The 12th edition of Liet International, the European minority language song contest, will take place in Leeuwarden in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands this Wednesday May 23.
This festival is being billed as Liet International XXL and will feature 15 acts, instead of the usual 9 or 10. This is due to Leeuwarden and the entire region of Friesland being one of this year’s European Capitals of Culture.
This year’s participants (along with the languages they sing in) are:
- Stonecrobs, winner of Liet 2018 (Frisian)
- Luko Reinders, winner of Liet 2017 (Frisian)
- Inger Karoline Gaup & band (Northern Sami)
- Ruben Semmoh & the Afro-Carib Ensemble (Sranan Tongo)
- Billy Fumey (Franco-Provençal)
- Evgenia Udalova (Komi)
- Familia Caamagno (Galician)
- Gerda Stevenson & Kyrre Slind (Scots)
- Jenne Decleir (Antwerp Flemish)
- Nastasia Zürcher (Galician)
- Pira (Aromanian)
- The Rowan Tree (Cornish)
- WHɎTE (Scottish Gaelic)
- Zaman (Bashkir)
This year’s contest will feature the following languages for the first time:
- Komi (spoken by 220,000 people in the Komi Republic in northern Russia)
- Franco-Provençal (spoken by 140,000 people across Italy, Switzerland and France)
- Antwerp Flemish (dialect of Flemish spoken in the Antwerp province in Belgium)
- Scots (a language spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland in some areas of Northern Ireland)
- Aromanian (an Eastern Romance language spoken by 250,000 in Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia)
Several of the acts have previously taken part in minority language song contest previously. Inger Karoline Gaup and Ruben Semmoh took part in Liet International in 2012 and 2017 respectively. Billy Fumey took part in Suns Festival, a festival for minority languages in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Slovenia, in 2012. Zaman took part in both contests, first in Suns Europe in 2015 and then in Liet International in 2017. They also represented Bashkortostan in Turkvision 2014, finishing third in the final with their song “Kubair”.
The first edition of Liet International was held in 2002. Since then, it has featured artists from all over Europe singing in over 30 minority languages.