WAY back in 1965 a young local priest came up with the idea of a Song Festival to be held in Gibraltar to raise funds for a community centre.
It started off in a small way with local talent and most years, Joe Carseni backed by local singers and musicians was the winner but with the closure of the border with Spain it petered out although he never forgot his excitement when competing
In 2007 he revived the concept and extended it to become the Gibraltar International Song Festival(GISF) and it has gone from strength to strength.
THE organisers of what will be the IX Gibraltar International Song Festival which will take place on Saturday June 2, 2018 are calling for entries to be submitted by January 12 next year.
New rules have only recently been announced but entries have already come in from Gibraltar, UK, Spain, Chile and Argentina and last year there were more than 100 entries received from 22 countries with the event being streamed live to Europe, Latin America and via YouTube.
The Gibraltar band Jetstream performing Starlight composed by Stuart Whitwell were the 2017 winners and special guest entertainer was Spanish singing idol Bustamante.
One of the important things about the GISF is that reputations count for nothing, since the panel of judges who select the songs that will feature at the Finals Gala on June 2, do so ‘blind’ without knowing the identity or country of origin of the songwriters.
The prizes on offer are: £4,000 (First Prize), £2,000 (Second Prize), £1,000 (Third Prize) plus a special award for best interpretation of a song but for many of those participating, the honour of winning far outweighs the value of the prize.
The organisers are encouraging songwriters to submit their entries which will be judged impartially and on merit alone but as time is relatively short it is important that potential contestants study the rules of entry which can be viewed at www.gibraltarsongfestival.com.