The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), often simply called Eurovision, is an international song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the winner. At least 50 countries are eligible to compete , and since 2015, Australia has been allowed as a guest entrant.
Winning the Eurovision Song Contest often provides a short-term career boost for artists, but rarely results in long-term success. Exceptions include ABBA (winner in 1974 for Sweden), Bucks Fizz (winner in 1981 for the United Kingdom), and Celine Dion (winner in 1988 for Switzerland), all of whom launched successful careers.
Melodifestivalen is an annual music competition organised by Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio to determine the song and artist that will represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest. It has been staged under various formats almost every year since the first public competition in 1959. The competition is a considerably popular live television and radio event—it is the most popular television programme in Sweden, a title it has held since 2000, at times eclipsing even Eurovision itself. In 2007, an estimated four million people—almost 44% of Sweden's population—watched the final, while the semifinals averaged around 3.1 million viewers. The winner is chosen by a number of regional juries and a national televote. Until 2001 the competition was normally limited to between eight and twelve songs, but since the introduction of semifinals in 2002 that number has risen to thirty-two. The event is often seen as being dominated by light orchestrated pop songs, known locally as schlager music—so much so that it is sometimes referred to as Schlagerfestivalen by the Swedish media—but other styles of music such as rap, reggae and glam rock have made an appearance since the competition's expansion.
Countries in the Eurovision Song Contest
Place your cursor over a country on the map image below and click on it to access that country's Eurovision article. Or alternatively, see the flag icons below the map for a full list of participating countries. The list reflects the participation as of 2018.
- Eligible EBU members
Countries in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Place your cursor over a country on the map image below and click on it to access that country's Junior Eurovision article. Or alternatively, see the flag icons below the map for a full list of participating countries. The list below reflects the contest in 2018.
- Eligible EBU members
Eurovision Song Contest news
- 24 August 2018: Marija Spasovska is announced as the Macedonian representative at JESC 2018. (JuniorEurovision.tv)
- 23 August 2018: Ivan Bessonov brings Russia its first victory in Eurovision Young Musicians, with Nikola Pajanović from Slovenia as the runner-up. (YoungMusicians.tv)
- 21 August 2018: The EBU releases the running order for the Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 final. The show will start with Norway and end with Russia. (YoungMusicians.tv)
- 19 August 2018: The Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Russia and Slovenia qualify for the Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 final. (YoungMusicians.tv)
- 19 August 2018: "Toy" reaches #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart. (Times of Israel)
- 18 August 2018: The Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 semi-finals kick off. (Eurovoix)
- 14 August 2018: KAN and the Israeli government reach an agreement regarding the necessity and means of providing the €12m deposit. (Eurovoix)
- 14 August 2018: The EBU states that, in case the deposit crisis continues, "there are always contingency plans in place". (ESC Today)
- 13 August 2018: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to shut down KAN if it does not pay the €12m guarantee by itself. (Eurovoix)
- 10 August 2018: The EBU responds to İbrahim Eren's statement, saying that Eurovision is about inclusivity and "celebrating diversity through music". (Eurovoix)
- 5 August 2018: SVT announces that it will not host nor participate in Eurovision Choir of the Year 2019, which is set to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Eurovoix)
- 4 August 2018: TRT general manager İbrahim Eren announces that the Turkish broadcaster will not return to Eurovision as long as the contest keeps the current voting system and continues to promote LGBT imagery. (Eurovoix)
- 3 August 2018: ABU reveals that it is planning to début the "ABU TV Song Contest" in 2019 in Qingdao, China. (Eurovoix World)
- 2 August 2018: Ukraine rejoins Junior Eurovision after having previously stated that they would withdraw, thus becoming the 20th confirmed participant, a record for the contest. (Eurovoix)
- 31 July 2018: The EBU extends deadline for KAN to provide a €12m deposit in order to secure the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The broadcaster is now expected to make the payment by 14 August. (Eurovoix)
- 26 July 2018: 1FLTV confirms that Liechtenstein will not début at Eurovision in 2019; participation plans are delayed after the death of Peter Kölbel, the director of the network. (ESC Today)
- 25 July 2018: BTRC explains how the Israeli participation in JESC 2018 came as a result of an agreement between BTRC and the EBU to ignore the upper limit of 18 participant countries dictated by the rules of the contest, as a courtesy to KAN. (Eurovoix)
- 25 July 2018: Rai announces that Sanremo's "newcomers" section will become a separate show to take place in December; two winners will then participate in Sanremo in February, on equal footing with the "big" artists. (Wiwibloggs)
- 25 July 2018: The EBU confirms that a record-breaking 19 countries will participate in JESC 2018. Besides newcomer Wales, Kazakhstan is also joining the competition. Azerbaijan, France and Israel return to the contest, while Cyprus withdraws. (JuniorEurovision.tv)
- 20 July 2018: The EBU reveals that Lichtensteiner broadcaster 1FLTV has not applied for an EBU membership despite planning to début at ESC 2019. (escXtra)
- 19 July 2018: SRG SSR drops Die Entscheidungsshow as the Swiss Eurovision national selection; the new selection process will use a jury and an audience panel. (SRF)
- 14 July 2018: The EBU states that Eurovision Asia is still early in development. (Wiwibloggs)
- 12 July 2018: BHRT reveals that it has turned down a Eurovision participation sponsorship offer by Ralph Siegel. (Eurovoix)
- 10 July 2018: KAN publishes the criteria for selecting the Eurovision 2019 host city. (escXtra)
- 8 July 2018: The EBU announces that the 2nd Eurovision Choir of the Year contest will take place in Gothenburg on 3 August 2019. However, neither SVT nor TV4 has been confirmed as the host broadcaster. (Eurovoix)
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