Gibraltar International Song Festival attracts entries from around the world

Mo Anton German winner of the 2015 GISF.

GREAT oaks from little acorns grow and this is certainly the case with the Gibraltar International Song Festival, which was inaugurated in 1965 by a young priest who wanted to raise funds for the building of a community centre.

At first it was a relatively parochial affair with just local songwriters competing and without doubt, the most successful of these was Joe Carseni who won it on a number of occasions before it went into quietus for several years.

During that time, Mr Carseni didn’t forget the excitement of participating in the Festival and in 2007 he revived the concept of the Festival and since then, with a brief hiatus, it has gone from strength to strength.

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The 2016 event which takes place on Saturday April 23 at the Tercentenary Sports Hall attracted some 500 entries from all over the world, but they have managed to winnow the entries down to just eight of the very best and with songs from Cuba, Gibraltar, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and UK, it promises to be a fantastic evening and costs just £15 per person.

The panel of judges that will have to choose the winner, who will receive a cheque for £4,000, will be made up of Chairman Tim Knight from the UK who has spent his life in the music business working with some of the very top stars. He will be ably assisted by Gibraltarian Tenor Nathan Payas, Israeli Singer and coach Liona Hotta, Spanish singer and former member of Los Cucas, LeLe and Venezuelan compose and producer William Luque.

The actual evening will be hosted by GBC favourite Andy Coumbe and Erica McGrail who is well known for her work in dance and movement, and there are sure to be a few local performers to add to the enjoyment.

Tickets can be purchased at Gibraltar Tourist Office, Mackintosh Square and online at but for those who can’t make the actual show, it will be streamed live on UMEE Gibraltar and


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