gib song festTHE Gibraltar International Song Festival is taking a ‘big leap’ this year, with platinum-selling artist David Bustamante headlining an innovative new set.

Festival secretary John Jones predicts a full house in the Tercentenary Sports Hall with a capacity for over 900 seats.

The buzz around the event has been so great, the organisers have been inundated with a flood of entries from songwriters from all over the globe, all of which have had to be narrowed down to a set list of 12 songs.

Chairman Joe Carseni has his sights on getting the festival ‘as high up on the ladder’ as possible, and even to Eurovision level.

“Eventually Gibraltar International Song Festival will be one of the greatest song festivals,” he said.  

As well as the singers, there will be authors, composers and or interpreters from nine of the countries represented.

Director Joe Cortez said: “We have taken a leap forward and I think that you’ll be well impressed when the show goes on on the 6th of May because we are having a completely new set, nothing like we have had for the past four years. And it’s going to be something that would probably be a first for Gibraltar.”

Prizes on offer include £4,000 for first place, £2,000 for second, £1,000 for third and £500 for best interpreter.

There will also be tokens of appreciations for all the performers.

John Dawes, who is in charge of rules and registration and a songwriter himself, said: “I have walked away with some tokens of appreciation, and I’ve walked away  empty handed as well, and there’s a difference in the way you feel.”

Entries to the festival this year include a song from Sweden, which has a section in English and Icelandic, and an Italian song, part of which is in Italian, part in Spanish, reflecting the diversity of the acts.  

Ticket starting at £25 are on sale at