Sopot International Song Festival

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Sopot International Song Festival
Also known asSopot Music Festival Grand Prix
Sopot Top of the Top Festival
GenreSong contest
Created byWładysław Szpilman
Country of originPoland
No. of seasons54 contests
Production locations
Production companies
  • TVP (1994–2004)
  • TVN (2005–2009, 2017–)
  • Polsat (2012–2014)
Original network
  • TVP (1994–2004)
  • TVN (2005–2009, 2017–)
  • Polsat (2012–2014)
Original release25 August 1961 (1961-08-25) – 23 August 1980 (1980-08-23)
First revival:
23 August 1984 (1984-08-23) – 1 June 2009 (2009-06-01)
Second revival:
24 August 2012 (2012-08-24) –
present (present)

The Sopot International Song Festival or Sopot Festival (later called Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix, Sopot Top of the Top Festival from 2012–13 and Polsat Sopot Festival in 2014) is an annual international song contest held in Sopot, Poland.[1] It is the biggest Polish music festival altogether with the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole, and one of the biggest song contests in Europe.

The contest was organised and transmitted live by the public Polish Television (TVP) between 1994 and 2004. The following year, the concert was broadcast by the private media station TVN for the first time and remained on TVN until 2009. From 2012 to 2014, the concert was broadcast and organised by Polsat. It was later cancelled by the broadcaster.[2] The 2015 festival was not televised, however it returned in 2017 on TVN.


Forest Opera in Sopot (2007)

The first Sopot festival was initiated and organised in 1961 by Władysław Szpilman, assisted by Szymon Zakrzewski from Polish Artists Management (PAGART).[3] The first three editions were held in the Gdansk Shipyard hall (1961–1963), after which the festival moved to the Forest Opera. The main prize has been Amber Nightingale through most of its history.

Between 1977 and 1980 it was replaced by the Intervision Song Contest, which was still held in Sopot. Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, the Sopot International Music Festival often changed its formulas to pick a winner and offered many different contests for its participants. For example, at the 4th Intervision Song Festival (held in Sopot August 20–23, 1980) two competitions were effective: one for artists representing television companies, the other for those representing record companies. In the first the jury considered the artistic merits of the songs entered; while in the second, it judged the performers' interpretation."[4]

The festival has always been open to non-European acts, and countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa and many others have been represented in this event.

The contest lost popularity in Poland and abroad in the 1980s, declining further during the 1990s, and the rather unconvincing organisations by TVP made the authorities of Sopot give the organization of the 2005 Sopot International Song Festival to a private TV channel, TVN.

Since 1999, there was no contest. TVP chose to invite well-known artists instead, featuring the likes of Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, The Corrs, Lionel Richie, UB40, Ricky Martin and Simply Red to perform. In 2005, TVN brought the international competition back, taking over from TVP, and in 2006 invited Elton John and Katie Melua. The Sopot International Song Festival is usually considered bigger than the Benidorm International Song Festival because of its ability to attract star performers.

Stage for the Sopot Top Of The Top Festival 2013

In 2010 and 2011, the festival did not take place due to renovation of the Forest Opera. Since 2012, it is called Sopot Top Of The Top Festival and is broadcast annually by Polsat. In 2014, the name was changed to Polsat Sopot Festival. In 2015, Polsat decided not to organize the festival. However, the city authorities decided to organize a one-day festival in Sopot this year, but without a television broadcast.[5]

In 2016, the concert did not take place due to the lack of a television partner, which initially was to be TVP.[6] After a year of break, the decision was made to restore the festival. Since 2017, it has been organized and broadcast by TVN again.

The festival also provided opportunity to listen to international stars. In the past, it featured Charles Aznavour, Boney M, Gloria Gaynor, Johnny Cash, and more recently: Chuck Berry, Vanessa Mae, Annie Lennox, Belinda Carlisle, Vaya Con Dios, Chris Rea, Tanita Tikaram, La Toya Jackson, Kajagoogoo and Goran Bregovic, Anastacia.

Winners by year[edit]

Amber Nightingale Award

This list includes only winners of the most prestigious contests within the Sopot Music Festival. Sometimes one contest has overshadowed another with time. Grand Prix de disque was the most prestigious award between 1974 and 1976 and the Intervision Song Contest during 1977–80. Since the 1980s, the main prize of the festival is the Amber Nightingale award.

The festival has also given prizes for Best Interpretation in the 1960s, and Winner Of The Polish Day on and off from the 1960s to the 1980s.[7]

Year Date Country Performer Song(s)
1961–1973: Price for the Masterpiece[7]
1961 25–27 August  Switzerland Jo Rolland "Nous Deux"
1962 6–8 July  Greece Jeanne Yovanna "Ti Krima"
1963 15–18 August  Soviet Union Tamara Miansarova "Пусть всегда будет солнце!" (ex-aequo)
 France Simone Langlois "Toi et ton sourire" (ex-aequo)
1964 6–12 August  Greece Nadia Constantopoulou "S'efharisto kardia mou"
1965 5–8 August  Canada Monique Leyrac "Mon pays"
1966 25–28 August  United States Lana Cantrell "I'm all smiles"
1967 17–20 August  Poland Dana Lerska "Po prostu jestem"
1968 22–25 August  Poland Urszula Sipińska "Po ten kwiat czerwony"
1969 21–24 August  Switzerland Henri Dès "Maria Consuelo"
1970 27–30 August  Canada Robert Charlebois "Ordinaire"
1971 26–29 August  United Kingdom Samantha Jones "He Moves Me"
1972 23–26 August  Soviet Union Lev Leschchenko "Я не был с ним знаком" (ex-aequo)
 Poland Andrzej Dąbrowski "Do zakochania jeden krok" (ex-aequo)
1973 21–25 August  United Kingdom Tony Craig "Can You Feel It" and "Song of Skaldowie"
1974–1976: Grand Prix de disque[7]
1974 21–24 August  Finland Marion Rung "Uskon lauluun"
1975 20–23 August  United Kingdom Glen Weston "I Still Love You"
1976 24–29 August  Soviet Union Irina Ponarovskaya "Мольба"
1977–1980: Intervision Song Contest[7]
1977 24–27 August  Czechoslovakia Helena Vondráčková "Malovaný džbánku"
1978 23–26 August  Soviet Union Alla Pugacheva "Всё могут короли"
1979 22–25 August  Poland Czesław Niemen "Nim przyjdzie wiosna"
1980 20–23 August  Finland Marion Rung "Hyvästi yö"[8]
No festival held 1981–1983 due to martial law
1984–1987: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix[7]
1984 15–18 August  Poland Krystyna Giżowska "Blue Box"
1985 21–24 August  Sweden Herreys "Summer Party"
1986 20–23 August  United States Mara Getz "Hero Of My Heart"
1987 19–22 August  West Germany Double Take "Rockola"
1988–1990: Golden Disc[7]
1988 20–23 August  United States Kenny James "The Magic In You"
1989 16–19 August  Norway Dance with a Stranger "By"
1990 15–18 August  Poland Lora Szafran "Zły chłopak" and "Trust Me At Once"
1991–1993: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix[7]
1991 22–25 August  Latvia New Moon "Ice"
1992 27–30 August  Austria Mark Andrews Un­known
1993 26–28 August  Lithuania Arina "Rain Is Coming Down"
1994–2004: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix (with TVP)[7]
1994 26–27 August  Poland Varius Manx "Zanim zrozumiesz"
1995 25–26 August  Poland Kasia Kowalska "Jak rzecz" and "A to co mam"
1996 22–24 August No competition held
1997 22–23 August  Netherlands Total Touch "Somebody Else's Lover"
1998 21–22 August  Italy Alex Baroni "Male che fa male"
1999 20–22 August  Poland Małgorzata Ostrowska "Lawa"
2000 18–19 August  Czech Republic Helena Vondráčková "Veselé Vánoce a šťastný nový rok"
2001 24–25 August  Belgium Natacha Atlas "Ayeshteni"
2002 23–24 August  Poland Irena Santor "Jeszcze kochasz mnie”
2003 22–23 August  Poland Skaldowie "Hymn o miłości"
2004 20–21 August No competition held
2005–2011: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix (with TVN)
2005 2–4 September  Poland Andrzej Piaseczny "Z głębi duszy" (all-Polish contest)
2006 1–3 September  United Kingdom Mattafix "Big City Life"
2007 31 August – 2 September  Poland Feel "A gdy już jest ciemno"
2008 23–24 August  Sweden Oh Laura "Release Me"[7]
2009 22–23 August  Australia Gabriella Cilmi "Sweet About Me"[9]
No festival held 2010–2011 due to the sovereign debt crisis
2012–2013: Sopot Top Of The Top Festival (with Polsat)
2012 24–25 August  Sweden Eric Saade "Hotter Than Fire"
2013 23–24 August  France Imany "You Will Never Know"
2014: Polsat Sopot Festival
2014 22–23 August  Poland Ewa Farna "Cicho"
2015: Sopot Festival
2015 21 August No competition held
No festival held in 2016 due to lack of broadcaster
Since 2017: Top of the Top Sopot Festival (with TVN)
2017 18–20 August No competition held
2018 14–16 August  Romania Mihail "Who You Are"[10]
2019 13–15 August  Sweden Frans "If I Were Sorry"[11]
No festival held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 17–20 August  Poland Dawid Kwiatkowski "Bez Ciebie"[12]
2022 16–19 August  Poland Michał Szpak "24 na 7"[13]
2023 15–18 August

Winners by country[edit]

Wins Country Years
16  Poland 1967, 1968, 1972*, 1979, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2021, 2022
4  Sweden 1985, 2008, 2012, 2019
 United Kingdom 1971, 1973, 1975, 2006
 Soviet Union 1963*, 1972*, 1976, 1978
3  United States 1966, 1986, 1988
2  France 1963*, 2013
 Finland 1974, 1980
 Canada 1965, 1970
 Switzerland 1961, 1969
 Greece 1962, 1964
1  Romania 2018
 Australia 2009
 Belgium 2001
 Czech Republic 2000
 Italy 1998
 Netherlands 1997
 Lithuania 1993
 Austria 1992
 Latvia 1991
 Norway 1989
 West Germany 1987
 Czechoslovakia 1977
*More than one winner at that year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sopot Summer Capital", Polish Cultures
  2. ^ "Polsat Sopot Festival 2015 odwołany? Polsat rezygnuje z letniego festiwalu [VIDEO] – informacje, premiery teledysków –". Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  3. ^ "Wladyslaw Szpilman - Pianist and Composers Popular Music". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Waschko, Roman (1980-09-06). "Finn Singer Triumphant At Sopot Contest". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. p. 65. Retrieved 2011-04-05. Two competitions were held at the 4th Intervision Song Festival in Sopot August 20–23, 1980: one for artists representing television companies, the other for those representing record companies. In the first the jury considered the artistic merits of the songs entered; while the performers' interpretation was judged in the second. The outcome was a victory for Finnish singer Marion in the first contest, "Where Is the Love?" taking the Grand Prix. Six year ago, the same artist won Grand Prix at the Sopot International Song Festival. First prize was shared by Czech performer, Marika Gombitová with "Declaration", and Russian Nikolai Gnatiuk for the song "Dance on a Drum". (in English)
  5. ^ "Polsat Sopot Festival 2015 odwołany? Polsat rezygnuje z letniego festiwalu [VIDEO]". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  6. ^ Andruszkiewicz, Ewa (23 June 2016). "Sopot Festival wróci na antenę TVP? Negocjacje trwają". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej- Sopot Festival «Песня года» site
  8. ^ Interviisut Punatähdet
  9. ^ Sopot Festival 2009 - porażka polskiej piosenki? Wirtualna Polska: Muzyka
  10. ^ "Top of the Top Sopot Festival 2018. Dzień 2. Jubileusz Blue Café, Anastacia w świetnej formie i Bursztynowy Słowik dla Mihaila. Zobacz zdjęcia! [GALERIA] -". 16 August 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Frans wins "Amber Nightingale" at Sopot Festival 2019 beating other Eurovision stars". 15 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Dawid Kwiatkowski laureatem Bursztynowego Słowika Top of the Top Sopot Festival 2021". TVN24. 19 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Top of the Top Sopot Festival 2022. Koncert #IDANCE i Konkurs o Bursztynowego Słowika".

External links[edit]