Info: The short version of the story of FiK
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 competition where singers have to sing live and not just dance and perform playback.