Nationaal Songfestival (the National Song Festival in Dutch) is the name for the Dutch preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest. It started in 1956. It was organized until 1969 by Dutch television Nederlandse Televisie Stichting (NTS). Then the broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) took over the event but in 1996, 2003, 2004 and 2005 the broadcaster TROS organized the event and the broadcaster VARA does that in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 TROS took over the event. In 2014, TROS along with Avro (later AvroTros) took ever the event for the year.
In 1961, 1980, 2008 and 2013, the Dutch entry to the Eurovision Song Contest was not chosen through a national contest but representative was assigned by a committee. In 1963, the Nationaal Songfestival event for 1963 was canceled because of a strike.
In 1985, 1991, 1995 and 2002, Netherlands did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Over the years there were many different formats chosen for the Dutch contribution to be determined. In 2007, 2009 and 2011, the representing artist(s) was designated in advance, but the song was chosen during the Nationaal Songfestival.
In 2010, Pierre Kartner was internally designated as a lyricist and composer. Then, during the competition, five candidates were chosen to interpret the song written by Kartner.
- 1.^ In 2008 the song was internally chosen and presented to the public in Claudia de Breij's talk show "Thank God It's Friday".