Italy scraps summer's Festivalbar

Event was designed to choose summer's hit single

MILAN -- Italy's Festivalbar, a summer-long event that has been a central part of the music calendar since the 1960s, will not take place this year.

Festivalbar director Andrea Salvetti confirmed the cancellation in an interview with Italian press agency, Adnkronos, saying: "We are taking a year's pause."

Festivalbar, which was founded by Salvetti's late father, Vittorio, in 1964, was designed to choose the hit single of the summer. Over the years it had become a popular showcase opportunity, both for foreign and domestic acts, thanks to its TV-friendly format. It was regularly broadcast on the Silvio Berlusconi-owned Italia Uno network.

Salvetti told Adnkronos that the budget made available by the network was not sufficient to cover the costs of this year's show.

As previously reported, two out of the three dates programmed for this summer -- respectively in Palermo on July 2 and Padua on July 11 -- had been canceled. But it had been hoped that the final night would go ahead in Verona's picturesque Roman arena in early September.

Each year, the songs that were performed at Festivalbar went on to be released in two compilations. In spite of the uncertainty, EMI and Warner went ahead and released this year's compilations on June 13.

A spokesperson for Festivalbar could not be reached.
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