The festival started in 1961 and it was transmitted first by 
radio and shortly after also on TV. At that time in Albania, 
the rock bands or singers were an unknown concept, so 
Festivali i Kenges gave composers, poets and singers to 
finally express themselves through the new songs once 
a year.  The festival became very much popular  as it was 
the only  pop music event of the year in Albania.11 years 
from the beginning, the contest became more and more 
popular and the music was trying to follow the European 
standards but the communist regime was so much
against the western culture so they arrested the 
composers, poets, singers and hosts of the Festivali i 
Kenges11 under the motives "Western culture does not 
belong Albania". Being charged with this kind of 
accusations was almost the same as getting charged for
being a murderer.The year later, the festival got back but 
it wasn't colorful anymore as the communist censure 
didn't allow anything "western".

Anyway, the quality of the music got better again, but the 
lyrics were always about the working class, the corn on 
the marks and for Albania, claiming our country as the 
most rich and beautiful country on Earth.Year 1990 
brought to Albania  the wind of change in politics and in 
music as well. The songs finally were sung about love.A 
new era had begun. The competition got higher, the 
music got better because the "forbidden tunes" were 
finally allowed.When Albania finally applied on EBU to 
enter the Eurovision Song Contest, I'm sure that back 
then many Albanian people were convinced that sending 
the winner of the festival to
ESC was the best idea ever. Now this kind of thinking has 
changed, because of the many other festivals being hold 
in Albania.
But still, Festivali i Kenges manages to keep the image 
and live up to the expectations as well being the biggest 
music event of Albania and one and only music competition 
where every element of the song is performed live.

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