ABU Song Festivals

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This article is about ABU Song Festivals. For the European version, see Eurovision Song Contest. For the upcoming festivals, see ABU TV Song Festival 2014 and ABU Radio Song Festival 2014.
ABU Song Festivals
ABU TV Song Festival generic logo.svg
Generic logo used for the ABU TV Song Festivals.
Genre Song Festivals
Created by Marcel Bezençon
Production company(s) Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
Distributor Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
Picture format 576i (SDTV) (2012-present)
1080i (HDTV) (2012-present)
Original run 14 October 2012  – present
External links
Official website

ABU Song Festivals are annual song competitions based on the Eurovision Song Contest. The format consists of two shows, a Radio Song Festival and TV Song Festival, organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).[1][2]

Participating countries which have full or additional full ABU membership are invited to submit a song to be performed in front of a live audience. The radio festival is a competitive show with a panel of judges determining the top-5 prize winners, and is broadcast via live radio. The television festival which is a non-competitive, musical gala presentation, is live recorded so that each of the national broadcasters may add subtitles in their native languages.[1][2]


Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest[edit]

The logo of the previously named "Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest"

In 2008, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) proposed a partnership with ABU on the establishment of an Asiavision Song Contest,[3] however these talks didn't produce any result, and in September 2008 it was announced that the Eurovision Song Contest format for Asian production had been sold to a private company from Singapore, Asiavision Pte. Ltd.[4] The original name intended for that event was Asiavision Song Contest, but it was later changed to Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest following a request from the ABU, who uses the Asiavision name for their news exchange service.[3][5] Initially, the contest (which was supposed to be a two program live broadcast TV show with public voting) was set to premiere in 2009, but it was later rescheduled for March 2010 in Macao and then for November 2010 in Mumbai, at the end being postponed indefinitely "due to the ongoing issues between the organizers and EBU". As of now, it is still uncertain if there will ever be such a contest.[6]


The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) had already ran an international song contest for its members inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 – 1987, called the ABU Popular Song Contest, with 14 countries of the Asia-Pacific region competing.[3] The show had a similar concept to the current radio song festival with winners being chosen by a professional jury. South Korea, New Zealand and Australia celebrated victories in this competition. In 1989 – 1991 ABU co-produced the ABU Golden Kite World Song Festival in Malaysia with participation of Asia-Pacific countries, as well as Yugoslavia and Finland.[3]

Shortly before launching the ABU Song Festival, the ABU had been considering the possibility to organize the ABU ASEAN TV Song Festival in Thailand.[3] Historically, ASEAN song contests had been organized in periods between 1981 and 1997, however since 2011 the ASEAN Festival had been organized between local Radio stations as Bintang Radio ASEAN. ABU outlined a plan about a "television song festival" based on the style of the Eurovision Song Contest following the cancellation of Our Sound. Kenny Kihyung Bae, chosen to the project manager, attended Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan to learn more about the contest before putting it to work.[7][8]

In November 2011, the ABU announced that they would organize its own TV and Radio Song Festivals to take place in Seoul, the South Korean capital, in time with 49th General Assembly in October 2012.[9] The name Asiavision Song Contest was initially mentioned as a possibility, but they were later officially titled ABU TV Song Festival and ABU Radio Song Festival. According to the ABU, the deadline for participation applications for ABU TV Song Festival 2012 was 18 May 2012.[10][11]


Andreas Gerlach, CEO of Asiavision Pte. Ltd, stated that "the format is highly suited to the Asia region and its people who love popular music and have a strong national pride. Asia today is all about competition, economically and politically. The Song Contest is a friendly competition between cultures. Like in Europe, the universal language of music will help to bring people closer together and nurture mutual understanding in the region."[12]

The contests are divided into two versions, ABU Radio Song Festival and ABU TV Song Festival. Twenty-six songs from sixteen nations competed at the Radio Song Festival, held in the South Korean capital, Seoul on 14 October 2012, while seven nations competed in the ABU TV Song Festival.[13] Countries eligible to participate in both of the ABU Song Festivals must have full or additional full ABU membership.[1][2]

ABU Radio Song Festival[edit]

Participation since 2012:
  Entered at least once
  Never entered, although eligible to do so
  Entry intended, but later withdrew

The ABU Radio Song Festival is a competition for musicians, who are not under contract with any label. The ABU recommends its members to introduce participating musicians and their songs on radio.[14] Every participant is chosen by one national radio broadcaster. A jury represented by ABU members choses 15 finalists from 26 submissions. The finalists perform during the general assembly of the ABU. Another jury awards the best artists.[14][15]

Year Date Host country Participants
2012 11 October 2012  South Korea[1] 13
2014 23 May 2014  Sri Lanka[16] 12


Table key
  Withdrawn – Countries who have participated in the past but have withdrawn.
  Non-participation – eligible to participate but have not yet made their début.
Country Débutante year Withdrawing year Returning year Number of entries Wins Broadcaster(s)
 Australia 2012 2 Commercial Radio Australia
 Bhutan 2012 2014 1 Centennial Radio
 Brunei 2012 2 Radio Televisyen Brunei
 Fiji 2012[a] 0 Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
 India 2012 2 All India Radio
 Indonesia 2012 2014 1 Radio Republik Indonesia
 Iran 2012 2 Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Soroush Multimedia Corp.
 Kyrgyzstan 2012 2014 1 Kyrgyz Public Broadcasting
 Malaysia 2012 2 Radio Televisyen Malaysia
Astro All Asian Network
 Pakistan 2012 2 Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
 Singapore 2012 2 MediaCorp
 South Korea 2012 2 1 KBS 2FM
KBS Radio 2
 Sri Lanka 2014 1 MBC Networks
 Sudan 2012 2014 1 Sudan Radio
 Thailand 2014 1 National Broadcasting Services of Thailand
 Vanuatu 2012 2014 1 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
 Vietnam 2012 2014 1 Voice of Vietnam

ABU TV Song Festival[edit]

Participation since 2012:
  Entered at least once
  Never entered, although eligible to do so
  Entry intended, but later withdrew

The ABU TV Song Festival is a concert performance for professional musicians, who according to the organiser are well known in their country of origin. The event is not meant to be competitive. The festival will be recorded and is meant to be broadcast by participating ABU members first. Non-participating ABU members and non-ABU member broadcasters will be allowed to broadcast the festival for a fee at a later stage.[17][18][19] Every musician will be selected by a national broadcaster being member of the ABU. The participants perform during the general assembly of the ABU.[15][17]

At a press conference held on 18 July 2013 it was announced that Indonesia were submitting a bid to host the ABU TV Song Festival 2015.[20] In recent editions, the TV Festival has been held in the host city of the ABU General Assembly, with Istanbul, Turkey playing host to such assembly in 2015. If the bid were to be successful it would be the first time that the TV Festival has taken place away from the host country of the General Assembly.[21]

However, it was announced in August 2014 that Indonesia were making plans to host the ABU TV Song Festival 2016 instead.[22] Turkey's début at the 2014 Festival has led to speculation that they are hosting the 2015 alongside the ABU General Assembly which is scheduled to take place in Istanbul.[23]

Year Date Host country Participants
2012 14 October 2012  South Korea[2] 11
2013 26 October 2013  Vietnam[24] 15
2014 25 October 2014  Macau[25] 12
2015  Turkey[21]
2016  Indonesia[22]


Table key
  Withdrawn – Countries who have participated in the past but have withdrawn.
  Non-participation – eligible to participate but have not yet made their début.
Country Débutante year Withdrawing year Returning year Number of entries Wins Broadcaster(s)
Afghanistan Afghanistan 2012 2014 2 Radio Television Afghanistan
Australia Australia 2012 3 Special Broadcasting Service
Brunei Brunei 2013 2 Radio Television Brunei
China China 2012 3 China Central Television
Hong Kong Hong Kong 2012 3 Radio Television Hong Kong
Indonesia Indonesia 2012 3 Television of the Republic of Indonesia
Iran Iran 2013 2014 1 Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Japan Japan 2012 3 Japan Broadcasting Corporation
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan 2013 2014 1 Kyrgyz Public Broadcasting
Macau Macau 2014 1 Macau Television Broadcasting
Malaysia Malaysia 2012 2014 2 Radio Television Malaysia
Maldives Maldives 2014 1 Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation
Singapore Singapore 2012 2014 2 Media Corporation of Singapore
South Korea South Korea 2012 3 Korean Broadcasting System
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 2012 2014 2 Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
Thailand Thailand 2013 2 National Broadcasting Services of Thailand
Turkey Turkey 2014 1 Turkish Radio and Television Corporation
Vietnam Vietnam 2012 3 Vietnam Television

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fiji had initially selected Sevanaia Yacalevu to represent the Pacific nation with the song "Time For A Change", but later withdrew from competition.


  1. ^ a b c d "ABU Radio Song Festival 2012". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "ABU Song Festival 2012". Korean Broadcasting System. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Mikheev, Andy (16 August 2012). "Participants - ABU TV and Radio Song Festivals 2012". escKaz.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest goes to Asia". European Broadcasting Union. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Our Sound – The Asia-Pacific Song Contest defies economic slump". asiavision.tv. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Mikheev, Andy (16 August 2012). "Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest". ESCKAZ.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'?". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Asiavision contest to begin next year". News.AZ. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Hamzah, Hanizah. "ABU TV Song Festival". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Bakker, Sietse (2008-09-18). "Asiavision Song Congtest announced for mid-2009". Eurovision.tv (EBU). Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  13. ^ Kenny, Luke (7 November 2011). "Korea to host ABU radio and TV song festivals". radioandmucis.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b abu.org.my: ABU Radio Song Festival
  15. ^ a b abu2012seoul.com: Program at a Glance
  16. ^ "ABU gets leaders’ backing for increased activities". ABU. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  17. ^ a b abu.org.my: 1st ABU TV Song Festival - General Guidelines (PDF-Datei)
  18. ^ abu2012seoul.com: ABU TV Song Festival: About The Festival
  19. ^ abu.org.my: ABU TV Song Festival available for broadcast, 14. September 2012
  20. ^ Granger, Anthony (19 July 2013). "Indonesia bid for the 2015 ATSF". Eurovoix.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Mikheev, Andy (18 July 2013). "Indonesia bid for ABU TV Song Festival 2015". esckaz.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013. "At the conference it has been announced that Indonesia is bidding for organization of ABU TV Song Festival in 2015 with "low cost, high impact" motto, while 2014 event will take place in Macau, China. If successful, that will mean that in 2015 event will be separated from ABU General Assembly which will take place in Istanbul." 
  22. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (31 August 2014). "Indonesia: Plans To Host ABU TV Song Festival 2016". eurovoix.com. Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  23. ^ Granger, Anthony (1 September 2014). "ABU TV Song Festival 2014: 12 countries confirmed so far". eurovoix.com. Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014. "Turkish participation in this years contest also could show that Turkey will be hosting the contest in 2015 alongside the ABU General Meeting." 
  24. ^ "ABU 50th General Assembly and Associated Meetings". ABU. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "3rd ABU TV Song Festival scheduled to take place in Macao 2014". escKaz.com. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 

External links[edit]