Eurovision Song Contest 1974

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Eurovision Song Contest 1974
ESC 1974 logo.png
Final6 April 1974
VenueThe Dome
Brighton, United Kingdom
Presenter(s)Katie Boyle
Musical directorRonnie Hazlehurst
Directed byMichael Hurll
Executive supervisorClifford Brown
Executive producerBill Cotton
Host broadcasterBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Interval actThe Wombles Edit this at Wikidata
Number of entries17
Debuting countries Greece
Returning countriesNone
Non-returning countries France
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Denmark in the Eurovision Song ContestFinland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974Malta in the Eurovision Song ContestAustria in the Eurovision Song ContestFrance in the Eurovision Song ContestA coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries     Countries that participated in the past but not in 1974
Voting systemTen-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
Nul pointsNone
Winning song Sweden
1973 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 1975

The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Brighton, United Kingdom. This was the fifth time the United Kingdom hosted the competition, having previously done so in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1972. It was organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), who agreed to stage the event after Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973 editions, declined to host it for a second successive year on the grounds of expense.[1] The contest was held at the Brighton Dome on Saturday 6 April 1974 and was hosted by Katie Boyle for the fourth time (after hosting the 1960, 1963 and 1968 editions).

Seventeen countries took part in the contest. Though France had participated the previous year, it was absent for 1973. Greece made its début this year.

The winner was Sweden with the song "Waterloo" which was performed by ABBA, who later went on to become one of the most popular global recording acts of all time. Sweden's win was its first in the competition, and also the first victory for a country from the Scandinavian Peninsula.[1]


The Brighton Dome, host venue of the 1974 contest

The contest was held in the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom. At the time, Brighton was a separate town; it is now the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) on the south coast of Great Britain.

The venue which hosted the event was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue that contains the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. All three venues are linked to the rest of the Royal Pavilion Estate by a tunnel to the Royal Pavilion in Pavilion Gardens and through shared corridors to Brighton Museum; the entire complex was built for the Prince Regent (later George IV) and completed in 1805.


A two-night preview programme, Auftakt für Brighton (Prelude for Brighton), was coordinated by the German national broadcaster ARD, broadcast at the end of March and was hosted by the journalist Karin Tietze-Ludwig. It was the first "preview"-type programme to be broadcast in many European countries simultaneously (traditionally each national broadcaster puts together its own preview programme).[2] The UK did not broadcast the programmes, instead airing its own preview shows introduced by David Vine on BBC1 on 24 and 31 March.[3] The French entry was broadcast by all the nations showing the previews, even though the song was withdrawn from the Eurovision final itself. The programme was also notable in being the European television debut for the winners, ABBA, who were credited in previews as "The Abba".[1]

Each song was introduced by a 'postcard' featuring a montage of film material, beginning with library footage of the participating nation provided by the various national tourist organizations. This was then intercut with various clips of the artists in rehearsal, conducting their press conference with the media or posing for photographs in and around the Brighton Pavilion complex. It was the first time the contest had broadcast rehearsal footage or behind the scenes footage from the run-up to the grand final.[4][5]

Participating countries[edit]

Seventeen nations took part in this year's contest. Greece made their début, while France withdrew during the week of the contest after the sudden death of French President Georges Pompidou.[1]


Each performance had a conductor who conducted the orchestra.[6][7]

Returning artists[edit]

Bold indicates a previous winner

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Gigliola Cinquetti  Italy 1964
Romuald  Monaco 1964, 1969 (for  Luxembourg)
Bendik Singers  Norway 1973


Draw Country Artist Song Language[10][11] Place[12] Points
01  Finland Carita "Keep Me Warm" English 13 4
02  United Kingdom Olivia Newton-John "Long Live Love" English 4 14
03  Spain Peret "Canta y sé feliz" Spanish 9 10
04  Norway Anne-Karine Strøm feat. Bendik Singers "The First Day of Love" English 14 3
05  Greece Marinella "Krasi, thalassa ke t' agori mou"
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ' αγόρι μου)
Greek 11 7
06  Israel Poogy "Natati La Khayay" (נתתי לה חיי) Hebrew 7 11
07  Yugoslavia Korni Grupa "Generacija '42" (Генерација '42) Serbo-Croatian 12 6
08  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo" English 1 24
09  Luxembourg Ireen Sheer "Bye Bye I Love You" French[c] 4 14
10  Monaco Romuald "Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va" French 4 14
11  Belgium Jacques Hustin "Fleur de liberté" French 9 10
12  Netherlands Mouth & MacNeal "I See a Star" English 3 15
13  Ireland Tina Reynolds "Cross Your Heart" English 7 11
14  Germany Cindy & Bert "Die Sommermelodie" German 14 3
15   Switzerland Piera Martell "Mein Ruf nach dir" German 14 3
16  Portugal Paulo de Carvalho "E depois do adeus" Portuguese 14 3
17  Italy Gigliola Cinquetti "" Italian 2 18


Voting results[13][14]
Total score
United Kingdom
Finland 4 2 1 1
United Kingdom 14 1 4 1 1 2 1 1 3
Spain 10 1 2 1 2 1 3
Norway 3 1 1 1
Greece 7 1 4 2
Israel 11 2 1 2 2 1 3
Yugoslavia 6 1 1 1 1 2
Sweden 24 5 1 2 2 1 1 2 1 3 1 5
Luxembourg 14 2 2 1 3 1 1 1 1 2
Monaco 14 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 2
Belgium 10 3 2 5
Netherlands 15 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 3 1
Ireland 11 2 1 2 1 2 2 1
Germany 3 1 1 1
Switzerland 3 1 1 1
Portugal 3 1 2
Italy 18 2 1 1 5 1 1 2 4 1


The two-person jury system used for the previous three contests was abandoned, with a resurrection of the 10-person jury system with one vote per juror, last used in 1970, returning. This was the final time it was used. Unusually, a separate draw was made for the order in which the participating countries would vote. In all previous contests either nations had voted in the same running order as the song presentation or in the reverse of that order. It was not until 2006 that the voting sequence was decided by draw again. Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Italy drew the same position in both draws.

Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1974 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.

  1.  Finland – Aarre Elo [fi][15]
  2.  Luxembourg – TBC
  3.  Israel – Yitzhak Shim'oni [he]
  4.  Norway – Sverre Christophersen [no][16]
  5.  United Kingdom – Colin Ward-Lewis[7]
  6.  Yugoslavia – Helga Vlahović[17]
  7.  Greece – Mako Georgiadou [el][18]
  8.  Ireland – Brendan Balfe
  9.  Germany – Ekkehard Böhmer [de]
  10.  Portugal – Henrique Mendes
  11.  Netherlands – Harry Hagedoorn[d]
  12.  Sweden – Sven Lindahl[19]
  13.  Spain – Antolín García
  14.  Monaco – Sophie Hecquet[20]
  15.   Switzerland – Michel Stocker
  16.  Belgium – André Hagon
  17.  Italy – Anna Maria Gambineri [it]


Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.[1]

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Belgium RTB French: Georges Désir [fr]
BRT Dutch: Herman Verelst [nl]
RTB La Première French: TBC [7]
BRT Radio 1 Dutch: TBC [7]
 Finland YLE TV1 and
Matti Paalosmaa [fi] [15]
 Germany Deutsches Fernsehen Werner Veigel
Deutschlandfunk TBC [7]
 Greece EIRT Mako Georgiadou [el]
 Ireland RTÉ Mike Murphy
RTÉ Radio Liam Devally
 Israel Israeli Television No commentator [7]
 Italy Secondo Programma Rosanna Vaudetti
 Luxembourg RTL Télé Luxembourg Jacques Navadic
 Monaco Télé Monte Carlo Carole Chabrier
 Netherlands Nederland 2 Willem Duys [21]
 Norway NRK John Andreassen [16]
NRK P1 Erik Heyerdahl [no]
 Portugal I Programa Artur Agostinho [22]
 Spain Primera Cadena José Luis Uribarri [23]
Primer Programa RNE TBC [7]
 Sweden SR TV1 Johan Sandström [sv] [24]
SR P3 Ursula Richter [sv] [24]
  Switzerland TV DRS German: Theodor Haller [de]
TSR French: Georges Hardy [fr] [25]
TSI Italian: Giovanni Bertini
1e Programme French: Robert Burnier [26]
 United Kingdom BBC1 David Vine [7][27]
BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 Terry Wogan [7]
BFBS Radio Richard Astbury [7]
 Yugoslavia TVB 1 Serbo-Croatian: Milovan Ilić
TVZ 1 Serbo-Croatian: Oliver Mlakar
TVL 1 Slovene: Tomaž Terček [sl]
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Algeria RTA Unknown [7]
 Austria FS2 Ernst Grissemann [de] [7]
 Bulgaria BT Unknown [7]
 Cyprus CyBC TV Unknown [7]
 Czechoslovakia ČST Unknown [7]
 Denmark DR TV Claus Toksvig
 France Première Chaîne ORTF Pierre Tchernia [7]
 Hungary RTV Unknown [7]
 Iceland Sjónvarpið Unknown [7]
 Japan NHK Unknown [7]
 Jordan JRTV Unknown [7]
 Malta MTV Charles Saliba
 Morocco TVM Unknown [7]
 Poland TVP Unknown [7]
 Romania TVR Unknown [7]
 South Korea KBS Unknown [7]
 Tunisia RTT Unknown [7]
 Turkey Ankara Television Bülend Özveren
 Soviet Union Soviet Central Television Unknown [7]


United Kingdom song[edit]

The United Kingdom was represented in the contest by the (British-born) Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John, who finished in fourth place with the song "Long Live Love". As noted by author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, Newton-John personally disliked the song and preferred others from the UK heat, but "Long Live Love" was chosen as the UK's entry by a public postal vote.[28]

French withdraw[edit]

France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song "La vie à vingt-cinq ans" ("Life at 25") by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of the French President Georges Pompidou during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Given that President Pompidou's memorial service (he had been buried in a private ceremony on 4 April), which was attended by numerous international dignitaries, was held on the same day as the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.[1][28] In her absence, the Director General of the BBC and President of the EBU, Sir Charles Curran, presented the Grand Prix to the winners.[citation needed]

Greek replacement[edit]

In 1974, during the dictatorship in Greece, rock band Nostradamos won the first Eurovision participation contest ran by the state broadcaster ERT to represent Greece at Eurovision.[29] However, due to a scandal, the band was not allowed to compete at Eurovision, and Greek laiko singer Marinella was sent instead.[29]

Italian broadcast[edit]

Italy did not broadcast the televised contest on the state television channel RAI because the contest coincided with the intense political campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce, which was held a month later in May. RAI felt that Gigliola Cinquetti's song, which was entitled "", and repeatedly featured the word "si" (yes),[30] could risk the accusation of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote "yes" in the referendum. The song was not played on most Italian state TV and radio stations until the referendum had been held.[28]

Portuguese revolution[edit]

Portugal's entry "E depois do adeus" was used as the first of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime. Played on a Portuguese radio station late in the evening of 24 April 1974, the broadcasting of the song alerted the rebel, largely left-wing captains and soldiers to prepare to begin the successful military coup. The second song to be broadcast, marking the actual start of military operations of the coup, was "Grândola, Vila Morena" by Zeca Afonso (but with no Eurovision Song Contest connection). John Kennedy O'Connor described "E depois do adeus" as "the only Eurovision entry to have actually started a revolution" (which is quite ironic, given that the song finished last in the contest), while Des Mangan suggests that other Portuguese entries – he mentions "Se Eu Te Pudesse Abraçar" (1998) – would not be likely to inspire coups.[28]


  1. ^ Juan Carlos Calderón was initially slated to conduct his own composition for Spain, only to be replaced by Rafael Ibarbia when he fell ill prior to the contest.[8]
  2. ^ Jean-Claude Petit was scheduled to conduct the French entry prior to France's withdrawal.[9]
  3. ^ Contains some words in English
  4. ^ Dutch commentator Willem Duys stated during the broadcast that the jury spokesman was Harry Hagedoorn.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Eurovision Song Contest 1974". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ "ABBA on TV – Melodifestivalen Rehearsal". Archived from the original on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Broadcast - BBC Programme Index".
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 142–168. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
  8. ^ Tukker, Bas. "Juan Carlos Calderón". Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Jean-Claude Petit's biography in 'And the conductor is...'". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1974". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1974". Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Final of Brighton 1974". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Results of the Final of Brighton 1974". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1974 – Scoreboard". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  15. ^ a b Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? (in Finnish) Viisukuppila, 18 April 2005
  16. ^ a b Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  17. ^ "Helga Vlahović: 1990 presenter has died". 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Ελλάδα : Η ανακοίνωση της ΕΡΤ για τον 63ο Διαγωνισμό Τραγουδιού της Eurovision". 25 April 2018.
  19. ^ Archived 16 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Facets of Eurovision Song Contest 1975", Times of Malta, 31 March 1975
  21. ^ "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch).
  22. ^ "Um Waterloo onde faltou Cambronne", Diário de Lisboa, 7 April 1974
  23. ^ Uribarri comentarista Eurovision 2010 Archived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish) FORO FESTIVAL DE EUROVISIÓN
  24. ^ a b Thorsson, Leif (2006). Melodifestivalen genom tiderna [Melodifestivalen through time]. Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB. p. 108. ISBN 91-89136-29-2.
  25. ^ "Au Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson". Radio TV - Je vois tout. Lausanne, Switzerland: Le Radio SA. 4 April 1974.
  26. ^ "Au Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson". Radio TV - Je vois tout. Lausanne, Switzerland: Le Radio SA. 4 April 1974.
  27. ^ Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final: 1974. Brighton, United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 April 1974.
  28. ^ a b c d O'Connor, John Kennedy The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History Carlton Books, UK, 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  29. ^ a b Giorgos Foukos (9 March 2012). "Eurovision Greece 1974-2012". Translation by Google: The state television decides, after four years that it has already launched the contest, to try its luck. Nostradamos is the winner of the competition (see Stelios Fotiadis, Despina Glezou, etc.) A few weeks before the competition the participation is cancelled because a scandal about the rape of a minor admirer by a member of the group.
  30. ^ Sì – Lyrics The Diggiloo Thrush

External links[edit]