Intervision Song Contest
|Intervision Song Contest|
One of several on-screen logos used by the Intervision Network between 1977–1980.
|No. of episodes||5 contests|
|Original airing||24 August 1977
– 23 August 1980|
28 August 2008 – 31 August 2008
|Preceded by||Sopot International Song Festival|
|Related shows||Eurovision Song Contest (1956–)|
The Intervision Song Contest (ISC) is an international song contest consisting of both Post-Soviet states and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It was previously the Eastern Bloc equivalent to the Eurovision Song Contest. Its organiser was the Intervision, the network of Eastern Europe television stations. It took place in the Forest Opera in Sopot, Poland.
The ISC was organised between 1977 and 1980. It replaced the Sopot International Song Festival (Sopot ISF) that had been held in Sopot since 1961. In 1981 the ISC/Sopot ISF was cancelled because of the rise of the independent trade union movement, Solidarity, which was judged by other Eastern-bloc countries to be counter-revolutionary. Because many citizens did not own private telephones, instead of a phone vote viewers would turn on lights if they liked the song and turned them off if they did not. According to load experienced on the electrical network, points were granted accordingly to each contestant.
In May 2014, it was announced that the contest will return in October featuring both ex-Soviet states and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The first Sopot International Song Festival was initiated and organised in 1961 by Władysław Szpilman, assisted by Szymon Zakrzewski from Polish Artists Management (PAGART). The first three editions were held in the Gdansk Shipyard hall (1961–1963), after which the festival moved to the Forest Opera (Opera Lesna). The main prize has been Amber Nightingale through most of its history.
Between 1977 and 1980 it was replaced by the Intervision Song Contest, which was still held in Sopot. Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, the Sopot International Music Festival often changed its formulas to pick a winner and offered many different contests for its participants. For example, at the 4th Intervision Song Festival (held in Sopot August 20–23, 1980) two competitions were effective: one for artists representing television companies, the other for those representing record companies. In the first the jury considered the artistic merits of the songs entered; while in the second, it judged the performers' interpretation." The festival has always been open to non-European acts, and countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa and many others have been represented in this event.
The contest lost popularity in Poland and abroad in the 1980s, declining further during the 1990s, and the rather unconvincing organisations by TVP made the authorities of Sopot give the organization of the 2005 Sopot International Song Festival to a private TV channel, TVN. Since 1999, there was no contest. TVP chose to invite well-known artists instead, featuring the likes of Whitney Houston or The Corrs. In 2005, TVN was expected to bring the competition back. In 2006 TVN invited Elton John. The Sopot International Song Festival is usually considered bigger than the Benidorm International Song Festival because of its ability to attract star performers. In 2010 and 2011, the festival did not take place due to renovation of the Forest Opera. Since 2012, it is called Sopot Top Of The Top Festival and is broadcast annually by Polsat. The festival also provided opportunity to listen to international stars. In the past, it featured Charles Aznavour, Boney M, Johnny Cash, and more recently: Chuck Berry, Vanessa Mae, Annie Lennox, Vaya Con Dios, Chris Rea, Tanita Tikaram, La Toya Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kajagoogoo, and Goran Bregovic.
In 2009, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin proposed restarting the competition, this time between Russia, China and Central Asian countries which are mostly members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In May 2014, it was announced that the contest will return in October, after a 34-year hiatus, featuring both ex-Soviet states and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Pundits have interpreted Putin's push to revive the contest as part of his geopolitical posturing. It's thought he wants to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a cultural counterweight to NATO and the European Union.  The contest was postponed to 2015 due to political reasons.
- Table key
- Withdrawn – Countries who have participated in the past but have withdrawn.
|Year||Date||Host City||Winner||Performer||Song||Language||English translation|
|1977||24–27 August||Sopot||Czechoslovakia||Helena Vondráčková||"Malovaný džbánku"||Czech||Painted jug|
|1978||23–26 August||Sopot||Soviet Union||Alla Pugacheva||"Vsyo mogut koroli" (Всё могут короли)||Russian||Kings can do everything|
|1979||22–25 August||Sopot||Poland||Czesław Niemen||"Nim przyjdzie wiosna"||Polish||Before coming spring|
|1980||20–23 August||Sopot||Finland||Marion Rung||"Hyvästi yö" ("Where Is the Night")||Finnish||Farewell night|
|No contests held from 1981 to 2007|
|2008||28–31 August||Sochi||Tajikistan||Tahmina Niyazova||"Hero"||English||–|
|No contests held from 2009 to 2014|
Winners by country
Winners by language
- "Five Stars Intervision to open in Sochi". UzReport. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- ^ VRT and RTBF alternate responsibilities for the contest.
- Clip from the movie The Secret History of the Eurovision Song Contest
- Granger, Anthony (23 May 2014). "Russia: Intervision To Return This October". Eurovoix. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Szpilman, Wladyslaw (1 December 2005). "Songs composed by Wladyslaw Szpilman". szpilman.net. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Waschko, Roman (1980-09-06). "Finn Singer Triumphant At Sopot Contest". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media). p. 65. Retrieved 2011-04-05. "Two competitions were held at the 4th Intervision Song Festival in Sopot August 20–23, 1980: one for artists representing television companies, the other for those representing record companies. In the first the jury considered the artistic merits of the songs entered; while the performers' interpretation was judged in the second. The outcome was a victory for Finnish singer Marion in the first contest, "Where Is the Love?" taking the Grand Prix. Six year ago, the same artist won Grand Prix at the Sopot International Song Festival. First prize was shared by Czech performer, Marika Gombitová with "Declaration", and Russian Nikolai Gnatiuk for the song "Dance on a Drum"." (English)
- Intervision: The Russian proposed song contest with China, Central Asia (Shanghaiist: Shanghai News, Food, Arts & Events)
- Putin mulls Intervision Song Contest (BBC World Service)
- Vladimir Putin proposes rival to Eurovision Song Contest between Russia and central Asian countries (Daily Mail)
- Adams, William Lee (29 July 2014). "Post-Soviet Nostalia: Why Putin is Reviving Intervision". wiwibloggs.com. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Granger, Anthony (1 September 2014). "Intervision: 2014 Contest Is Cancelled". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Bartlett, Paul (23 May 2014). "Bearded Lady Spurs Russia to Revive Soviet-Era Song Contest". eurasianet.org. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Olga, Elenskiy. "Россия нашла замену "Евровидению"" (in Russian). dni.ru. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- Rosenberg, Steve (14 May 2012). "The Cold War rival to Eurovision". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2014. "Intervision winners"
- BBC Magazine: The Cold War rival to Eurovision, Steve Rosenberg, 13 May 2012