The International Song Contest of Benidorm

Before Benidorm was the tourist attraction that we all know now, it was a small fishing village with little enthusiasm for tourism. In the early years, it was therefore a bit of a search for a solution to get the city on the world map of tourism, nationally and internationally. This is despite the perfect location and the always good climate. You should also take into account the fact that there was no airport in the vicinity at the time, no train traffic, there was even no good road connection.

Picture by Harry Fabel

One of the activities to promote Benidorm was to organize the International Song Contest of Benidorm (Festival Internacional de la CanciĆ³n de Benidorm) which took place in the summer between 1959 and 2006. The contest was based on the Italian San Remo Music Festival and was broadcast on television by the Spanish national television TVE.

A whole series of national artists took part. The most famous participant of all was undoubtedly Julio Iglesias. Major prizes and trophies were also awarded. The first prize winner was awarded the Golden Mermaid Trophy (Sirenita de Oro) and €36,000. He or she also got the chance to produce a record. The second and third place winners received the Silver Mermaid Trophy (Sirenita de Plata) and the Bronze Mermaid Trophy (Sirenita de Bronce).

With the arrival of the larger hotels with their own entertainment and the construction of the Benidorm Palace show theater, the festival came to an end. Benidorm had conquered its place among other major tourist sites in the sun.