois" Love for both Salvador Sobral Luísa Sobral 1st 758 1st 370
2018 "O jardim" The garden Cláudia Pascoal Isaura 26th 39 Host country
2019 "Telemóveis" Mobile phones Conan Osíris Conan Osíris Failed to qualify 15th 51



Total City Venues (years)
43 Lisbon
1 Porto
1 Funchal
1 Évora
1 Estoril
1 Santa Maria da Feira
1 Venda do Pinheiro
1 Mem Martins
1 Guimarães
1 Portimão

Venues (since 2017)[edit]

City Venue Year
2017 2018 2019
Lisbon RTP Television Center SF SF SF
Coliseu dos Recreios F
Guimarães Multiusos de Guimarães F
Portimão Portimão Arena F

SF = Semi-final, F = Final

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]

Media related to Festival RTP da Canção at Wikimedia Commons