STORIA

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L’Eurovision Song Contest è uno degli spettacoli televisivi più longevi del mondo. Fu il 24 maggio 1956 che l’Europa vide il primo Eurovision Song Contest. Dopo tutti questi anni, il concorso è una delle tradizioni europee più tipiche e, senza dubbio, il programma televisivo preferito in Europa! Nel 2005, l’Eurovision Song Contest ha celebrato il suo 50° anniversario scegliendo la migliore voce fino ad allora e nel 2015 il 60° anniversario con l’Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits a Londra e con una conferenza

La storia dell’Eurovision Song Contest: Già da circa 65 anni, l’Eurovision Song Contest è il programma televisivo preferito in Europa. Dopo più di cinque decenni con migliaia di canzoni, il concorso è diventato un classico moderno, fortemente radicato nella mente collettiva europea.

Scarica: The Rules of the 1956 Eurovision Song Contest (.pdf) (copyright EBU)

 

Eurovision Song Contest

Logo usato 2015 ad oggi

Logo usato 2015 ad oggi

Genere Programma musicale
Ideato da  EBU ad-hoc committee led by Marcel Bezençon / Sanremo Music Festival
Presentatore (i) Guardare l’Elenco dei presentatori
Composizione Musicale Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Musica di Apertura Te Deum (Prelude to Te Deum, H. 146)
Paesi partecipanti Guardare l’Elenco dei paesi partecipanti
Lingua Inglese e Francese
Edizioni 65 edizioni, 94 live shows – 58 edizioni con una puntata (1956-2003), due puntate (2004-2007) o tre puntate (2008-ad oggi) per ogni edizione
Sede Guardare l’Elenco delle città ospitante
Durata ~2 ore (Semi-Finale)
~4 ore (Finale) 
Produttore European Broadcasting Union (EBU-UER) e dall’emittente pubbliche del Paese ospitante
Distributore Eurovision
Format 4:3 576i (SDTV) (1956–1999)
16:9 576i (SDTV) (1999-present)
1080i (HDTV) (2006–present)
Anni 24 May 1956; 65 anni fa – ad oggi
Gare correlate
Siti Web Official website
Production website

L’Eurovision Song Contest (in francese Concours Eurovision de la Chanson), spesso abbreviato in ESC o semplicemente Eurovision, è una manifestazione musicale nata nel 1956 a Lugano organizzata dall’European Broadcasting Union (Unione Europea di Radiodiffusione – Abbreviazione EBU (Inglese), UER (Francese, Italiano)) ed ispirata al Festival di Sanremo, che si tiene annualmente tra i paesi membri attivi della EBU-UER, creato per aiutare a promuovere l’unità dopo la seconda guerra mondiale e pensato per essere apolitico.

Ogni paese membro presenta un brano da eseguire in diretta televisiva e in seguito vota per le canzoni degli altri paesi in modo da determinare la canzone vincitrice della competizione. 

Il concorso è stato trasmesso ogni anno senza interruzioni in tutto il mondo sin dalla sua inaugurazione nel 1956 ed è uno dei programmi televisivi più longevi del mondo. È anche uno dei più seguiti eventi non sportivi in tutto il mondo, con dati di ascolto negli ultimi anni che oscillano tra 100 milioni e 600 milioni a livello internazionale, crescendo enormemente di livello. L’ESC viene trasmesso in diretta televisiva sui canali principali delle emittenti nazionali e in Eurovisione, anche al di fuori dell’Europa in paesi non in concorso come Argentina, Australia, Brasile, Canada, Cina, Colombia, Egitto, India, Giappone, Giordania, Messico, Nuova Zelanda, Filippine, Corea del Sud, Taiwan, Thailandia, Stati Uniti, Uruguay e Venezuela. Dal 2000, il concorso viene trasmesso anche su Internet con più di 74.000 persone in quasi 140 paesi che hanno guardato l’edizione del 2006 online e dal 2016 in diretta sul canale ufficiale YouTube dell’evento, che nel 2019 conta circa 2,9 milioni di iscritti.

In lingua italiana è stato comunemente usato il termine Eurofestival, mentre le due denominazioni ufficiali in italiano riconosciute dall’Eurovisione sono Gran Premio Eurovisione della Canzone, usata per l’edizione del 1965 tenutasi a Napoli e Concorso Eurovisione della Canzone, usata per l’edizione del 1991 tenutasi a Roma nello studio 15 di Cinecittà.

Il 23 maggio 2015 l’attuale executive supervisor dell’evento Jon Ola Sand rivela che l’ESC ha ricevuto il Guinness World Record per essere lo spettacolo musicale televisivo annuale in corso in onda da più anni consecutivi.

Fra gli artisti, la cui carriera internazionale è stata lanciata, grazie alla partecipazione all’ESC troviamo il nostro Domenico Modugno, che arrivò terzo con il brano “Nel blu dipinto di blu” nel 1958, gli ABBA, che vinsero il concorso per la Svezia nel 1974 con “Waterloo, Céline Dion, che vinse per la Svizzera nel 1988 con “Ne Partez pas sans moi, e lo spagnolo Julio Iglesias, che ha venduto oltre 300 milioni di dischi in tutto il mondo.

Idea Iniziale. L’Europa soffriva ancora delle ferite della guerra e la televisione stava muovendo i primi passi ma già l’Unione Europea di Radiodiffusione (l’attuale EBU-UER) era alla ricerca di un programma televisivo che potesse coinvolgere diverse nazioni. Il comitato creato appositamente, su proposta di Sergio Pugliese, decise di puntare su di una gara canora che prendeva come modello il Festival di San Remo da trasmettere simultaneamente in tutti i paesi coinvolti, idea che piacque a Marcel Bezençon. Dopo vari incontri in varie sedi nel 1955 si stabilì la data in cui avrebbe preso il via Gran Premio Eurovisione della Canzone detto anche nei paesi anglofoni Eurovision Song Contest.

Comunque passano gli anni ma non perde un grammo di fascino. Da quando Marcel Bezençon (presidente del Comitato di Programmi EBU-UER) alla fine di Gennaio 1955, ha approvato il “Gran Premio Eurovisione della Canzone”, basato sull’attuale Festival di Sanremo, quel che più è cambiato – in 60 anni – è la competizione, ma la gara fra tanti paesi resta più o meno la stessa e continua a chiamare davanti alla tv e su internet il pubblico del tutto il mondo. Poi c’è una bella fetta di popolazione adulta che le sa tutte (le canzoni). Basta un attimo, tu dici “Waterloo” o “Nel blu dipinto di blu” e parte la cantata. Perché sono state la colonna sonora di una stagione della vita in cui si scoprivano il mondo e la tivù e spesso erano la stessa cosa. E chi se li scorda. Un’infinità di brani, in 59 anni. Alcuni indimenticabili. Qui c’è la possibilità di riascoltarli, ricordarli e di approfondire quello della nostra infanzia.

The Secret History of Eurovision: 

L’Eurovision Song Contest (francese: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), a volte abbreviato in ESC e spesso conosciuto semplicemente come Eurovision, è un concorso canoro internazionale organizzato annualmente dall’Unione Europea di Radiodiffusione (in inglese: European Broadcasting Union, EBU; in francese: Union européenne de radio-télévision, UER) che vede partecipanti che rappresentano principalmente paesi europei. Ogni paese partecipante presenta una canzone originale che viene eseguita in diretta televisiva e radiofonica, trasmessa alle emittenti nazionali attraverso le reti Eurovision ed Euroradio dell’EBU-UER, e i paesi concorrenti votano le canzoni degli altri paesi per determinare un vincitore.

Based on the Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951, Eurovision has been held annually (apart from 2020) since 1956, making it the longest-running annual international televised music competition and one of the world’s longest-running television programmes. Active members of the EBU, as well as invited associate members, are eligible to compete, and as of 2021, 52 countries have participated at least once. Each participating broadcaster sends one original song of three minutes duration or less to be performed live by a singer or group of up to six people aged 16 or older. Each country awards two sets of 1–8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs, based on the views of an assembled group of music professionals and the country’s viewing public, with the song receiving the most points declared the winner. Other performances feature alongside the competition, including a specially-commissioned opening and interval act and guest performances by musicians and other personalities, with past acts including Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and the first performance of Riverdance. Originally consisting of a single evening event, the contest has expanded as new countries joined, leading to the introduction of relegation procedures in the 1990s, and eventually the creation of semi-finals in the 2000s. As of 2021, Germany has competed more times than any other country, having participated in all but one edition, while Ireland holds the record for the most victories, with seven wins in total.

Traditionally held in the country which won the preceding year’s event, the contest provides an opportunity to promote the host country and city as a tourist destination. Thousands of spectators attend each year, and journalists are present to cover all aspects of the contest, including rehearsals in venue, press conferences with the competing acts, and other related events and performances in the host city. Alongside the generic Eurovision logo, a unique theme and slogan is typically used for each event. The contest has aired in countries across all continents, and has been available online via the official Eurovision website since 2000. Eurovision ranks among the world’s most watched non-sporting events every year, with hundreds of millions of viewers globally, and performing at the contest has often provided artists with a local career boost and in some cases long-lasting international success. Several of the best-selling music artists in the world have competed in past editions, including ABBA, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias, Olivia Newton-John and Flo Rida, and some of the world’s best-selling singles have received their first international performance on the Eurovision stage.

The contest has received criticism for its musical and artistic quality, and for a perceived political aspect to the event. Competing entries have previously been derided for spanning various ethnic and international styles, and in recent years a tendency towards elaborate stage shows has been highlighted as a distraction. Concerns have been raised regarding political friendships and rivalries between countries potentially influencing the results. Controversial moments from past editions include participating countries withdrawing at a late stage, censorship of segments of the broadcast by broadcasters, and political events impacting participation. Eurovision has however gained popularity for its kitsch appeal and emergence as part of LGBT culture, resulting in a large active fan base and influence on popular culture. The popularity of the contest has led to the creation of several similar events, either organised by the EBU or created by external organisations, and several special events have been organised by the EBU to celebrate select anniversaries or as a replacement due to cancellation.

Marcel Bezençon, the founder of the Eurovision Song Contest..jpg

Marcel Bezençon, il fondatore dell’Eurovision Song Contest.

In poche parole: The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began as the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon of the EBU. The Contest was based on Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology. 

The first Contest was held on 24 May 1956, when seven nations participated. With a live orchestra, the norm in the early years, and simple sing-along songs on every radio station, the Contest grew into a true pan-European tradition.

Excusez-moi? In the beginning, it was obvious for the participants that they should sing in their country’s national language. However, as the Swedish entry in 1965, Absent Friend, was sung in English, the EBU set very strict rules on the language in which the songs could be performed. National languages had to be used in all lyrics. Song writers across Europe soon tagged onto the notion that success would only come if the judges could understand the content, resulting in such entries as Boom- Bang-A-Bang and La La La. In 1973, the rules on language use were relaxed, and in the following year ABBA would win with Waterloo. Those freedom of language rules would be soon reversed in 1977, to return with apparent permanent status in the 1999 contest.

ABBA, after their famous victory at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden..jpg

ABBA, dopo la loro famosa vittoria all’Eurovision Song Contest 1974 per la Svezia.

Your votes please. The voting systems used in the Contest have changed throughout the years. The modern system has been in place since 1975. Voters award a set of points from 1 to 8, then 10 and finally 12 to songs from other countries — with the favourite being awarded the now famous douze points.  Historically, a country’s set of votes was decided by an internal jury, but in 1997 five countries experimented with televoting, giving members of the public in those countries the opportunity to vote en masse for their favourite songs. The experiment was a success and from 1998 all countries were encouraged to use televoting wherever possible.

Nowadays members of the public may also vote by SMS. Whichever method of voting is used – jury, telephone or SMS – countries may not cast votes for their own songs.

Ampliamento con le Semifinali. The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s led to a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete for the first time. This process has continued to this day with more and more countries joining. For this reason, in 2004 the Semi-Final format was introduced by the EBU which turned into two Semi-Finals for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. Now all countries, except the ‘Big Five’ – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – together with the host country, must be in a Semi-Final top-10 to qualify for the Final.

60 anni e oltre. In 2015, the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated its 60th anniversary. The BBC hosted a grand anniversary show in London, featuring over a dozen former participants. And to honour the country’s Eurovision Song Contest commitment for over 30 years, the organisers admitted Australia to participate for the first time ever.

Despite the ‘grand old lady’ being of respectable age, her pension is nowhere in sight, as the Eurovision Song Contest is still the most modern live TV entertainment spectacle in the world.

Lys Assia si piazzò al 8° posto nel 1957, indossando un semplice abito bianco sul palco.

Fatti e Cifre. With  a legacy of more than 60 years, which brought hundreds of hours of live television and over 1,500 songs from some 50 countries, the Eurovision Song Contest is a great source of historic facts and mind-blowing figures. On this ever-expanding page, we are sharing the most significant ones with you.

Cifre. The Eurovision Song Contest started with just 7 participating countries in 1956. It was the only contest with 2 songs per country. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, more countries wanted to join in the 1990s. In 1993 and 1994, a then-record 25 countries took part. In 1996, a pre-qualification heat was organised to reduce 29 participants to 23, while host country Norway automatically qualified for the contest as 24th country. The challenge was solved in 2004, when a Semi-Final was introduced. Growing interest lead to the introduction of a second Semi-Final in 2008. As a result, a record number of 43 countries took part in 2008 for the first time.

Over 1,500 songs have taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest (not including the 7 songs that didn’t make it in the 1996 pre-qualification round). In 2006, Ireland’s Brian Kennedy delivered the 1,000th entry to the contest, appropriately titled Every Song is a Cry for Love. If you would listen to all the songs without a break, you would be sitting up for nearly 72 hours.

In 2001, the largest audience ever attended the Eurovision Song Contest. Almost 38,000 people gathered at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium to witness the first-ever Estonian victory.

Ratings of the Eurovision Song Contest have varied greatly over the past decades. In 2016, some 204 million people saw at least one of the 3 shows in whole or in part.

With 7 victories, Ireland is the most successful country at the contest. Sweden won the contest 6 times, while Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom won 5 times.

Poland made the most impressive debut in 1994, when Edyta Gorniak came second with To Nie Ja, closely followed by Serbia’s victory in 2007. Although Serbia & Montenegro was represented twice before, it was the first time that Serbia took part as an independent country.

Norway could be found at the bottom of the scoreboard as many as eleven times. The unfortunates came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012. Nevertheless, they also won 3 times, in 1985, 1995 and 2009.

Salomé from Spain was one of the four winners of the legendary 1969 Eurovision Song Contest..jpg

La spagnola Salomé fu una delle 4 vincitrici del leggendario Eurovision Song Contest del 1969.

Even though the Eurovision Song Contest took place 64 times, it has 67 winners. In 1969, 4 countries topped the scoreboard with an equal amount of points; the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and France. Lacking rules to resolve tie situations, the EBU had to declare all 4 contestants as the winner. Thank goodness — tie rules were introduced shortly after.

2020 marked the first time the Contest had to be cancelled in 64 years. Uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and Dutch authorities – meant the live event could not continue as planned. The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors from Europe and the world was at the heart of the decision.

Fatti. In 2015, the Eurovision Song Contest was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Longest Running Annual TV Music Competition.

ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974 and has enjoyed phenomenal success ever since, despite officially splitting up in 1983.

The most covered Eurovision Song Contest song is Domenico Mudugno‘s Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, also known as Volare. The song has been covered by famous stars such as Dean Martin, Cliff Richard, David Bowie and many more.

Domenico Mudugno performing Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, also known as Volare, in 1958..jpg

Domenico Mudugno esegue “Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu”, noto anche come “Volare”, nel 1958.

Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest 3 times. In 1980 and 1987 he represented Ireland as performer and won both times, with Hold Me Now and What’s Another Year, in 1992 he wrote Linda Martin’s winning entry Why Me?

In 2014, Valentina Monetta took part for San Marino for the third time in a row and… qualified for the Grand Final! She participated in the 2017 contest for the fourth time!

in 2011, Lena, the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, decided to defend her title on home ground – something only 2 people have done in the history of the contest.

Until 1998, each act was supported by a live orchestra and every country brought its own conductor. Noel Kelehan conducted the orchestra of 5 winners, in 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996. Dutch conductor Dolf van der Linde conducting for a record 7 countries; Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. 

The orchestra at the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest..jpg

L’orchestra all’Eurovision Song Contest del 1968.

Only 3 women conducted the orchestra at the Eurovision Song Contest. Nurit Hirsch conducted the Israeli entries of 1973 and 1978, Monica Dominique conducted the Swedish 1973 entry and Anita Kerr appeared in front of the orchestra for Switzerland in 1985.

German songwriter and composer Ralph Siegel is a true Eurovision addict. He took part a whopping 21 times. He did so most recently in 2014, granting San Marino their first qualification to the Grand Final. His 22nd participation was in 2017, having written the song for San Marino. He won once, in 1982, with the famous Ein Bißchen Frieden.

Scavando negli archivi dell’Eurovision Song Contest: Part One, Part Two.