(en) The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), often known simply as Eurovision or by its initialism ESC, is an international song competition organised annually by the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed live and transmitted to national broadcasters via the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, with competing countries then casting votes for the other countries’ songs to determine a winner.
Based on the Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951, Eurovision has been held annually since 1956 (apart from 2020), 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 and invited associate members are eligible to compete; as of 2023, 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 1–8, 10 and 12 points to their ten 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, Justin Timberlake, Mika, Rita Ora and the first performance of Riverdance. Originally consisting of a single evening event, the contest has expanded as new countries joined (including countries outside of Europe, such as Australia), leading to the introduction of relegation procedures in the 1990s, before the creation of semi-finals in the 2000s. As of 2023, Germany has competed more times than any other country, having participated in all but one edition, while Ireland and Sweden both hold the record for the most victories, with seven wins each 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, along with journalists who cover all aspects of the contest, including rehearsals in venue, press conferences with the competing acts, in addition to other related events and performances in the host city. Alongside the generic Eurovision logo, a unique theme and slogan is typically developed for each event. The contest has aired in countries across all continents; it has been available online via the official Eurovision website since 2001. Eurovision ranks among the world’s most watched non-sporting events every year, with hundreds of millions of viewers globally. 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, Cliff Richard and Olivia Newton-John; some of the world’s best-selling singles have received their first international performance on the Eurovision stage.
While having gained popularity with the viewing public in both participating and non-participating countries, the contest has also been the subject of criticism for its artistic quality as well as a perceived political aspect to the event. Concerns have been raised regarding political friendships and rivalries between countries potentially having an impact on the results. Controversial moments have included participating countries withdrawing at a late stage, censorship of broadcast segments by broadcasters, as well as political events impacting participation. Likewise, the contest has also been criticised for an over-abundance of elaborate stage shows at the cost of artistic merit. Eurovision has, however, gained popularity for its kitsch appeal, its musical span of ethnic and international styles, as well as emergence as part of LGBT culture, resulting in a large, active fanbase and an 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; several special events have been organised by the EBU to celebrate select anniversaries or as a replacement due to cancellation.
(en) The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson) was first held in 1956, originally conceived as an experiment in transnational television broadcasting. Following a series of exchange broadcasts in 1954, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) commissioned an international song competition, from an idea developed by Sergio Pugliese and Marcel Bezençon and originally based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival.
67 contests have been held since its first edition, and over 1,600 songs representing 52 countries have been performed on the Eurovision stage as of 2023. The contest has seen many changes since its inauguration, such as the introduction of relegation in the 1990s, and subsequently semi-finals in the 2000s, as a response to growing numbers of interested participants. The rules of the contest have also seen multiple changes over the years, with the voting system and language criteria being modified on several occasions.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been identified as the longest-running annual international televised music competition in the world, as determined by Guinness World Records, and around 40 countries now regularly take part each year. Several other competitions have been inspired by Eurovision in the years since its formation, and the EBU has also created a number of complimentary contests which focus on other aspects of music and culture. The 2020 edition of the contest was the first to be cancelled, as no competitive event was able to take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Origins and history – The Eurovision Song Contest was developed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as an experiment in live television broadcasting and a way to produce cheaper programming for national broadcasting organisations. The word “Eurovision” was first used by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951, when he referred to a BBC programme being relayed by Dutch television. Following several events broadcast internationally via the Eurovision transmission network in the early 1950s, including the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, an EBU committee, headed by Marcel Bezençon, was formed in January 1955 to investigate new initiatives for cooperation between broadcasters, which approved for further study a European song competition from an idea initially proposed by RAI manager Sergio Pugliese. The EBU’s general assembly agreed to the organising of the song contest in October 1955, under the initial title of the European Grand Prix, and accepted a proposal by the Swiss delegation to host the event in Lugano in the spring of 1956. The Italian Sanremo Music Festival, held since 1951, was used as a basis for the initial planning of the contest, with several amendments and additions given its international nature.
Seven countries participated in the first contest, with each country represented by two songs; the only time in which multiple entries per country were permitted. The winning song was “Refrain”, representing the host country Switzerland and performed by Lys Assia. Voting during the first contest was held behind closed doors, with only the winner being announced on stage; the use of a scoreboard and public announcement of the voting, inspired by the BBC’s Festival of British Popular Songs, has been used since 1957. The tradition of the winning country hosting the following year’s contest, which has since become a standard feature of the event, began in 1958. Technological developments have transformed the contest: colour broadcasts began in 1968; satellite broadcasts in 1985; and streaming in 2000. Broadcasts in widescreen began in 2005 and in high-definition since 2007, with ultra-high-definition tested for the first time in 2022.
By the 1960s, between 16 and 18 countries were regularly competing each year. Countries from outside the traditional boundaries of Europe began entering the contest, and countries in Western Asia and North Africa started competing in the 1970s and 1980s. Changes in Europe following the end of the Cold War saw an influx of new countries from Central and Eastern Europe applying for the first time. The 1993 contest included a separate pre-qualifying round for seven of these new countries, and from 1994 relegation systems were introduced to manage the number of competing entries, with the poorest performing countries barred from entering the following year’s contest. From 2004 the contest expanded to become a multi-programme event, with a semi-final at the 49th contest allowing all interested countries to compete each year; a second semi-final was added to each edition from 2008.
There have been 67 contests as of 2023, making Eurovision the longest-running annual international televised music competition as determined by Guinness World Records. The contest has been listed as one of the longest-running television programmes in the world and among the world’s most watched non-sporting events. A total of 52 countries have taken part in at least one edition, with a record 43 countries participating in a single contest, first in 2008 and subsequently in 2011 and 2018. Australia became the first non-EBU member country to compete following an invitation by the EBU ahead of the contest’s 60th edition in 2015; initially announced as a “one-off” for the anniversary edition, the country was invited back the following year and has subsequently secured participation rights until 2023.
Eurovision had been held every year until 2020, when that year’s contest was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. No competitive event was able to take place due to uncertainty caused by the spread of the virus in Europe and the various restrictions imposed by the governments of the participating countries. In its place a special broadcast, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, was produced by the organisers, which honoured the songs and artists that would have competed in 2020 in a non-competitive format.
Origins. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed in 1950, when British broadcaster BBC hosted a conference with 23 organisations at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, England, with the aim of establishing cooperation on creative endeavours and setting a foundation for the exchange of television programmes across borders. “Eurovision” as a term in telecommunications was first used by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951, when he referred to a BBC programme being relayed by Dutch television; the EBU’s Eurovision transmission network was subsequently founded in 1954, at the time formed of a series of microwave links across Europe.
In the years following the formation of the EBU a number of big events were transmitted via their infrastructure, including the coronation of Elizabeth II, which was broadcast in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, in addition to the United Kingdom. In September 1953, an EBU meeting in London resulted in a series of international exchange programmes organised the following year, entitled the “European Television Season”, and relayed live across Europe through the Eurovision network. The first of these programmes was shown on 6 June 1954, showing coverage of the Narcissus Festival held in Montreux, France, followed by a tour of Vatican City. Further events were broadcast over the following days, including the Palio di Siena, an athletics meet in Glasgow, a parade by the Royal Navy passing Queen Elizabeth II, and live transmission of football matches from the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, the first time the FIFA World Cup was accompanied by live television coverage.
Following this summer season of programmes, the EBU formed a “Programme Committee” to investigate new initiatives for cooperation between broadcasters each year, with Marcel Bezençon, Director-General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR), serving as the committee’s first President, and Rene McCall, deputy director of the BBC, and Jean d’Arcy, Director of the French broadcaster Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF), serving as Vice Presidents. This committee met in Monte Carlo in January 1955, and approved two new projects for further study: a European song competition, initially proposed by Sergio Pugliese from the Italian broadcaster RAI, and a contest of amateur entertainers; the latter idea was eventually discarded. On 19 October 1955, at the annual General Assembly of the EBU, held in the Palazzo Corsini in Rome under the Presidency of the Director-General of the BBC Sir Ian Jacob, the EBU agreed to the organising of the song contest, under the initial title of the European Grand Prix, and accepted a proposal by the Swiss delegation to host the event in Lugano in the spring of 1956. A planning sub-group was formed to establish the rules of the competition, headed by Eduard Hass of SRG SSR, which used the Italian Sanremo Music Festival as a basis for their work, with several amendments and additions made to better reflect this new international version.
1950s. The Eurovision Song Contest 1956 was the first edition of the contest, organised by Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana (RTSI) and held on 24 May 1956 at the Teatro Kursaal in Lugano, Switzerland. The regulations for this first contest allowed one participating broadcast organisation from each country to submit two songs of between 3 and 3½ minutes in length, the only edition to permit more than one song per country. Each country was strongly encouraged to hold a national contest to select their competing entries, with only solo artists permitted to perform. Seven countries entered the inaugural contest, with entries received from Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Voting in this first contest was held behind closed doors: two jury members from each country situated at the venue ranked the competing songs, including those of their own country. Switzerland’s Lys Assia was crowned the contest’s first winner, with the song “Refrain”. Only the overall winner of the contest was announced at its conclusion, and the full results have never been made public. No known video footage of the event is known to survive beyond newsreel of the winning reprise; audio of most of the contest however does exist.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1957 was the second edition of the contest, organised by Hessischer Rundfunk (HR) on behalf of ARD and held on 3 March 1957 at the Großer Sendesaal des hessischen Rundfunks in Frankfurt, West Germany. Early rules established that a different broadcaster would take on the task of organising the contest each year, and Germany was selected to host the 1957 event. Ten countries entered this second contest, with the seven original broadcasters joined by Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom, with each country submitting one song for consideration. Taking inspiration from the Festival of British Popular Songs, organised by the BBC in August 1956 which included a scoreboard and voting by regional juries, the contest organisers decided to incorporate these ideas into the pan-European contest, allowing viewers at home to follow the voting procedure. A new voting system was introduced in tandem, with a jury of ten members in each country casting a single vote for their favourite song; jury members from one country could not vote for the song of their own country, a rule which still applies to the present day. The Netherlands was voted the winner, represented by Corry Brokken with the song “Net als toen”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1958 was the third edition of the contest, organised by Nederlandse Televisie Stichting (NTS) and held on 12 March 1958 at the AVRO Studios in Hilversum, Netherlands. This marked the first time that the winning country of the previous edition was given the honour of hosting, setting a precedent that continues to be observed. The United Kingdom decided not to compete in this edition, however Sweden made its debut, keeping the total number of competing countries at ten. A new rule limiting the duration of each competing entry to 3 minutes was introduced, prompted by the previous year’s contest when the Italian entry lasted for over 5 minutes. France gained its first win in the contest, represented by André Claveau and “Dors, mon amour”. Despite only placing third, Italy’s “Nel blu, dipinto di blu”, popularly knows as “Volare” and performed by Domenico Modugno, would go on to greater commercial success than the winning song, hitting number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and being recorded by various artists over the years, with combined sales of over 22 million copies worldwide.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1959 was the fourth edition of the contest, organised by Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF) and held on 11 March 1959 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. 11 countries competed in this edition, which saw the United Kingdom returning to the contest along with new entrants Monaco, while Luxembourg decided to withdraw. The Netherlands’s Teddy Scholten was crowned the winner with the song “Een beetje”, becoming the first country to win the contest twice. This contest also marked the only time that the top three entries were given a reprise performance, with the United Kingdom’s Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson and France’s Jean Philippe also performing for a second time at the broadcast’s conclusion.
1960s. The Eurovision Song Contest 1960 was the fifth edition of the contest, organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and held on 25 March 1960 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, United Kingdom. Dutch broadcaster NTS declined the opportunity to stage the event for the second time in three years, leading the EBU to approach the BBC to host the event as the previous year’s runner-up. The number of competing countries grew to 13, as Luxembourg returned and Norway sent its first entry. France recorded their second contest win, with Jacqueline Boyer taking the title with “Tom Pillibi”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1961 was the sixth edition of the contest, organised by RTF and held on 18 March 1961 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. France became the first country to host two contests, with the Palais des Festivals having also hosted the 1959 event. This was also the first contest to be held on a Saturday night, which has now become the standard time-slot for the contest’s final. A record 16 countries competed in this year’s event, with debut entries from Finland, Spain and Yugoslavia. Luxembourg became the fourth country to win the Eurovision title, with French singer Jean-Claude Pascal giving the Grand Duchy their first win with “Nous les amoureux”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1962 was the seventh edition of the contest, organised by Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion (CLT) and held on 18 March 1962 at the Grand Auditorium de RTL, Villa Louvigny in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. For the first time there was no change in the countries competing, with the same line-up seen as in 1961. A new voting system was implemented at this contest, with each country now giving 3, 2 and 1 points to the top three songs as determined by the combined votes of the assembled jury. France’s Isabelle Aubret was crowned the winner with “Un premier amour”, giving France its third victory in five years.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1963 was the eighth edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 23 March 1963 at the BBC Television Centre in London, United Kingdom. France’s RTF had declined the offer to stage the contest once again, and the BBC stepped in to host the contest for the second time. A modification of the voting system used in 1962 was adopted, with countries now giving 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points for their favourite songs. In a close fought contest for first place between Denmark and Switzerland, Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann emerged victorious with “Dansevise” for Denmark, giving the Scandinavian country their first victory on the final vote.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1964 was the ninth edition of the contest, organised by Danmarks Radio (DR) and held on 21 March 1964 at the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sweden were forced to withdraw due to industrial action by the Swedish Musicians’ Union, however as Portugal made its debut appearance the total number of competing countries remained at 16. Another modification of the voting system now saw each country giving 5, 3 and 1 points to the top 3 songs based on the total of all votes cast by jury members, with each jury member having three votes to distribute among the songs; if all members voted for only two songs, these would get 6 and 3 points, and if all members voted for the same song it would get 9 points. This event marked the first time that the contest was interrupted by a protester, when a man demonstrating against the right-wing dictatorships of Spain and Portugal and the inclusion of these countries in the contest entered the stage holding a banner stating “Boycott Franco and Salazar”, before being quickly removed as cameras cut to a shot of the scoreboard. No footage of this protest remains however as, like the 1956 contest, no video footage of the contest is known to exist, but footage of the opening sequence and the winning reprise, as well as audio recordings are known to survive. Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti scored a landslide victory with the song “Non ho l’età”, gaining almost three times as many points as the United Kingdom in second place and giving Italy its first Eurovision win.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1965 was the tenth edition of the contest, organised by Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI) and held on 20 March 1965 at the Sala di Concerto della RAI in Naples, Italy. A record 18 countries competed in this anniversary event, with Sweden making its return and Ireland making its debut. With the contest being picked up by the Eastern Europe Intervision network and broadcast in countries such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany for the first time, the 1965 contest was the biggest yet with an estimated global audience of 150 million viewers. Sweden’s entry caused some controversy when their entry was performed in English, rather than in their national language Swedish; as there was no rule in place to dictate in what language a country could perform this was allowed despite protest from other competing countries. Luxembourg won for the second time, with French chanteuse France Gall performing “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”. It was the first time that a pop song had won the contest, which would become an international hit for Gall, and would have an influence on the type of songs entered into the contest in years to come.
Ahead of the 1966 contest, the EBU invited broadcasters to submit proposals on ideas they believed should be introduced in future editions. This was prompted by concerns from CLT on their ability to stage the next event. Some ideas in common among several broadcasters included: the introduction of semi-finals to reduce the number of competing acts, with some also suggesting that competing countries should be split on a geographic or linguistic basis; music experts having a 50% stake in the result to enable more of an emphasis being placed on musical quality; and a tightening of the rules on language and submission cut-off, with the creation of an executive supervisor role in order to oversee the contest and raise production standards. Further proposals on changes to the contest included holding the event over multiple locations, with performances and hosting duties split across two or three different competing countries; this proposal was rejected following concerns raised that musical quality and consistency would suffer in a contest held across multiple locations and with multiple orchestras, and that the risk of technical failure would also increase by using multiple venues. The EBU went on to adopt a number of the suggestions raised, with the following contest featuring music experts in the national juries, and the implementation of a language rule stipulating that songs must be performed in one of the national languages of the participating country. Other changes, such as semi-finals and splitting countries by set criteria, would subsequently be revisited in decades to come.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1966 was the eleventh edition of the contest, organised by CLT and held on 5 March 1966 at the Grand Auditorium de RTL, Villa Louvigny in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. This marked Luxembourg’s second contest as host broadcaster, using the same venue as that in 1961. This contest saw the first performance by a black artist at Eurovision, when Milly Scott represented the Netherlands. Udo Jürgens secured Austria’s first win with “Merci, Chérie”; this was Jürgens’ third attempt at victory, having previously finished 6th in 1964 and 4th in 1965.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1967 was the twelfth edition of the contest, organised by Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) and held on 8 April 1967 at the Großer Festsaal der Wiener Hofburg in Vienna, Austria. Denmark withdraw from this contest, reducing the number of competing countries to 17. The scoring system last used in 1961, with ten members casting a single vote for their favourite, was reintroduced, with at least half of the jury members in each country required to be less than 30 years old. A number of other innovations introduced for the first time at this contest, such as shots of the green room during the voting process and each country’s broadcaster appointing an official representative, have since become integral parts of the present-day contest. The United Kingdom’s Sandie Shaw won the contest with “Puppet on a String” in a landslide victory, with the UK gaining more than twice as many votes as the runner-up Ireland to gain its first Eurovision title.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the thirteenth edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 6 April 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, United Kingdom. This was the first edition of the contest to be produced in colour. A tight voting sequence saw Spain and the United Kingdom vie for first place by the end, with the votes of the final juries being decisive in favour of Spain’s Massiel by just one vote. Joan Manuel Serrat had originally been announced as the Spanish representative, but when he wanted to sing in Catalan, Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco demanded that he perform “La La La” in Castillian, resulting in his replacement by Massiel. A Spanish documentary in 2008 claimed that, in an attempt to avoid civil unrest seen in other parts of Europe and to boost Spain’s standing globally, Franco had ordered agents to attempt to manipulate the votes of the other countries’ juries to secure a Spanish win at the contest. The documentary goes on to suggest that the United Kingdom’s Cliff Richard, who had been tipped for victory before the contest with “Congratulations”, should have been the winner. However the effectiveness of any potential bribery has been disputed, and others, including Massiel, have accused the documentary creators and broadcaster of manufacturing the scandal.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1969 was the fourteenth edition of the contest, organised by Televisión Española (TVE) and held on 29 March 1969 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain. 16 countries entered this year’s contest, with Austria refusing to take part due to the Spanish dictatorship. A tight voting sequence saw France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in contention for first place, when with the votes of the final jury, all four countries finished on an equal number of points. With no rules in place to break a tie for first place all four countries were declared victors, the only time that more than one country has won in a single year. As four medals had fortunately been struck for the prize-giving, Spain’s Salomé, the UK’s Lulu, the Netherlands’ Lenny Kuhr and France’s Frida Boccara were all able to receive their prize ahead of a reprise of all four winning songs: “Vivo cantando”, “Boom Bang-a-Bang”, “De troubadour”, and “Un jour, un enfant” respectively. The result meant that France gained a new record fourth win in the contest, with the Netherlands recording its third win, and both Spain and the United Kingdom earning their second wins; Spain also became the first country to achieve two wins in a row.
1970s. The Eurovision Song Contest 1970 was the fifteenth edition of the contest, organised by Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and held on 21 March 1970 at the RAI Congrescentrum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A draw was held to determine the host country of this contest following the four-way tie for first place in 1969, which chose the Netherlands as hosts over France, as Spain and the United Kingdom declined to take part in the draw due to having hosted recent contests. Widespread dissatisfaction with the result of the 1969 contest led to the withdrawals of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal, with Austria and Denmark also declining to participate in response, leaving only 12 countries to compete in Amsterdam, the lowest number of participants since 1959. A tie-break rule was introduced for the first time to ensure there would be no further joint winners: in the result of a tie for first place the artists of the countries involved would perform again, and the juries in all other remaining countries would determine the winner by a show of hands; if that too resulted in a tie then the countries would share the title. A number of innovations which have since become regular features of the contest were first implemented in this year, originally as a way to extend the broadcast due to the low number of participating entries. These include an extended opening film sequence highlighting the host country, and short film clip “postcards” highlighting the participants or host country which were placed between the competing songs. Ireland, which would go on to win more times than any other country, recorded its first win here, with Dana taking the contest with “All Kinds of Everything”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1971 was the sixteenth edition of the contest, organised by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and held on 3 April 1971 at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. A number of changes to the contest saw groups allowed for the first time, with a maximum of six performers on stage; previously only one or two principal vocalists had been permitted with support from a maximum of three supporting artists. A new voting system was also introduced for this contest, implemented to ensure that there would be a clear-cut winner and to avoid countries receiving nul points: two jurors from each country, one below the age of 25 and the other above, ranked all songs except that of their own country on a scale of one to five. All countries were now obligated to provide a music video of their entry and to broadcast all entries ahead of the contest via a preview show. With these changes, the countries which had sat out in 1970 felt able to return, and 18 participants in total were present, the biggest contest since 1966, with Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Portugal returning and Malta making its debut. Monaco recorded their first and only win, with French singer Séverine victorious for the principality with “Un banc, un arbre, une rue”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1972 was the seventeenth edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 25 March 1972 at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Monaco’s Télé Monte-Carlo (TMC) had initially expressed interest in hosting, however no suitable venue in Monaco was available in time for the contest. After Spain’s TVE and Germany’s ARD, having come second and third the previous year, and France’s ORTF had turned down the opportunity to host, the BBC offered once again to step in, taking the contest outside of London and England for the first time, to the Scottish capital. The same 18 countries from 1971 were again present, and the same voting system was implemented. The contest was broadcast in 28 countries, and for the first time was available live in Asia, with viewers able to watch the show in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand. Luxembourg earned their third contest win, represented by the Greek singer Vicky Leandros with “Après toi”; it was Leandros’ second attempt at Eurovision, having previously come 4th for Luxembourg in 1967.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1973 was the eighteenth edition of the contest, organised by CLT and held on 7 April 1973 at the Nouveau Théâtre in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Israel made its first appearance, becoming the first non-European nation to enter the contest, while Austria and Malta both withdrew, bringing the total participating nations to 17. Coming less than a year after the Munich massacre, security was unusually tight in light of Israel’s debut, with the venue sealed off by the authorities and the Israeli delegation being isolated in their hotel and surrounded by armed guards when not required at the venue; the audience had also been warned not to stand during the show at the risk of being shot. This year marked the first abolition of the language rule, allowing participants the freedom to choose the language in which they wished to perform: several countries capitalised on this, with Finland and Sweden performing in English, while Norway performed in both English and French. Pre-recorded backing tracks were also permitted for the first time, however all vocals were still required to be performed live and any instruments featured on the track had to be seen on stage. Luxembourg won the contest for the second year in a row, with the French singer Anne-Marie David giving Luxembourg its fourth win with “Tu te reconnaîtras”; Luxembourg thus became the first country to win two outright back-to-back victories, Spain having won in both 1968 and 1969 but sharing the latter title.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the nineteenth edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 6 April 1974 at The Dome in Brighton, United Kingdom. Luxembourg’s CLT turned down the offer to host the contest for a second year in a row, and Spain’s RTVE as runner-up in 1973 had also rejected hosting duties; an offer by Israel’s IBA was turned down due to their limited technical capabilities, and in the end the BBC threw its hat into the ring once again to take on the contest for the fifth time. 17 countries competed in total, with Greece making its debut appearance; France withdrew a number of days before the event following the death of the President of France Georges Pompidou, in a mark of respect as his funeral was arranged for the day of the contest. The voting system was modified once again to bring back the system last used in 1970, with 10 jury members casting a single vote for their favourite song. Sweden’s ABBA were declared the winners of the contest with “Waterloo”, giving Sweden its first Eurovision title. ABBA’s win in the contest would propel them to worldwide fame, with an estimated 380 million records sold across their career, with “Waterloo” alone selling five million copies and becoming one of the contest’s most successful winning songs.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1975 was the twentieth edition of the contest, organised by Sveriges Radio (SR) and held on 22 March 1975 at the Stockholmsmässan in Stockholm, Sweden. A then-record 19 countries took part in this edition, which saw Greece withdrawing, France and Malta returning, and Turkey making its debut entry. SR had initially been hesitant in staging the contest due to the expense that came with it, and had wanted all competing countries to share the costs, however these cost sharing plans were not implemented in time for the ’75 event. The Stockholm event also saw demonstrations by left-wing activists who opposed the high costs of hosting the event. A new voting system was introduced at this contest, which has been the basis for the rewarding of points at all future contests: each country’s jury awarded 12 points to their top placed song, 10 points to their second placed, and then 8 to 1 points for those ranked third to tenth. The Netherlands was the first country to win the contest under this new system, with Teach-In achieving a fourth Dutch Eurovision win with “Ding-a-dong”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1976 was the twenty-first edition of the contest, organised by NOS and held on 3 April 1976 at the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague, Netherlands. The previous year’s host Sweden, in response to the protests during the 1975 event and fearful of the costs involved in staging the event should they win again, decided to withdraw, joining Malta and Turkey, however with Austria and Greece returning a total of 18 countries took to the stage for the Netherlands’ third contest as hosts. Partly in response to the concerns raised by the Swedish broadcaster, all competing countries were now required to contribute to the costs of running Eurovision, with the value of the contribution fee dependent on the country’s viewership and population. The United Kingdom earned its third Eurovision victory, courtesy of Brotherhood of Man and “Save Your Kisses for Me”, which would go on to sell over six million records worldwide, more than any other winning song in the history of the contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1977 was the twenty-second edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 7 May 1977 at the Wembley Conference Centre in London, United Kingdom.] Originally scheduled to take place on 2 April, a strike by BBC cameramen and technicians forced a five-week delay. The language rule was re-introduced at this contest, meaning that songs could only be performed in one of the national languages of the country it represented. 18 countries took part in the London contest, with Sweden returning and Yugoslavia withdrawing; an attempt was also made by Tunisia to take part in the contest for the first time, however this eventually did not materialise, despite being drawn to perform fourth on stage. France set a new record in recording its fifth Eurovision win, with Marie Myriam taking the contest with “L’Oiseau et l’Enfant”, in what would become France’s last victory to date.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1978 was the twenty-third edition of the contest, organised by TF1 and held on 22 April 1978 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France. A new record of 20 countries competed in France’s third showing as host, with Denmark and Turkey returning, the former making its first appearance since 1966. Israel won the contest for the first time, represented by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta with the song “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”. Israel’s win proved problematic for a number of non-competing broadcasters who were airing the event, particularly those in the Arab world with limited recognition of Israel, and many broadcasters ended the transmission of the event early when it became clear that Israel would win.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1979 was the twenty-fourth edition of the contest, organised by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and held on 31 March 1979 at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem. 19 countries took part, with Turkey, who had initially intended to participate and had already selected their act, withdrawing at a late stage following pressure from Arab nations who objected to a predominantly Muslim nation taking part in Israel. A tight result saw Israel and Spain vie for first place, with Spain leading by only one point going into the final vote, which was Spain’s own; by giving the hosts 10 points they awarded Israel its second victory in a row, handing the victory to Milk and Honey and the song “Hallelujah”.
1980s. The Eurovision Song Contest 1980 was the twenty-fifth edition of the contest, organised by Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and held on 19 April 1980 at the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague, Netherlands. Israel, having won the previous year, had initially agreed to host the contest, however due to the cost of hosting the event for a second year in a row, IBA eventually declined to host the event. After a number of other broadcasters, including the BBC, appeared reluctant to stage the event, NOS stepped in on the understanding that they could host a scaled-back production, using the same venue as in 1976. The 19 April date proved problematic for Israel as it conflicted with Yom HaZikaron, and after failed attempts to move the date Israel ultimately pulled out, the first and only time that the previous year’s winning country was unable to defend its title. Monaco also withdrew from the contest, however the number of competing countries remained steady at 19, with Turkey returning and Morocco making its debut entry, becoming the first African country to compete in the contest. Johnny Logan recorded the first of his three Eurovision wins in The Hague, giving Ireland its second victory with the song “What’s Another Year”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1981 was the twenty-sixth edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 4 April 1981 at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin, Ireland. 20 countries competed in total, with Cyprus making its debut appearance, Israel and Yugoslavia returning, and Morocco and Italy withdrawing, the latter for the first time since the contest was formed. A worldwide audience of around 500 million viewers was expected, with some 30 countries taking the broadcast across Europe, Asia and North Africa. The voting came down to a close contest between Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Germany, and the UK gained its fourth victory by a 4-point margin over Germany. Bucks Fizz, specially formed for the contest, would have great success in the following years, and their Eurovision winning song “Making Your Mind Up” would go on to become a Europe-wide hit.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1982 was the twenty-seventh edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 24 April 1982 at the Harrogate Convention Centre in Harrogate, United Kingdom. 18 countries competed in total, with France and Greece withdrawing. French broadcaster TF1 in withdrawing criticised the contest’s musical quality and describing it as a “monument to drivel”, where as Greece, which would have performed second on the night, was forced to pull out a few weeks before the contest when it was discovered that its intended entry had been previously released and based on a Greek folk song. Germany dominated the voting and would win with the biggest margin yet seen under the current system (61 points), as well as gaining a new record number of 12 points, with 9 juries placing them top. Nicole became the first German act to win the contest, 26 years after their first entry, and during the winning reprise would perform her winning entry “Ein bißchen Frieden” in English, French, Dutch and the original German.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1983 was the twenty-eighth edition of the contest, organised by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) on behalf of ARD and held on 23 April 1983 at the Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle in Munich, West Germany. 20 countries were present at Germany’s second contest has hosts, with returns from Italy, Greece and France, with the latter represented by a new broadcaster, Antenne 2, following a public outcry over the previous year’s absence, however Ireland withdrew for the first time due to a financial crisis at broadcaster RTÉ. Luxembourg recorded its fifth outright win after a close vote over Israel, Sweden and Yugoslavia, with the French singer Corinne Hermès cementing the Grand Duchy as one of the contest’s most successful countries with “Si la vie est cadeau”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1984 was the twenty-ninth edition of the contest, organised by CLT and held on 5 May 1984 at the Théâtre Municipal in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. 19 countries in total took part, with Ireland returning and Israel declining to participate as the date of the contest clashed with Yom HaZikaron, with Greece also withdrawing at a late stage after broadcaster ERT decided that their potential songs were too low quality for the event. Désirée Nosbusch, chosen as the hostess for the event, became the youngest person to compère the contest, at only 19 years old. 10 years after ABBA had earned Sweden its first Eurovision win, Herreys gave the Scandinavian country its second, taking the contest with “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1985 was the thirtieth edition of the contest, organised by Sveriges Television (SVT) and held on 4 May 1985 at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden. With over 8,000 spectators present in the arena, the 1985 event was the largest yet held, and was the first contest to be broadcast live via satellite. 19 countries were again present, with Israel and Greece returning but Yugoslavia and the Netherlands withdrawing, the latter for the first time; in both cases the contest clashed with national memorial days, with the Remembrance of the Dead held in the Netherlands and in Yugoslavia the anniversary of the death of President Josip Broz Tito. A close-fought contest in the voting between Norway, Germany and Sweden saw the perennial losers victorious for the first time: Norway had previously come last on six occasion, more than any other country, leading to great celebrations in the arena when Bobbysocks! were crowned the winners with “La det swinge”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1986 was the thirty-first edition of the contest, organised by Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK) and held on 3 May 1986 at the Grieghallen in Bergen, Norway. 20 countries competed in total: the Netherlands and Yugoslavia returned after a year’s absence and Iceland made its debut appearance. Italy had decided to opt-out of this year’s event, while Greece withdrew at a late stage due to the contest coinciding with Holy Saturday. In a landmark event the 500th song to grace the Eurovision stage was performed at this contest, courtesy of Luxembourg’s Sherisse Laurence and “L’amour de ma vie”. This contest also saw one of the first open representations of a member of the LGBT community, when members of the Norwegian drag group the Great Garlic Girls accompanied the home nation’s singer Ketil Stokkan. Belgium scored its first and only victory to date, with Sandra Kim becoming the contest’s youngest ever winner, at only 13 years old, with the song “J’aime la vie”; Kim had previously told producers before the contest that she was 15 years old, and when the truth was revealed the Swiss delegation, who had come second, protested and petitioned for Belgium to be disqualified to no avail.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1987 was the thirty-second edition of the contest, organised by Radio-télévision belge de la Communauté française (RTBF) and held on 9 May 1987 at the Palais de Centenaire in Brussels, Belgium. Belgium had at that point waited longer than any other country to host its first contest, 31 years after their debut entry. Since the contest’s formation two broadcasters had been responsible for choosing Belgium’s entries, with French-language RTBF and Dutch-language Belgische Radio- en Televisieomroep (BRT) alternating every other year. Initially BRT had wanted to co-produce the first Belgian contest with RTBF, the broadcaster which had won the previous year, however disagreements quickly arose between the two organisations, and so RTBF organised the contest on its own, with BRT selecting the Belgian entry. 22 countries entered the contest, a new record, with Italy and Greece making a return and joining the 20 countries from the previous year. Johnny Logan, the winner of the 1980 contest, returned for Ireland and became the first artist to record two wins in the contest with “Hold Me Now”, and in doing so giving Ireland its third contest win.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1988 was the thirty-third edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 30 April 1988 at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin, Ireland. This was Ireland’s third contest, which fell in the same year as the millennium of Dublin’s founding. The same group of countries from 1987 entered, however Cyprus was forced to withdraw at a late stage when it was discovered that their entry had previously competed in the Cypriot national selection in 1984. The RTÉ production team made a great effort to modernise the contest and attract a younger audience, with a modern stage commissioned, the largest yet seen, which featured two giant video walls, and the first ever use of a computerised scoreboard. In one of the closest contests yet seen, Switzerland emerged victorious by only a single point over the United Kingdom, with a then-unknown Céline Dion earning Switzerland its second victory with “Ne partez pas sans moi”. Although her Eurovision-winning song was not commercially successful, Dion would later become one of the world’s best-selling artists, having sold over 200 million records throughout her career.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1989 was the thirty-fourth edition of the contest, organised by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR) and held on 6 May 1989 at the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland. This marked the second Eurovision to be held in Switzerland, 33 years after the inaugural contest was held in the Alpine country. With Cyprus returning, the final contest of the 1980s equalled the record of 22 competing countries set in 1987. A modification to the tie-break rule was implemented this year: a count-back would now occur for the countries which were tied for first place, with the country with the most 12 points being declared the winner, with further comparisons against 10 points and lower also conducted if required to break the tie. Two of the competing acts created controversy in the run-up to the contest due to their young age, with France’s Nathalie Pâque and Israel’s Gili Netanel becoming the youngest ever participants in contest history at 11 and 12 years old respectively. Yugoslavia recorded their only win in the contest, when Riva took victory with “Rock Me”.
1990s. The Eurovision Song Contest 1990 was the thirty-fifth edition of the contest, organised by Jugoslovenska radio-televizija (JRT) and Radiotelevizija Zagreb (RTZ) and held on 5 May 1990 at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. In response to the Israeli and French singers in 1989, the EBU introduced a new age rule, barring anyone below the age of 16 on the day of the contest from competing; this rule means that Sandra Kim, the contest’s youngest winner at 13 years old, remains so in perpetuity. Italy’s Toto Cutugno became the first winner of the decade, giving Italy its second win with Insieme: 1992, an ode to the planned formation of the European Union in 1992.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1991 was the thirty-sixth edition of the contest, organised by RAI and held on 4 May 1991 at Studio 15 di Cinecittà in Rome, Italy. This was the second edition of the contest to be held in Italy, and was presented by the two previous Italian winners, Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno. The contest was originally planned to be held in Sanremo, the site of the Sanremo Music Festival which was the inspiration for Eurovision, however following the outbreak of the Gulf War, RAI decided to move the contest to the Italian capital to better ensure the security of the foreign delegations. The Netherlands once again withdrew as the contest fell on the Remembrance of the Dead memorial, but Malta made its first appearance in the contest since 1975, keeping the contest participants at 22; Germany also made its first appearance as a unified country following German reunification in October 1990. The closest ever final result was recorded, with Sweden and France both finishing with the same number of points; Sweden was subsequently declared the winner when, in the only ever use of the tie-break rule in contest history, a count-back revealed that Sweden had collected more 10 points than France, after both countries had collected the same number of 12 points. Carola therefore became the third Swedish act to win the contest with “Fångad av en stormvind” in her second participation in the contest, having previously come third in 1983.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1992 was the thirty-seventh edition of the contest, organised by SVT and held on 9 May 1992 at the Malmö Isstadion in Malmö, Sweden. A new record 23 countries entered the contest, with the Netherlands making its return. This contest would mark the last appearance of Yugoslavia, having already begun the process of breaking up and now representing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Ireland’s Linda Martin emerged the winner with the Johnny Logan-penned “Why Me?”, giving Ireland its fourth win and Logan his third as both performer and songwriter; it was Martin’s second contest appearance, having previously come second for Ireland in 1984. With the United Kingdom and Malta taking second and third, this was the first contest to have solely English-language songs feature in the top 3.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1993 was the thirty-eighth edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 15 May 1993 at the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet, Ireland. It remains the only Irish production of the contest to be held outside of Dublin and, as a small town of only 1,500 people, Millstreet became the smallest Eurovision host to date, although the Green Glens Arena was able to hold up to 8,000 spectators. Changes in Europe in the 1990s were first reflected at this contest, with several new countries formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and breakup of Yugoslavia wishing to compete for the first time. In order to accommodate this growing number, the first Eurovision pre-selection took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 3 April, Kvalifikacija za Millstreet; seven countries competed for three places at the contest, with the former Yugoslav states Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia emerging the winners and joining 22 countries which had taken part in Malmö, with only Yugoslavia absent, banned from competing following UN sanctions. In order to better manage the participating countries in years to come, a relegation system was introduced, which saw the bottom-placed countries missing out the following year and replaced by new and returning countries. A two-horse race soon developed in the voting between the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the final jury crucial in giving victory to the hosts: Niamh Kavanagh became the first Irish act to win on home soil with “In Your Eyes”, their second consecutive win and a record-equalling fifth win in total.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1994 was the thirty-ninth edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 30 April 1994 at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. RTÉ thus became the first broadcaster to host two consecutive contests. Seven countries joined the contest for the first time, replacing the bottom 6 countries from Millstreet, and Italy which withdrew voluntarily; Luxembourg, one of those countries relegated, has yet to re-enter the contest. Estonia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, which had failed to qualify from Kvalifikacija za Millstreet the previous year, joined new entries from Lithuania, Poland and Russia in debuting, competing alongside the top 18 countries from Millstreet. Riverdance, which would go on to become one of the world’s most successful dance productions, made its debut in this edition as the interval act; originally a seven-minute performance, it would later be expanded into a full show which would go on to be performed at over 450 venues worldwide and be seen by over 250 million people. Satellite links were used during the voting at this contest, which enabled the jury spokespersons to be seen in vision for the first time. Ireland secured its third consecutive win, a feat yet to be replicated, and earned a record-breaking sixth win courtesy of Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”; Poland secured the best-ever showing yet seen for a debut country, when Edyta Górniak placed second.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1995 was the fortieth edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 13 May 1995 at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. RTÉ had concerns about staging the contest for a third consecutive year, and the BBC submitted an offer to take on the event, as well as proposing a joint production in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland; ultimately RTÉ decided to produce the contest solo, hosting its third consecutive contest, which remains a record, with the Point Theatre becoming the first venue to host two contests in a row. The number of competing countries was reduced to 23, with the bottom seven countries from 1994 relegated and the five countries relegated at Millstreet in 1993 returning. Norway scored its second contest victory with the Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden and the song “Nocturne”; some criticism arose following its victory that, as a mainly instrumental number containing only 24 words in total, the winning song should not have been eligible for the song contest, to no avail.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1996 was the forty-first edition of the contest, organised by NRK and held on 18 May 1996 at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway. A new qualifying system was introduced at this contest, principally to appease Germany, one of the contest’s biggest financial backers, which otherwise would have been relegated, which saw all countries, except the host nation, competing in an audio-only qualifying round. 29 countries entered in total, with all competing nations and Norway voting and deciding the 22 countries which would advance in the final. Germany however would be one of the seven countries to be eliminated, along with Hungary, Denmark, Russia, Israel, Romania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in what would have been their debut entry. For the first and only time to date, the voting was conducted using virtual reality technology, with the graphics for the scoreboard superimposed over the contest’s ‘blue room’. Ireland secured its record seventh win, with Eimear Quinn providing its fourth win in five years with “The Voice”. As in previous contests the most commercially successful contest entry would be one of the losing songs, with the UK’s “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” by Gina G becoming an international hit, reaching the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100 and eventually being nominated for a Grammy Award; it also remains the last UK entry to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1997 was the forty-second edition of the contest, organised by RTÉ and held on 3 May 1997 at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. 25 countries competed in the third contest held at the Point Theatre, with a new relegation system implemented to reduce the number of competing entries: the number of points each country earned in the last four contests was used to calculate an average score for each country, and the countries with the lowest average were made to sit out for a year. Israel withdrew voluntarily due to the contest conflicting with Yom HaShoah, giving a reprieve to Bosnia and Herzegovina which would have otherwise been relegated; Italy also made a brief return after a four-year absence, in what would be their last entry for 14 years. The first use of televoting was implemented at this contest on a trial basis, with the points from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom being determined by the viewing public rather than an assembled jury. Full backing tracks were also now permitted without restriction, allowing songs to be performed without live music if desired, although live vocals were still required. The United Kingdom emerged victorious for the fifth time, 16 years after their last win, with Katrina and the Waves and “Love Shine a Light”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1998 was the forty-third edition of the contest, organised by the BBC and held on 9 May 1998 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, United Kingdom. 25 countries were featured in the eighth contest held in the UK, a new record, with Macedonia making its debut appearance. Following the successful trial in 1997 televoting took place in the majority of countries for the first time at this contest. The first result widely determined by the viewing public saw Israel, the UK and Malta vie for first place, with Israel’s Dana International declared victorious with the final result, giving Israel its third win with “Diva”. Dana International, the contest’s first trans performer, had emerged a controversial figure in Israel following her selection for the contest, with criticism being levied by conservative sections of Israeli society and death threats being received from fanatical factions.
The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was the forty-fourth edition of the contest, organised by IBA and held on 29 May 1999 at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem, Israel. 23 countries took part in Israel’s second contest as hosts, with Lithuania returning after a 5-year absence. It was the first contest not to feature an orchestra, which had become an optional requirement this year, a change which IBA had utilised in an effort to cut costs. This change, which proved controversial, meant that all entries would be accompanied by a backing track for the first time, a decision which former winner Johnny Logan claimed had turned the contest into “karaoke”. The language rule was also relaxed once again, which allowed artists the option to perform in any language, with many now choosing to sing in English. The “Big Four” group of countries was formed at this contest, a rule which saw the contest’s largest financial backers, Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, now being exempt from relegation and able to participate every year. The contest became a close race between Sweden and Iceland, with Charlotte Nilsson earning Sweden’s fourth contest win with “Take Me to Your Heaven”. Following the winning reprise the broadcast was concluded by all participating artists assembling on-stage to perform “Hallelujah”, the Israeli winning song from 1979, as a tribute to the victims of the then-ongoing war in the Balkans.
2000s. The Eurovision Song Contest 2000 was the forty-fifth edition of the contest, organised by SVT and held on 13 May 2000 at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. 24 countries competed in the contest, with Latvia making its first appearance. The first contest of the new millennium was held before the biggest crowd yet seen in its history, with over 13,000 spectators witnessing the show in the arena, and it was the first contest to be broadcast live via the internet. Denmark secured its second win, its first since 1963, represented by the Olsen Brothers with the song “Fly on the Wings of Love”. Russia, which had placed second, petitioned for the song’s disqualification for the partial use of a vocoder, which was rejected by the EBU.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2001 was the forty-sixth edition of the contest, organised by DR and held on 12 May 2001 at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. A retractable roof was specially constructed over the football stadium for the contest, and with 38,000 spectators it became the biggest live audience ever seen at Eurovision, a record which still stands. 23 countries competed in total, and the relegation system was again altered, by removing the average score comparison and bringing back the system used in 1994 and 1995 of relegating the bottom-placed countries, with the Big Four being exempt no matter their placing. Estonia were declared the winners, represented by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL with “Everybody”. With their victory Estonia became the first country from the former Eastern Bloc to win the contest, sparking an 8-year chain of victories for new countries, and Aruba-born Benton became the first black artist to win the contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2002 was the forty-seventh edition of the contest, organised by Eesti Televisioon (ETV) and held on 25 May 2002 at the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn, Estonia. 24 countries participated in the first contest to be held behind the former Iron Curtain. The Marcel Bezençon Awards, a series of additional prizes honouring some of the best songs and artists in each contest’s final as voted for by the accredited press, commentators and composers, were first awarded at this contest and have been subsequently featured at every contest since, traditionally handed out backstage shortly before the grand final. Latvia earned its first title, only two years after their first entry, represented by Marie N and “I Wanna”. Latvia had originally been relegated due to its poor performance in Copenhagen, however were given a reprieve when Portugal decided to withdraw voluntarily.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 was the forty-eighth edition of the contest, organised by Latvijas Televīzija (LTV) and held on 24 May 2003 at the Skonto Hall in Riga, Latvia. 26 countries took part in the contest, with Ukraine joining the contest for the first time. This would become the last contest to be held over a single evening, with an announcement in January 2003 that from 2004 a semi-final would be introduced: the top 10 countries from the 2003 event alongside the “Big Four” would qualify automatically for the final in 2004, with all other countries competing in the semi-final for 10 qualification places. Turkey gained its first Eurovision win, with Sertab Erener victorious in one of the closest contests ever seen, as “Everyway That I Can” triumphed with only three points separating the top three countries.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2004 was the forty-ninth edition of the contest, organised by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and held on 12 and 15 May 2004 at the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. A record 36 countries competed in the first contest held under the new format, with the relegated countries from 2003 being joined by Albania, Andorra, Belarus and Serbia and Montenegro in their debut appearances, with Monaco also making its first appearance after a 25-year absence. 22 countries entered the first Eurovision semi-final, with the top 10 joining the 14 automatic qualifiers in the final. Ukraine emerged the winner, in only their second contest appearance, represented by Ruslana and “Wild Dances”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2005 was the fiftieth edition of the contest, organised by the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTU) and held on 19 and 21 May 2005 at the Palace of Sports in Kyiv, Ukraine. 39 countries competed in total, with debut entries from Moldova and Bulgaria, and a return from Hungary for the first time since 1998. Lebanon had also planned to make a debut appearance, however they withdrew at a late stage due to issues with competing alongside Israel. Greece’s Helena Paparizou became the winner of the anniversary edition of the contest with “My Number One”, the first win for Greece after 31 years of competition.
On 22 October 2005, a special competition was held to celebrate the contest’s 50th anniversary. Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest was organised by DR and held at the Forum Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted by former Eurovision contestants Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers. 14 songs from Eurovision history, chosen by fans and the contest’s Reference Group, competed to determine the most popular song from the contest’s first 50 years. Broadcast live in 31 countries which had competed in Eurovision at that point, the combined votes of the viewing public and juries selected a winner over two rounds. The winning song, announced at the end of the show, was “Waterloo” by ABBA, the winning song from the 1974 contest for Sweden.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was the fifty-first edition of the contest, organised by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and held on 18 and 20 May 2006 at the Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece. 37 nations competed in the contest, with the first appearance of Armenia. Serbia and Montenegro had intended to compete, but controversy over the winner of their national selection resulted in their late withdrawal. A new landmark was achieved at this contest with the performance of the 1,000th song in Eurovision history, when Ireland’s Brian Kennedy performed “Every Song Is a Cry for Love” in the semi-final. 45 years after first entering the contest, Finland secured its first win, represented by Lordi and “Hard Rock Hallelujah”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2007 was the fifty-second edition of the contest, organised by Yleisradio (YLE) and held on 10 and 12 May 2007 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. A record 42 countries competed in the contest, which saw the debut entries from the Czech Republic, Georgia, Montenegro and Serbia, the latter two as independent countries for the first time. 28 countries competed in the single semi-final, the biggest number of participants ever seen in a Eurovision show. Serbia became only the second country to win on its debut appearance, represented by Marija Šerifović and “Molitva”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was the fifty-third edition of the contest, organised by Radio-televizija Srbije (RTS) and held on 20, 22 and 24 May 2008 at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. A new record 43 countries competed in the contest, with Azerbaijan and San Marino making their first appearances in the contest. A second semi-final was introduced at this contest, with all countries except the hosts and the “Big Four” now competing on one of the two semi-finals. Russia gained its first contest win, represented by Dima Bilan and the song “Believe”; it was Bilan’s second appearance in the contest, having previously come second for Russia in 2006.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was the fifty-fourth edition of the contest, organised by Channel One (C1R) and held on 12, 14 and 16 May 2009 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia. 42 countries competed, including Slovakia in its first appearance in 11 years. Georgia’s entry was embroiled in controversy, when it was accused of being critical of Russian leader Vladimir Putin following the recent Russo-Georgian War; after requests made by the EBU to change the lyrics were rejected, Georgia subsequently withdrew. Juries returned to the contest this year, with the points awarded in the final decided by an equal mix of jury and televoting; the qualifiers from the semi-finals however remained predominantly decided by televoting in this contest. Norway secured its third contest win, as Alexander Rybak earned a runaway victory with “Fairytale”; with 387 points, Rybak earned the highest points total yet seen in the contest, which remains the highest total under this system.
2010s. The Eurovision Song Contest 2010 was the fifty-fifth edition of the contest, organised by NRK and held on 25, 27 and 29 May 2010 at the Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway. 39 countries participated in total, with Georgia returning after a year’s absence. Several countries withdrew for this year due to the effects of the 2007–2008 financial crisis, including Andorra which has yet to make a reappearance, with the crisis also impacting the production of the contest. The mix of jury and televoting seen in the 2009 final was extended into the semi-finals this year, each with an equal stake in determining the 10 qualifiers in each semi-final. Germany gained its second contest win, becoming the first “Big Four” country to win since its formation in 1999, with Lena the first German winner in 28 years with “Satellite”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 was the fifty-sixth edition of the contest, organised by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) on behalf of ARD and held on 10, 12 and 14 May 2011 at the Düsseldorf Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. 43 countries competed in the third contest held on German soil, equalling the record set in 2008; among the returning countries was Italy, making its first appearance since 1997, which automatically qualified for the final as a member of the newly expanded “Big Five”. Azerbaijan earned its first title, represented by Ell & Nikki and the song “Running Scared”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the fifty-seventh edition of the contest, organised by İctimai Television (İTV) and held on 22, 24 and 26 May 2012 at the Baku Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. 42 countries competed in the contest; Armenia had originally applied to compete, but withdrew at a late stage due to security concerns related to the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The contest was also marked by concerns over Azerbaijan’s human rights record, as well as tensions with neighbouring Iran over the “anti-Islamic” nature of the contest. Sweden secured its fifth Eurovision title, represented by Loreen and “Euphoria”, which would go on to become a great commercial success following the contest, selling over two million copies worldwide.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2013 was the fifty-eighth edition of the contest, organised by SVT and held on 14, 16 and 18 May 2013 at the Malmö Arena in Malmö, Sweden. 39 countries competed in total, with Armenia returning after a year’s absence; among the withdrawing countries were Slovakia and Turkey, which have yet to make subsequent appearances in the contest, with the Turkish broadcaster TRT citing amendments to the contest rules in recent years, as well as espousing criticism of the LGBT nature of some performances, as reasons for their continued non-participation. Denmark won the contest for the third time, represented by Emmelie de Forest and “Only Teardrops”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2014 was the fifty-ninth edition of the contest, organised by DR and held on 6, 8 and 10 May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Artists representing 37 countries competed in Denmark’s third contest as host, with Austria emerging as the victor to gain their second victory, their first in 48 years, with Conchita Wurst and “Rise Like a Phoenix”. The bearded drag queen’s victory proved controversial among some, particularly in Russia where several conservative voices voiced criticism for her win. Developments in Russia, particularly the introduction of a gay propaganda law and developments in Crimea, were also present in the contest when audible booing could be heard during the Russian entry and voting.
In celebration of the contest’s sixtieth anniversary, the EBU organised a special concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, United Kingdom on 31 March 2015. Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits featured live performances from fifteen previous Eurovision acts from thirteen countries, video montages of past editions of the contest and footage of former entries, and a performance by the cast of Riverdance, originally conceived as the interval performance for the 1994 contest before being developed into a full production. A BBC production, the concert was recorded live and aired as a delayed broadcast on various dates that suited the individual participating broadcasters: the BBC and Ireland’s RTÉ were the first to broadcast the event, in a simulcast on 3 April 2015.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 was the sixtieth edition of the contest, organised by ORF and held on 19, 21 and 23 May 2015 at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria. 39 countries were initially announced as appearing at the contest, the first held in Austria since 1967; Australia was later added as the 40th country, making its first appearance in what was billed as a one-off to celebrate the contest’s 60th anniversary. Australia would advance directly to the final, meaning 27 countries would compete in the largest final ever seen in the contest. Sweden earned its sixth contest victory, represented by Måns Zelmerlöw and “Heroes”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 was the sixty-first edition of the contest, organised by SVT and held on 10, 12 and 14 May 2016 at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. 43 countries were initially announced as being represented at the contest, with Australia being invited to compete for a second time; Romania was subsequently barred from competing due to outstanding debts owed by the Romanian broadcaster TVR, leaving 42 countries to compete in Sweden’s sixth outing as hosts. The voting system was transformed for the first time in over 30 years at this contest: each country would now award two sets of points, representing the votes of each country’s jury and public separately. Ukraine recorded its second win in the contest, courtesy of Jamala with “1944”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 was the sixty-second edition of the contest, organised by the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) and held on 9, 11 and 13 May 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine. 43 countries applied to take part in the contest, however only 42 would subsequently take part in Ukraine’s second contest: Russia were unable to compete after Ukrainian authorities banned their selected performer Yuliya Samoylova from entering Ukraine due to illegally entering Crimea in 2015, with proposals for Samoylova to compete via satellite from Russia being rejected by the Russian broadcaster. Portugal earned its first Eurovision title, 53 years after first entering the contest, with Salvador Sobral earning the biggest points total ever seen in Eurovision history as “Amar pelos dois” gained 758 points.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 was the sixty-third edition of the contest, organised by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) and held on 8, 10 and 12 May 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. 43 countries competed in this contest, matching the previous record, with Russia returning after its absence the previous year. This contest saw the performance of Eurovision’s 1,500th song, when former winner Alexander Rybak performed “That’s How You Write a Song” in the second semi-final for Norway. Israel gained its fourth Eurovision title, represented by Netta with “Toy”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was the sixty-fourth edition of the contest, organised by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC/Kan) and held on 14, 16 and 18 May 2019 at the Expo Tel Aviv in Tel Aviv, Israel. The third Israeli contest was marked by controversy on multiple fronts, with Orthodox religious leaders and politicians in Israel calling on the contest to not interfere with Shabbat, while other groups, including BDS, called for a boycott of the event in response to the country’s policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and in opposition to what some consider as “pinkwashing” by the Israeli government. 42 countries were initially announced as competing in this contest, with Australia having secured participation rights up to 2023. However, only 41 countries entered the contest when Ukraine subsequently withdrew: conflicts between the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC and the winner of its national selection Maruv led to the latter refusing to compete, resulting in its withdrawal after other acts from the selection also declined to partake. The Netherlands recorded its fifth Eurovision win and first in 44 years, courtesy of Duncan Laurence with “Arcade”, which would later become a sleeper hit in 2021, becoming the most-streamed Eurovision song on Spotify and the first since “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, eventually reaching the top 30 of the chart.
2020s. The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was scheduled to be held on 12, 14 and 16 May 2020 at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands and organised by Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO), Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and AVROTROS. 41 countries applied to enter what would have been the Netherlands’ fifth contest as hosts, but in March 2020, for the first time in its history, the contest was cancelled due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions put in place by governments across Europe, which included lockdowns and travel restrictions. In its place, a special broadcast from Media Park in Hilversum, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, was held on what would have been the day of the final, in a celebration and showcase of the artists and songs that would have competed in the 2020 contest in a non-competitive format, as well as featuring performances by former Eurovision artists.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 was the sixty-fifth edition of the contest, held on 18, 20 and 22 May 2021 at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands and organised by NPO, NOS and AVROTROS. Rotterdam was revealed as the host city of the 2021 contest during Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light. Many of the artists which had initially been selected to compete in 2020 were confirmed for their countries once again, however any song entered into the 2020 contest was ineligible for 2021 per the rules of the contest. Pre-recorded backing vocals were permitted for the first time in 2021 on a trial basis, announced as an effort to modernise and increase the sustainability of the contest. The same 41 countries which had originally planned to enter the 2020 contest were initially announced as competing again in this contest, however, a late withdrawal of Armenia and subsequent disqualification of the entry from Belarus brought the number of competing countries down to 39. Multiple contingency scenarios were devised in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from a normal, albeit less-crowded contest (which was the chosen option) to a fully-remote contest with participants performing via ‘live-on-tape’ recordings. Australia and Iceland were ultimately unable to perform at the contest live: the Australian delegation opted to use their ‘live-on-tape’ performance given logistical difficulties in travelling abroad as part of the country’s pandemic response; while Iceland competed using rehearsal footage following a COVID-19 outbreak among its delegation. Italy recorded its third Eurovision win, becoming the second “Big Five” country to win since its formation, as Måneskin ended a 31-year wait for victory with “Zitti e buoni”. Second-placed France and third-placed Switzerland also achieved their best results since 1991 and 1993 respectively. Måneskin’s win in the contest marked the band’s international breakthrough, with their releases entering numerous European and global weekly charts in the months following their victory.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 was the sixty-sixth edition of the contest, held on 10, 12 and 14 May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy and organised by RAI. 41 countries applied to take part in the contest, with Armenia and Montenegro submitting their first entries since 2019. Russia, which had initially appeared on the list, was subsequently barred from competing following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, resulting in 40 countries competing in Italy’s third outing as hosts. Ukraine recorded its third win in the contest, represented by Kalush Orchestra with “Stefania”, while the United Kingdom, which placed second, and Spain, which placed third, also achieved their best results since 1998 and 1995 respectively.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 was the sixty-seventh edition of the contest, held on 9, 11 and 13 May 2023 at the Liverpool Arena in Liverpool, United Kingdom and organised by the BBC. Ukraine’s UA:PBC was initially given the opportunity to host following its victory the previous year, but due to security concerns caused by the Russian invasion of the country, the BBC was chosen, as the runner-up, to host the contest on its behalf. 37 countries applied to take part in the ninth contest held in the UK, with several countries withdrawing for this year due to the effects of the 2021–2023 global energy crisis. Substantial changes to the voting system were made for this contest, with full televoting returning to determine the qualifiers from the semi-finals, and viewers from non-participating countries being allowed to vote in all shows, with their votes being aggregated and awarded as one set of points from an “extra country” for the overall public vote. Loreen, the winner of the 2012 contest, returned for Sweden and became the second artist to record two wins in the contest with “Tattoo”, and in doing so giving Sweden a record-tying seventh contest win.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will be the sixty-eighth edition of the contest, to be held on 7, 9 and 11 May 2024 at the Malmö Arena in Malmö, Sweden and organised by SVT.
(it) Storia. L’Eurovision Song Contest (in francese Concours Eurovision de la chanson), talvolta noto in italiano come Concorso Eurovisione della Canzone, in precedenza come Gran Premio Eurovisione della Canzone e informalmente come Eurofestival, è un festival musicale internazionale nato nel 1956 a Lugano e organizzato annualmente dai membri dell’Unione europea di radiodiffusione. Dalla prima edizione nel 1956, il concorso è stato trasmesso ogni anno senza interruzioni in tutto il mondo, fatta eccezione per il 2020, rendendolo uno dei programmi televisivi musicali di livello internazionale più longevi di sempre. È anche l’evento non sportivo più seguito al mondo: i dati d’ascolto degli ultimi anni a livello internazionale sono stati stimati tra 100 e 600 milioni.
Il concorso è trasmesso in diretta radiofonica e televisiva sui canali principali e secondari dei membri dell’UER nonché attraverso il network Eurovisione; viene trasmesso anche in altri paesi al di fuori della zona europea di radiodiffusione tra cui Australia, Canada, Cina e Stati Uniti d’America. Con l’avvento del terzo millennio è stata inoltre introdotta la trasmissione dell’evento in diretta attraverso le piattaforme Internet eurovision.tv e poi, dal 2016, su YouTube attraverso il canale ufficiale dell’evento.
Dall’ESC sono derivati numerosi spin-off tra cui la versione dedicata ai giovanissimi, denominata Junior Eurovision Song Contest, una versione canadese, una statunitense denominata American Song Contest e una sudamericana.
1.1.Nascita e scopo. Negli anni cinquanta si era appena conclusa la seconda guerra mondiale e i Paesi europei erano impegnati nella ricostruzione delle proprie città, cercando un modo di lasciarsi alle spalle gli attriti del passato. Nel frattempo la televisione stava muovendo i primi passi, e con la nascita dell’Unione europea di radiodiffusione, nel 1950, si ricercò un programma televisivo che potesse coinvolgere e unire le diverse nazioni.
Sergio Pugliese, drammaturgo e giornalista italiano, suggerì di puntare su una gara canora, prendendo come modello il Festival di Sanremo, alla quale potessero prendere parte i diversi stati europei. L’idea piacque a Marcel Bezençon, all’epoca direttore generale dell’UER, e dopo vari incontri in varie sedi, il 19 ottobre 1955, a Palazzo Corsini alla Lungara, a Roma, si stabilì la data in cui avrebbe preso il via Il Festival Europeo della Canzone (Eurofestival).
1.2.I primi anni. La prima edizione si tenne l’anno successivo, il 24 maggio 1956, presso il teatro Kursaal di Lugano, in Svizzera, con la partecipazione di 7 Paesi: Belgio, Francia, Germania Ovest, Italia, Lussemburgo, Paesi Bassi e Svizzera, che portarono 2 canzoni ciascuno. La prima edizione fu vinta dai padroni di casa con Refrain di Lys Assia e fu l’unica edizione in cui non furono annunciati né il secondo né il terzo classificato, né tantomeno i rispettivi punteggi. Inizialmente era prevista la partecipazione di Austria, Danimarca e Regno Unito, tuttavia le emittenti non si iscrissero in tempo, rimandando l’esordio all’anno successivo.
Fu deciso che la manifestazione sarebbe stata ospitata a turno dai Paesi partecipanti, e per la seconda edizione fu quindi selezionata la Germania Ovest, portando il neonato festival nel land dell’Assia, a Francoforte sul Meno. Quest’anno la quota dei partecipanti si alzò a 10, con gli esordi di Austria, Danimarca e Regno Unito, pertanto i Paesi partecipanti furono autorizzati a portare un solo brano, anche se furono ammessi per la prima volta i duetti. Vinsero i Paesi Bassi, rappresentati da Corry Brokken con Net als toen. A causa dell’eccessivo protrarsi dell’esibizione italiana di Nunzio Gallo (sesto classificato), che con la sua Corde della mia chitarra occupò ben 5:09 minuti della trasmissione, fu introdotto un limite di durata per i brani a 3:00 minuti – limite ancora oggi in vigore per tutti i Paesi partecipanti.
A partire da quell’edizione fu introdotta la regola secondo cui il Paese vincitore sarebbe stato invitato a organizzare e ospitare l’edizione successiva. Fu così che l’edizione del 1958 fu ospitata a Hilversum (Paesi Bassi) e quella dell’anno dopo a Cannes (Francia). Queste due edizioni hanno visto l’esordio di altre due nazioni: la Svezia e il Principato di Monaco. L’esibizione italiana di Domenico Modugno nel 1958 con Nel blu dipinto di blu, nonostante si sia classificata al solo 3º posto, è rimasta una delle più emblematiche e ricordate esibizioni dell’Italia all’Eurovision Song Contest. L’artista italiano si esibisce anche l’anno successivo con Piove (ciao ciao bambina) giungendo sesto su undici partecipanti.
1.3.Anni sessanta. Nel 1960 la manifestazione si spostò nella capitale del Regno Unito, Londra, in seguito al rifiuto dei Paesi Bassi di ospitare nuovamente la manifestazione. La conduzione dell’evento spettò a Katie Boyle, conduttrice televisiva italo-britannica dipendente della BBC che passerà alla storia per aver presentato ben 4 edizioni della kermesse canora. Vincitore di questa edizione fu la canzoneTom Pillibi, eseguita da Jacqueline Boyer, rappresentante della Francia, che ospitò l’edizione successiva sempre a Cannes. L’edizione successiva vede la vittoria del lussemburghese Jean-Claude Pascal con Nous les amoureux.
In questi anni inoltre esordirono inoltre la Norvegia (1960), la Spagna, la Finlandia e la RSF Jugoslavia (1961).
Il piccolo Granducato di Lussemburgo accettò di ospitare nell’omonima capitale la settima edizione della manifestazione (1962), che vedrà la terza vittoria della Francia di Isabelle Aubret, oltre che le prime assegnazioni di 0 punti ad alcuni concorrenti.
Nonostante la vittoria francese la successiva edizione fu ospitata nuovamente da Londra e fu presentata nuovamente da Katie Boyle. La vittoria della Danimarca di Grethe e Jørgen Ingmann porterà il festival per la prima volta in Scandinavia.
Alla Tivolis Koncertsal di Copenaghen vince per la prima volta l’Italia con la sedicenne Gigliola Cinquetti e la sua Non ho l’età, che porterà la manifestazione nella penisola italiana, in particolare al Centro RAI di Napoli, dove il Lussemburgo colleziona la sua seconda vittoria grazie alla giovane cantante francese France Gall con Poupée de cire, poupée de son. Per la prima volta il festival raggiunse i Paesi dell’Est Europa venendo trasmesso in alcuni di essi, inclusa l’Unione Sovietica. Il granducato europeo accetta di ospitare nuovamente l’Eurovision che vedrà la vittoria dell’austriaco Udo Jürgens con Merci, Chérie. Gli unici due Paesi a esordire in questi anni sono il Portogallo (1964) e l’Irlanda (1965). Come ormai d’usanza, l’Austria, in quanto vincitrice, ospitò la dodicesima edizione dell’Eurovision Song Contest, introducendo le telecamere nella cosiddetta green room, il luogo dove gli interpreti attendono i risultati al termine delle loro performance. Quest’anno segna la prima vittoria del Regno Unito con Sandie Shaw con il brano Puppet on a String, che decide di ospitare per la terza volta la manifestazione presso la Royal Albert Hall di Londra. La vittoria è aggiudicata dalla Spagna di Massiel, con la memorabile La, la, la, che dà la possibilità alla capitale spagnola di Madrid di ospitare, per la prima e unica volta, il festival.
L’edizione del 1969 è anche ricordata come teatro di uno degli incidenti più imbarazzanti della storia della manifestazione: la vittoria ex aequo di ben quattro partecipanti: Francia (rappresentata da Frida Boccara), Paesi Bassi (con Lenny Kuhr), Regno Unito (Lulu) e Spagna (Salomé). Non essendo prevista nel regolamento alcuna modalità di spareggio, i quattro furono premiati come vincitori e si innalzò un’ondata di malcontento tra i partecipanti che portò al ritiro per protesta di tre Paesi (Finlandia, Norvegia e Svezia). Questa edizione inoltre non fu estranea alle polemiche di stampo politico, come testimoniato dal ritiro dell’Austria, che si rifiutò di partecipare a un evento ospitato da un Paese fascista, com’era la Spagna sotto la dittatura del caudillo Francisco Franco.
1.4.Anni settanta. Per l’edizione 1970 si decise di estrarre a sorte, fra i quattro vincitori dell’anno precedente, il paese che avrebbe organizzato la quindicesima edizione del concorso. L’organizzazione fu appannaggio dei Paesi Bassi: ad Amsterdam partecipano solo 12 Paesi a seguito dei ritiri per protesta di Finlandia, Norvegia e Svezia e per il ritiro a sorpresa del Portogallo. A vincere è Dana con All Kinds of Everything per l’Irlanda. Vengono introdotte per la prima volta le cosiddette postcards (cartoline) che appaiono prima delle esibizioni e inoltre viene istituita una regola per impedire la situazione degli ex aequo dell’anno precedente.
Nel 1971, al Gaiety Theatre di Dublino, esordisce Malta, con il ritorno di Austria, Finlandia, Norvegia, Portogallo e Svezia. A vincere sarà Séverine con Un banc, un arbre, une rue per il Principato di Monaco. Viene introdotta una nuova regola che limita il numero di esecutori sulla scena a 6, gruppi inclusi.
Dopo la sofferta rinuncia del Principato di Monaco, l’edizione del 1972 viene ospitata presso la Usher Hall di Edimburgo, dove si afferma per la terza volta il Lussemburgo con la cantante greca Vicky Léandros con Après toi. Ha sorpreso particolarmente la concorrente irlandese Sandie Jones, che ha cantato Ceol On Ghrá, completamente in gaelico irlandese.
Il Lussemburgo ospita nuovamente l’evento il 7 aprile del 1973, presso il Théâtre Municipal di Lussemburgo, trionfando ancora con l’iconica Tu te reconnaîtras della cantante francese Anne-Marie David. In questa edizione esordisce il primo Paese extraeuropeo, Israele, provocando molta preoccupazione, risultata in un rafforzamento della sicurezza. Nel 1973 viene abolita la regola che restringeva il ventaglio di lingue utilizzabili dai cantanti, ma a causa dei pessimi risultati conseguiti negli anni precedenti si ritirano Austria e Malta.
Nel 1974, stante il rifiuto della tv lussemburghese, l’evento fu ospitato dal The Dome di Brighton e vide l’esordio della Grecia (allora ancora una monarchia) e il ritiro della Francia, a causa dell’improvvisa scomparsa dell’allora presidente della Repubblica Georges Pompidou. A vincere fu per la prima volta la Svezia con gli ABBA e uno dei loro maggiori successi, Waterloo, davanti l’Italia rappresentata da Gigliola Cinquetti con Sì.
Nel 1975, a Stoccolma, è invece la prima volta della Turchia, con il ritiro improvviso della Grecia e la vittoria dei Paesi Bassi con i Teach-In e Ding-a-dong. Successivamente si scoprì che la Grecia si era ritirata a causa del conflitto con la Turchia, scoppiato dopo l’invasione di Cipro, infatti i due Paesi si incontreranno solo nel 1978. A partire da questa edizione viene utilizzato il sistema di votazione ancora oggi in vigore, in cui ogni Paese partecipante assegna punti alle 10 canzoni preferite.
Nel 1976, presso l’Al Congresgebouw di L’Aia, ritornano Austria e Grecia e si ritirano Svezia, Turchia e Malta, con la vittoria dei Brotherhood of Man con Save Your Kisses for Me per il Regno Unito.
La 22ª edizione viene ospitata ancora una volta a Londra e quest’anno tornano la Svezia e si ritira la Jugoslavia. Trionfa nuovamente la Francia con Marie Myriam con L’oiseau et l’enfant. Era prevista la partecipazione della Tunisia, tuttavia il Paese si ritirò all’ultimo momento senza dichiarare la causa.
Nel 1978, il Palais des Congrès di Parigi ha ospitato l’evento, che ha visto il ritorno di Danimarca (ritirata nel 1967) e Turchia, con la prima vittoria di Israele per opera di Izhar Cohen & Alphabeta con A-Ba-Ni-Bi. Durante la diretta l’emittente televisiva giordana ha interrotto la trasmissione dichiarando il Belgio (2º classificato) vincitore a causa delle relazioni con lo Stato di Israele.
Nel 1979 l’Eurovision viene ospitato per la prima volta da un Paese non europeo, infatti si tiene a Gerusalemme, in Israele. Ciò causa il ritiro della Turchia, che si rifiutò di partecipare in un territorio tuttora oggetto di conflitto, tuttavia vincono i padroni di casa con Hallelujah di Gali Atari & Milk & Honey.
1.5.Anni ottanta. A causa del rifiuto della televisione pubblica israeliana di ospitare l’edizione successiva per via di problemi finanziari, l’edizione del 1980 venne affidata alla NOS, emittente televisiva dei Paesi Bassi, e ospitata dal Congresgebouw de L’Aia, e vide la partecipazione per la prima e unica volta di uno Stato africano, il Marocco, e i ritiri di Israele e Monaco. A vincere sarà Johnny Logan con What’s Another Year per l’Irlanda.
Nel 1981 l’evento si tiene nuovamente a Dublino, e vede il primo ritiro dell’Italia e del Marocco. Esordisce Cipro, e tornano sia la Jugoslavia sia Israele. Vince per la quarta volta il Regno Unito con i Bucks Fizz e la loro Making Your Mind Up.
Nel 1982, presso il Conference Center di Harrogate, continua l’assenza dell’Italia, affiancata da Grecia e Francia, e l’edizione viene vinta da Ein bißchen Frieden, cantata da Nicole per la Germania Ovest.
Nel 1983 l’Eurovision si tiene a Monaco di Baviera, con il ritorno di Italia, Francia e Grecia, ma con il ritiro dell’Irlanda. L’edizione sarà vinta nuovamente dal Lussemburgo con Corinne Hermès con Si la vie est cadeau.
L’edizione del 1984 viene ospitata per la seconda volta al Théâtre Municipal di Lussemburgo, e prevedeva l’ingresso dell’Islanda nella manifestazione (che non avvenne per mancanza di fondi). Si sono ritirati Grecia (su iniziativa di ERT) e Israele (per rispettare la festività ebraica dello Yom HaZikaron), ma torna l’Irlanda. A vincere il concorso è la Svezia con i fratelli Herreys con il brano Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley.
Nel 1985 la Svezia ospita l’evento a Göteborg dove si verifica il ritiro di Paesi Bassi e Jugoslavia e il ritorno di Grecia e Israele. La vittoria è spettata alla Norvegia con le Bobbysocks con La det swinge.
Nel 1986, a Bergen, esordisce l’Islanda, con il ritiro di Grecia e Italia, e il ritorno di Jugoslavia e Paesi Bassi, con la prima vittoria del Belgio, per opera di Sandra Kim, la più giovane vincitrice della manifestazione. La sua vittoria sollevò molte polemiche: si scoprì che la cantante aveva mentito all’organizzazione sulla sua età, dichiarando di avere 15 anni invece di 13; la Svizzera, giunta seconda, fece invano ricorso contro la vittoria belga. Per evitare altri incidenti di questo tipo, nel 1990 l’Unione europea di radiodiffusione apporterà al regolamento una modifica, tuttora vigente, che impone agli artisti l’età minima di 16 anni per partecipare all’Eurofestival.
La vittoria del Belgio, che decise di ospitare la manifestazione l’anno dopo, aprì una diatriba tra le due emittenti belghe: RTBF (in lingua francese) e VRT (in lingua olandese), poiché entrambe ambivano a organizzare la manifestazione. Alla fine si decise che l’organizzazione sarebbe spettata alla RTBF, e questa edizione vide il ritorno di Grecia e Italia e la seconda vittoria per l’irlandese Johnny Logan con Hold Me Now.
Nel 1988 Dublino ospita nuovamente la manifestazione, ma vede la squalifica di Cipro, a causa di una violazione del regolamento sulla pubblicazione dei singoli. Vince per la prima volta dopo il 1956, la Svizzera grazie alla cantante canadese Céline Dion con Ne partez pas sans moi.
Nel 1989, a Losanna, torna Cipro dopo la squalifica dell’anno precedente e vince il gruppo jugoslavo Riva con Rock Me.
1.6.Anni novanta. Nel 1990, a Zagabria, Malta tenta di tornare dopo 15 anni di assenza, ma una regola dell’UER, che limitava a 22 il numero di partecipanti, lo impedì; la stessa regola verrà cancellata poco dopo lo svolgimento della manifestazione. L’Italia vince per la seconda volta con Toto Cutugno e la sua Insieme: 1992. Molte canzoni di quell’anno erano dedicate all’unione dell’Europa e alla caduta del Muro di Berlino, avvenuta il 9 novembre 1989.
Nel 1991 l’evento fu ospitato nello Studio 15 di Cinecittà a Roma, e vide il ritorno di Malta dopo il ritiro dei Paesi Bassi. Per la seconda volta si verifica una parità di punteggi per la vittoria, tuttavia la regola introdotta dopo il 1969 assegnò il primo premio alla Svezia di Carola Häggkvist con Fångad av en stormvind.
Il 1992, a Malmö, segna l’ultima partecipazione di ciò che rimane della Jugoslavia, e tornano i Paesi Bassi dopo il ritiro nell’edizione precedente, vedendo come vincitrice l’Irlanda per la 4ª volta con Why Me? di Linda Martin.
Il 1993, presso la Green Glens Arena di Millstreet, segna l’esordio di Croazia, Slovenia e Bosnia ed Erzegovina dopo la caduta della Repubblica Federale di Jugoslavia (e di conseguenza il ritiro definitivo della federazione), inoltre, a causa del grande numero di partecipanti di questa edizione, il 3 aprile si svolse a Lubiana una preselezione, la Kvalifikacija za Millstreet, che promosse i tre esordienti. Vince nuovamente l’Irlanda con Niamh Kavanagh. Questa edizione segnò anche l’ultima partecipazione del Lussemburgo.
Nel 1994, a Dublino, esordiscono Estonia, Lituania, Polonia, Romania, Russia, Slovacchia e Ungheria e trionfa nuovamente l’Irlanda con Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids di Paul Harrington e Charlie McGettigan. Visto l’alto numero di partecipanti viene istituita una regola: le ultime 7 posizioni dell’edizione precedente perdevano il diritto di partecipare all’edizione successiva. L’Italia risulta assente a questa e alle successive due edizioni.
La 40ª edizione dell’Eurovision si tenne sempre a Dublino, rendendo l’Irlanda il Paese ad aver ospitato più edizioni consecutive. Vince la Norvegia per la seconda volta grazie ai Secret Garden con il brano prettamente strumentale Nocturne.
Nel 1996, all’Oslo Spektrum di Oslo, come nel 1993, viene effettuata una preselezione delle canzoni candidate, e delle 29 partecipanti (la Norvegia fu ammessa direttamente) ne furono selezionate 22 da giurie nazionali che espressero i loro voti sulla base di registrazioni audio delle canzoni. La vittoria tornò all’Irlanda di Eimear Quinn con The Voice, ma l’edizione viene ricordata anche per l’esibizione della croata Maja Blagdan che con la sua Sveta ljubav ha raggiunto la nota più alta nella storia della manifestazione.
Nel 1997, nuovamente a Dublino, ritorna l’Italia con i Jalisse e la loro Fiumi di parole. Il duo viene dato per favorito, ma si classifica al quarto posto e a vincere la manifestazione è il Regno Unito con Katrina and the Waves e la loro Love Shine a Light. In seguito alle polemiche scoppiate, riguardanti un possibile sabotaggio da parte dell’emittente italiana Rai, con l’intento di non ospitare nuovamente l’evento, il 1997 sarà l’ultima partecipazione dell’Italia (che ritornerà solo nel 2011). L’edizione 1997 è stata la prima in cui è stato assegnato il Barbara Dex Award per il peggior vestito: prima vincitrice fu la cantante maltese Debbie Scerri.
Il 1998, a Birmingham, segna l’esordio della Macedonia del Nord (originariamente conosciuta come “Ex Repubblica Jugoslava di Macedonia”), ma a vincere per Israele sarà Dana International con la canzone Diva. Questa vittoria è ricordata per esser stata la prima, e attualmente unica, vittoria di una transessuale.
Nel 1999, a Gerusalemme, la Svezia vince grazie a Take Me to Your Heaven di Charlotte Nilsson e viene eseguito uno speciale Final Act per la fine del secondo millennio, nel quale presentatori e concorrenti hanno cantato l’Hallelujah.
1.7.Anni 2000. L’edizione del 2000 si tenne presso il Globen di Stoccolma, dove ha esordito la Lettonia e hanno trionfato gli Olsen Brothers per la Danimarca con Fly on the Wings of Love, nonostante l’Estonia di Ines fosse data per favorita. La NOS (emittente televisiva olandese) è stata costretta a trasmettere solo parte dell’edizione per poter trasmettere le notizie riguardanti il disastro pirotecnico di Enschede. Per la prima volta la manifestazione viene trasmessa via Internet.
Nel 2001, al Parken Stadium di Copenaghen, l’Estonia, con Everybody di Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL vince la competizione per la prima volta. Ospite durante l’Interval Act è stata la band danese Aqua.
Nel 2002, a Tallinn, dopo appena due anni dall’ingresso in gara, la Lettonia ottiene la sua prima vittoria con I Wanna di Marie N. Inizialmente si pensò che ETV non sarebbe riuscita a organizzare l’evento, ma grazie a una raccolta fondi organizzata dal governo estone, l’edizione del 2002 non ha deluso le aspettative. La 47ª edizione è stata inoltre la prima a esser stata ospitata da un Paese appartenente all’ex blocco sovietico. In questa edizione, inoltre, vennero consegnati per la prima volta i Marcel Bezençon Awards, premi che vengono assegnati alla miglior voce, al miglior artista e alla miglior composizione musicale.
Nel 2003, presso la Skonto Arena di Riga, esordisce l’Ucraina e vince per la prima e unica volta la Turchia con Everyway That I Can di Sertab Erener. Nonostante i problemi finanziari della capitale lettone, la 48ª edizione si è tenuta senza mancanze.
Nel 2004, a Istanbul, esordiscono Albania, Andorra, Bielorussia e la federazione di Serbia e Montenegro, inoltre vincerà per la prima volta, dopo appena un anno dall’esordio, l’Ucraina con Wild Dances di Ruslana. In quest’anno per la prima volta viene organizzata una semifinale, che sostituisce i metodi della preselezione precedentemente adottati (1993 e 1996) e dell’eliminazione delle ultime classificate (1994-2003).
Nel 2005, presso il Palazzo dello Sport di Kiev, esordiscono Bulgaria e Moldavia, con il ritiro all’ultimo momento del Libano, a causa del rifiuto di trasmettere l’esibizione della cantante israeliana Shiri Maimon. A vincere sarà per la prima e unica volta la Grecia con My Number One di Helena Paparizou.
Nel 2006, ad Atene, esordisce l’Armenia e vince a sorpresa il gruppo hard-rock Lordi per la Finlandia con Hard Rock Hallelujah. Questa è la prima vittoria di una canzone hard-rock (nonché prima vittoria finlandese), anche perché l’Eurovision è solitamente associato a musica pop, schlager e folclorica.
Nel 2007, a Helsinki, esordiscono Georgia, Serbia, Montenegro (come Paesi indipendenti) e la Repubblica Ceca e si ritira definitivamente il Principato di Monaco. A vincere è Marija Šerifović per la Serbia con Molitva. L’Ucraina tuttavia ha mandato a Helsinki una delle esibizioni più ricordate dai fan eurovisivi: la drag queen Vjerka Serdjučka con Dancing Lasha Tumbai.
Nel 2008, a Belgrado, viene introdotta la seconda semifinale ed esordiscono San Marino e Azerbaigian, tuttavia si ritira, polemizzando sul sistema di voto, l’Austria. A vincere sarà Dima Bilan per la Russia con Believe.
Nel 2009, a Mosca, continua l’assenza di Italia e Austria, mentre San Marino si ritira per problemi finanziari. La Georgia viene squalificata a causa del conflitto con la Russia, ma si assiste al ritorno, dopo 11 anni di assenza, della Slovacchia. La vittoria è della Norvegia con il cantante bielorusso Alexander Rybak e la sua Fairytale.
1.8.Anni 2010. Nel 2010, a Bærum, vicino a Oslo, si ritira il principato di Andorra, che non ha più fatto ritorno, accompagnato da Ungheria, Montenegro e Repubblica Ceca, che torneranno, rispettivamente, nel 2011, 2012 e 2015, mentre ritorna la Georgia dopo l’abbandono nell’edizione precedente; a vincere sarà per la seconda volta la Germania con Satellite, di Lena Meyer-Landrut.
Nel 2011 l’Eurovision Song Contest si è tenuto a Düsseldorf e ha visto il ritorno di Italia, Austria, San Marino e Ungheria; vince per la prima volta e a sorpresa l’Azerbaigian con il duo Ell & Nikki e la loro Running Scared, che scalza al secondo posto l’italiano Raphael Gualazzi con Follia d’amore (Madness of Love).
Nel 2012, a Baku, ritorna il Montenegro e si ritira, con diverse polemiche riguardanti la sicurezza per la propria delegazione, e oltre il limite consentito dalle regole, l’Armenia (a causa del conflitto del Nagorno Karabakh con l’Azerbaigian); a vincere sarà nuovamente la Svezia con Loreen e il brano Euphoria.
Nel 2013, a Malmö, si ritirano Turchia e Slovacchia, non più ritornate, Portogallo e Bosnia ed Erzegovina, poi ritornate negli anni a venire, mentre ritorna l’Armenia; vince la danese Emmelie de Forest con la canzone Only Teardrops. Altre due esibizioni a esser ben ricordate sono quella della russa Dina Garipova e dell’ucraina Zlata Ohnjevič.
Nel 2014, nuovamente a Copenaghen, presso la B&W-Hallerne, si ritirano Bulgaria, Cipro, Serbia e Croazia per problemi economici e viene concessa una proroga alla Grecia per permettere alla NERIT di subentrare a ERT dopo l’improvvisa chiusura di quest’ultima. Vince la drag queen austriaca Conchita Wurst con Rise like a Phoenix, che ha causato non poche polemiche in Austria, Russia e Bielorussia; nelle ultime due, le emittenti televisive sono state invitate a non trasmettere l’esibizione, fatto che avrebbe violato le regole dell’UER che pretendono la trasmissione in diretta integrale della manifestazione.
Nel 2015, a Vienna, esordisce, in occasione dei primi sessant’anni della manifestazione, l’Australia, con i ritorni di Repubblica Ceca, Cipro e Serbia e il ritiro dell’Ucraina; vince nuovamente la Svezia con il brano Heroes di Måns Zelmerlöw. Quest’edizione viene ricordata anche per le esibizioni di Polina Gagarina per la Russia e de Il Volo per l’Italia, giunta in terza posizione.
Nel 2016, nuovamente presso il Globen di Stoccolma, si ritira il Portogallo e viene squalificata, a causa di un debito verso l’UER, la Romania. La manifestazione è vinta dall’Ucraina con la cantante Jamala e la controversa 1944, che ha dato vita a diverse polemiche da parte della Russia, data per favorita insieme all’Australia. Ospite speciale durante l’Interval Act è stato il cantante statunitense Justin Timberlake.
Nel 2017, nuovamente a Kiev, si ritira la Russia, impossibilitata a partecipare con la cantante selezionata dall’emittente, Julija Samojlova, tuttavia il Portogallo, dopo il suo ritorno, vince per la prima volta con Salvador Sobral e la sua Amar pelos dois.
Nel 2018, presso la Altice Arena di Lisbona, ritorna la Russia dopo il ritiro forzato dell’anno precedente, portando il numero degli Stati in gara a 43 e vedendo trionfare Israele con Netta e la sua Toy.
Nel 2019 il concorso è stato ospitato dal Centro congressi di Tel Aviv, che ha visto la prima vittoria dei Paesi Bassi nel XXI secolo grazie a Duncan Laurence e al suo Arcade; la canzone Soldi di Mahmood per l’Italia si classifica subito alle spalle. Si ritirano da concorso Bulgaria e Ucraina, quest’ultima oltre i tempi limite del regolamento. Ospite speciale durante l’Interval Act è stata la cantante statunitense Madonna.
1.9.Anni 2020. Nel 2020, l’evento avrebbe dovuto svolgersi al Rotterdam Ahoy nei Paesi Bassi; tuttavia, la pandemia di COVID-19 in corso non ha permesso il regolare svolgimento della manifestazione, che, per la prima volta nella sua storia, viene annullata. Il giorno in cui si sarebbe dovuta svolgere la finale, il 16 maggio, è andato in onda l’evento Europe Shine a Light, in diretta dallo Studio 21 del Media Park di Hilversum (già sede dell’Eurovision del 1958), nel corso della quale sono intervenuti artisti selezionati originariamente per l’ESC, che hanno inviato una clip registrata mentre cantavano il brano Love Shine a Light, oltre che diversi vincitori e concorrenti delle precedenti edizioni. Nello stesso anno, il 26 giugno, Netflix ha distribuito Eurovision Song Contest – La storia dei Fire Saga, film ispirato all’evento.
L’evento è stato rinviato al 2021: la città e l’arena vengono riconfermate; molte nazioni confermano anche gli artisti che erano stati designati per l’edizione precedente, seppur con brani più recenti. Ritornano la Bulgaria e l’Ucraina, assenti dal 2019, mentre l’Armenia, il Montenegro e l’Ungheria scelgono di ritirarsi. La Bielorussia è stata esclusa in quanto il brano presentato non è risultato conforme al regolamento della manifestazione. A vincere la manifestazione sono stati gli italiani Måneskin con il brano Zitti e buoni, già vincitore del Festival di Sanremo, portando l’Italia ad aggiudicarsi la manifestazione per la terza volta nella propria storia e dopo 31 anni.
L’edizione 2022 del concorso si è svolta a Torino, presso il PalaOlimpico. L’Armenia e il Montenegro sono tornati dopo le loro assenze nell’edizione precedente, mentre la Russia è stata esclusa a seguito dell’invasione militare del territorio ucraino. A vincere il concorso è stato proprio il gruppo ucraino Kalush Orchestra con il brano Stefania.
A causa dell’impossibilità dell’Ucraina di soddisfare i requisiti per ospitare l’evento a seguito dell’invasione russa del paese, l’edizione 2023 è stata ospitata presso la Liverpool Arena di Liverpool. La Bulgaria, la Macedonia del Nord e il Montenegro hanno scelto di ritirarsi per questa edizione a causa di problemi finanziari. A vincere questa edizione è stata la cantante svedese Loreen con il brano Tattoo, entrando nella storia per essere stata la prima donna a vincere due volte l’Eurovision.
L’edizione 2024 si svolgerà a Malmö.