Sopot International Song Festival
|Sopot International Song Festival|
|Also known as||Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix|
Sopot Top of the Top Festival
|Country of origin||Poland|
|No. of seasons||53 contests|
|Original release||25 August 1961 – 23 August 1980|
23 August 1984 – 1 June 2009
24 August 2012 –
|Followed by||Intervision Song Contest|
|Related shows||Eurovision Song Contest (1956–)|
The Sopot International Song 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. It was 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. The 2015 festival was not televised, however it returned in 2017 on TVN.
The first Sopot festival was initiated and organised in 1961 by Władysław Szpilman, assisted by Szymon Zakrzewski from Polish Artists Management (PAGART). 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."
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.
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.
In 2016, the concert did not take place due to the lack of a television partner, which initially was to be TVP. After a year of break, the decision was made to restore the festival. From 2017 it will be organized by TVN.
The festival also provided opportunity to listen to international stars. In the past, it featured Charles Aznavour, Boney M, 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
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.
The festival has also given prizes for Best Interpretation in the 1960s, the Amber Nightingdale in the 1980s and 1990s and Winner Of The Polish Day on and off from the 1960s to the 1980s.
|1961–1973: Price for the Masterpiece|
|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||"Pust vsiegda budiet solnce" (ex-aequo)|
|France||Simone Langlois||"Toi et ton sourire" (ex-aequo)|
|1964||6–12 August||Greece||Nadia Constantopoulou||"Je te remercie mon coeur"|
|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 Consuella"|
|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||"Ja ne byl z nim znakom" (ex-aequo)|
|Poland||Andrzej Dąbrowski||"Do zakochania jeden krok" (ex-aequo)|
|1973||21–25 August||United Kingdom||Tony Craig||"Can You Feel It" and "I Think Of You Baby"|
|1974–1976: Grand Prix de disque|
|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||"Toropos"|
|1977–1980: Intervision Song Contest|
|1977||24–27 August||Czechoslovakia||Helena Vondráčková||"Malovaný džbánku"|
|1978||23–26 August||Soviet Union||Alla Pugacheva||"Vsyo mogut koroli"|
|1979||22–25 August||Poland||Czesław Niemen||"Nim przyjdzie wiosna"|
|1980||20–23 August||Finland||Marion Rung||"Hyvästi yö"|
|No festival held 1981–1983 due to martial law|
|1984–1987: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix|
|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|
|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|
|1991||22–25 August||Latvia||New Moon||"Ice"|
|1992||27–30 August||Austria||Mark Andrews|
|1993||26–28 August||Lithuania||Arina||"Rain Is Coming Down"|
|1994–2004: Sopot Music Festival Grand Prix (with TVP)|
|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"|
|2009||1 June||Australia||Gabriella Cilmi||"Sweet About Me"|
|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||Russia||Mihail||"Who You Are"|
|2019||13–15 August||Sweden||Frans||"If I Were Sorry"|
|No festival held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
Winners by country
|13||Poland||1967, 1968, 1972*, 1979, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014|
|4||Sweden||1985, 2008, 2012, 2019|
|United Kingdom||1971, 1973, 1975, 2006|
|Soviet Union||1963*, 1972*, 1976, 1978|
|3||United States||1966, 1986, 1988|
- *More than one winner at that year.
- ABU Song Festivals
- Bundesvision Song Contest
- Cân i Gymru
- Caribbean Song Festival
- Eurovision Choir of the Year
- Eurovision Dance Contest
- Eurovision Song Contest
- Eurovision Young Dancers
- Eurovision Young Musicians
- Intervision Song Contest
- Junior Eurovision Song Contest
- OGAE Second Chance Contest
- OGAE Video Contest
- Turkvision Song Contest
- "Sopot Summer Capital", Polish Cultures
- "Polsat Sopot Festival 2015 odwołany? Polsat rezygnuje z letniego festiwalu [VIDEO] – informacje, premiery teledysków – ESKA.pl". www.eska.pl. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- "Wladyslaw Szpilman - Pianist and Composers Popular Music". www.szpilman.net. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- 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)
- "Polsat Sopot Festival 2015 odwołany? Polsat rezygnuje z letniego festiwalu [VIDEO]". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Andruszkiewicz, Ewa (23 June 2016). "Sopot Festival wróci na antenę TVP? Negocjacje trwają". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej- Sopot Festival «Песня года» site
- Interviisut Punatähdet
- Sopot Festival 2009 - porażka polskiej piosenki? Wirtualna Polska: Muzyka
- "Top of the Top Sopot Festival 2018. Dzień 2. Jubileusz Blue Café, Anastacia w świetnej formie i Bursztynowy Słowik dla Mihaila. Zobacz zdjęcia! [GALERIA] - Telemagazyn.pl". www.telemagazyn.pl. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "Frans wins "Amber Nightingale" at Sopot Festival 2019 beating other Eurovision stars". escxtra.com. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sopot Festival.|
- Sopot Festival website (in Polish)
- The complete list of all participants and places till 2009 (in Polish)