Storia dell’Eurovision Song Contest (History of the Eurovision Song Contest – History)

(en) The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea by Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television RAI and then began as the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU-UER). The contest was based on Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.

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

Marcel Bezençon, the founder of the Eurovision Song Contest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest running recurring television broadcasts in the world
  • Norway has ended last nine times! They came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997 and 2001
  • In 2016 Ukraine won the Grand Final with the song “1944”, but only came second in their semi-final. Australia won the semi-final, but came 2nd in the Grand Final
  • Luxembourg has won 5 times. But none of the 5 winners came from Luxembourg. Four were French and one (Vicky Leandros) Greek
  • Norway won the contest in 1995 with the song “Nocturne”. It contained only 24 words accompanied by long violin solos
  • Romania was expelled from Eurovision 2016 due to unpaid debt to EBU
  • In 1969 there were four winners! They all had the same points, and back then there were no rules for a tie. If there’s a tie today, the country with points from most countries will win
  • In 1974 the French President, Georges Pompidou, died during Eurovision week. The French broadcaster decided to withdraw from the contest. The funeral was held the day of the contest
  • Portugal had to go through 49 contests to achieve their first victory in 2017
  • The first scandal in Eurovision history occurred in 1957 where the Danish singers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler kissed for 11 seconds in the end of the song. Generating a furious reaction
  • Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s biggest music show
  • Finland had to wait forty-four years since their debut in 1961 to achieve their first victory. They had only received three 12 points in the history of the contest up to the 2006 contest, and none since 1977
  • The most covered Eurovision Song Contest song is Domenico Mudugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” from 1958, also known as Volare. The song has been covered by famous stars such as Dean Martin, Cliff Richard, David Bowie and many more
  • Among the contestants who have had successful careers are ABBA (1974), Céline Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias. Dion won for Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne partez pas sans moi
  • Israel is the only winning country that didn’t participate the following year – They won in 1979 but didn’t participate in 1980 due to Israeli Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron
  • The longest running losers are the Cypriots, having never had a victory
  • The Portuguese song from 1974 “E Depois Do Adeus” started a revolution in Portugal. The song was played on an independent radio station in Lisbon on 24 April, and was one of two secret signals which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime
  • It is not allowed to have more than six people on stage (including backup singers and dancers). Until Eurovision 1971 the limit was three
  • In 2008 Russia won the Grand Final with the song “Believe”, but only came third in their semi-final
  • Eurovision Semi-finals were introduced in 2004
  • At the 1956-contest the scores of the voting have never been made public, leaving room for lots of speculation. Attempts to reconstruct the voting by interviewing jury members over the following five decades did not lead to any reliable outcome
  • Spain’s cleverly titled, La La La from 1968 contained no fewer than 138 la’s
  • Italy boycotted the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, saying that it was too old fashioned
  • In 1978 Jordan showed some flowers instead of the Israeli entry on their screening of the show. When Israel went on to win they pretended it was Belgium
  • The previous year’s winner hosts Eurovision but it’s so expensive that nations have pleaded poverty to get out of it. The countries who have opted out include the Netherlands, France, Monaco, and Luxembourg and the job went to the UK four times
  • The youngest ever main artist was 11-year-old Nathalie Pâque from Belgium. She represented France in Eurovision 1989 with the song “J’ai Volé La Vie”. The oldest was 95-year-old Emil Ramsauer from the Swiss 2013-band “Takasa”
  • In the first ever Eurovision Song Contest (1956), Luxembourg asked Switzerland to vote on its behalf. And the winner was: Switzerland!
  • In 2011 Azerbaijan won the Grand Final with the song “Running Scared”, but only came second in their semi-final. Greece won the semi-final, but came 7th in the Grand Final
  • The youngest ever winner was 13-year-old Sandra Kim from Belgium who won Eurovision in 1986
  • In 1981 the UK act Bucks Fizz stunned viewers with their Velcro rip-away skirts and within 48 hours, Velcro had sold out across the country
  • Eurovision Song Contest is normally held every year in May. The earliest Eurovision date was in 1957, on 3rd March and the latest was in 1999 and 2010 when it was held on 29th May
  • In 2004 there were 37 countries giving points, resulting in a very long voting procedure. The voting time was cut in 2006 where each spokesperson started to just announce the top three votes
  • All Eurovision songs must not be longer than three minutes.
  • In 2006 Ireland’s Brian Kennedy, who has sung duets with Van Morrison, became the 1000th act to sing on the Eurovision stage with Every Song Is A Cry For Love. He came tenth
  • The largest number of nations to take part was 43 in 2008, 2011 and 2018
  • Portugal holds the record of most points in a Grand Final. In 2017 Salvador Sobral won with record breaking 758 points with the song “Amar Pelos Dois”
  • After the bearded lady Conchita Wurst won in 2014, a Russian politician said: “The result showed supporters of European integration their European future – a bearded girl”. Conchita’s response: “When an entire nation is scared that a young gay man with a beard who likes dressing up in women’s clothes is so able to sway opinion that he could bring the whole society to the brink, I can only take it as a compliment!”
  • The Eurovision-friendly nation Australia has broadcast Eurovision Song Contest every year since 1983
  • The 60th Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 had a record number of countries in the Grand Final: 27
  • The percentage of viewers for Eurovision Song Contest has been higher in Australia than in some of the competing nations
  • Live animals are banned from stage at Eurovision
  • Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden boycotted the 1970 contest as they were not pleased with the result of 1969 and the voting structure
  • There have been five barefoot winners in Eurovision history: Sandie Shaw (1967), Sertab Erener (2003), Dima Bilan (2008), Loreen (2012) and Emmelie De Forest (2013)
  • In the years 1966 – 1972 and 1978 – 1998 the rules stated that each country had to sing in one of their national languages. Single words or phrases in other languages were allowed
  • Eurovision Song Contest always begins with the fanfare “Prélude du Te Deum” composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
  • Russia withdrew from Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv because the Russian artist Yulia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine
  • Austria boycotted the 1969-contest in Madrid because Spain at that time was ruled by Francisco Franco
  • Belarus was expelled from Eurovision 2021. The submitted song had lyrics with political undertones mocking the Belarusian pro-democracy movement
  • Titles of songs have included Boom Bang-a-bang (UK, 1969), A-Ba-Ni-Ba (Israel, 1978), Bana Bana (Turkey, 1989) and Bourn Badaboru (Monaco, 1967)
  • Morocco has participated in Eurovision Song Contest. But only once. It was in 1980 and they ended second-last. Morocco only received points from Italy
  • The first Eurovision that was broadcast in color, was the 1968 contest at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast across five continents
  • When Ukrainian singer Ruslana won Eurovision in 2004, she was rewarded with a seat in Parliament
  • United Kingdom gave zero points to ABBA in 1974
  • Riverdance was first performed during the interval act of Eurovision Song Contest 1994. One of the most popular interval acts in the history of the contest
  • In 2015 Finland’s song “Aina Mun Pitää” only runs for 1 minute and 27 seconds. The shortest song in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest
  • Russia’s entry “A Million Voices” from 2015 became the first non-winning Eurovision song to score over 300 points
  • Ireland holds the record of most victories in Eurovision Song Contest: Seven victories! The six of these victories was in the 80s and 90s: 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996
  • In 2009 Georgia decided to send the song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” to the contest in Moscow, but because of a controversy about the lyrics in the song, EBU banned the song from participating, if the lyrics was not changed. Georgia refused to change the lyrics, and withdrew from the contest
  • Serbia participated the first time as an independent country in 2007 and won the contest the same year.
  • From 1956 to 1998 all the songs were accompanied by a live orchestra. From 1999 and onwards the orchestra was dropped, so the entries could use recorded backing track during their performances
  • Eurovision 2021 took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two countries were not able to perform live: Australia due to travel restrictions and Iceland due to a positive test among the performers
  • 95 percent of the Danish viewing public saw the 2001 contest on TV – the highest percentage in Europe
  • In 1956, every participating country could enter with two songs. The Netherlands were the first country to sing a song on Eurovision with “De vogels van Holland” (the birds of the Netherlands).


History of the Eurovision Song Contest. 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.

Marcel Bezençon (1907–1981) was one of the key figures involved in creating the Eurovision Song Contest.

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.

  Competing overview (History by Year)


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city,  Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Lugano 1956. Final: Thursday, 24 May, 1956, 20:00 CET RTSI/SRG SSR: Teatro Kursaal, Lugano, Switzerland 7[a] 7[a]  –  Switzerland: Lys Assia — “Refrain” (Géo Voumard, Émile Gardaz).  French
Frankfurt 1957. Final: Sunday, 03 March, 1957, 20:00 CET HR/ARD: Großer Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 10 10 –  The Netherlands: Corry Brokken — “Net als toen” (Guus Jansen, Willy van Hemert). Dutch
Hilversum 1958. Final: Wednesday, 12 March, 1958, 20:00 CET NTS/NOS: AVRO Studios, Hilversum, The Netherlands 10 10 –  France: André Claveau — “Dors, mon amour” (Hubert Giraud, Pierre Delanoë). French
Cannes 1959. Final:  Wednesday, 11 March, 1959, 20:00 CET RTF: Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France 11 11 –  The Netherlands: Teddy Scholten — “Een beetje”(Dick Schallies, Willy van Hemert). Dutch


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
London 1960. Final: Tuesday, 29 March, 1960, 20:00 CET BBC: Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom 13 13 –  France: Jacqueline Boyer — “Tom Pillibi” (André Popp, Pierre Cour). French
Cannes 1961. Final: Saturday, 18 March, 1961, 20:00 CET RTF: Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France 16 16 –  Luxembourg: Jean-Claude Pascal — “Nous les amoureux” (Jacques Datin, Maurice Vidalin). French
Luxembourg 1962. Final:Sunday, 18 March, 1962, 20:00 CET CLT/RTL: Grand Auditorium de RTL, Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 16 16 –  France: Isabelle Aubret — “Un premier amour” (Claude-Henri Vic, Roland Valade). French
London 1963. Final: Saturday, 23 March, 1963, 20:00 CET BBC: BBC Television Centre, London, United Kingdom 16 16 –  Denmark: Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann — “Dansevise” (Otto Francker, Sejr Volmer-Sørensen). Danish
Copenhagen 1964. Final: Saturday, 21 March, 1964, 20:00 CET DR: Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark 16 16 –  Italy: Gigliola Cinquetti — “Non ho l’età” (Nicola Salerno, Mario Panzeri). Italian
Naples 1965. Final: Saturday, 20 March, 1965, 20:00 CET RAI: Sala di Concerto della RAI, Naples, Italy 18 18 –  Luxembourg: France Gall — “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” (Serge Gainsbourg). French
Luxembourg 1966. Final: Saturday, 05 March, 1966, 20:00 CET CLT: Grand Auditorium de RTL, Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 18 18 –  Austria: Udo Jürgens —”Merci, Chérie” (Udo Jürgens, Thomas Hörbiger). German, French
Vienna 1967. Final: Saturday, 08 April, 1967, 20:00 CET ÖRF: Großer Festsaal der Wiener Hofburg, Vienna, Austria 17 17 –  United Kingdom: Sandie Shaw — “Puppet on a String” (Bill Martin, Phil Coulter). English
London 1968. Final: Saturday, 06 April, 1968, 20:00 CET BBC: Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom 17 17 –  Spain: Massiel — “La, la, la” (Manuel de la Calva, Ramón Arcusa (Dúo Dinámico)). Spanish
Madrid 1969. Final: Saturday, 29 March, 1969, 20:00 CET TVE: Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain 16 16 –  Spain: Salomé — “Vivo cantando” (María José de Cerato, Aniano Alcalde). Spanish; United Kingdom: Lulu — “Boom Bang-a-Bang” (Alan Moorhouse, Peter Warne). English; The Netherlands: Lenny Kuhr — “De troubadour” (David Hartsema, Lenny Kuhr). Dutch; France: Frida Boccara — “Un jour, un enfant” (Émile Stern, Eddy Marnay). French


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Amsterdam 1970. Final: Saturday, 21 March, 1970, 20:00 CET NOS: RAI Congrescentrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands 12 12 –  Ireland: Dana — “All Kinds of Everything” (Derry Lindsay, Jackie Smith). English
Dublin 1971.  Final: Saturday, 03 April, 1971, 20:00 CET RTÉ: Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, Ireland 18 18 –  Monaco: Séverine — “Un banc, un arbre, une rue” (Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, Yves Dessca). French
Edinburgh 1972. Final: Saturday, 25 March, 1972, 20:00 CET BBC: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, United Kingdom 18 18 –  Luxembourg: Vicky Leandros — “Après toi” (Leo Leandros, Klaus Munro, Yves Dessca). French
Luxembourg 1973. Final:  Saturday, 07 April, 1973, 20:00 CET CLT: Nouveau Théâtre, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 17 17 –  Luxembourg: Anne-Marie David — “Tu te reconnaîtras” (Claude Morgan, Vline Buggy). French
Brighton 1974. Final: Saturday, 06 April, 1974, 20:00 CET BBC:  The Dome, Brighton, United Kingdom 17 17 –  Sweden: ABBA — “Waterloo” (Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Stig Anderson). English
Stockholm 1975. Final: Saturday, 22 March, 1975, 20:00 CET SR: St. Eriks Mässan Alvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden 19 19 –  The Netherlands: Teach-In — “Ding-a-dong” (Dick Bakker, Will Luikinga, Eddy Ouwens). English
The Hague 1976. Final Saturday, 03 April, 1976, 20:00 CET NOS: Nederlands Congresgebouw, The Hague, Netherlands 18 18 –  United Kingdom: Brotherhood of Man — “Save Your Kisses for Me” (Tony Hiller, Lee Sheriden, Martin Lee). English
London 1977. Final: Saturday, 07 May, 1977, 21:00 CEST[b] BBC: Wembley Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom 18 18 –  France: Marie Myriam — “L’oiseau et l’enfant” (Jean-Paul Cara, Joe Gracy). French
Paris 1978.  Final: Saturday, 22 April, 1978, 21:00 CEST TF1: Palais des Congrès, Paris, France 20 20 –  Israel: Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta — “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” (א-ב-ני-בי) (Nurit Hirsh, Ehud Manor). Hebrew
Jerusalem 1979. Final Saturday, 31 March, 1979, 20:00 CET IBA: Binyanei Ha’ouama Centre, Jerusalem, Israel 19 19 –  Israel: Milk and Honey — “Hallelujah” (הללויה) (Kobi Oshrat, Shimrit Orr). Hebrew


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
The Hague 1980. Final: Saturday, 19 April, 1980, 21:00 CEST NOS: Nederlands Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands 19 19 –  Ireland: Johnny Logan — “What’s Another Year” (Shay Healy). English
Dublin 1981. Final: Saturday, 04 April, 1981, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: Simmonscourt Pavillion, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland 20 20 –  United Kingdom : Bucks Fizz — “Making Your Mind Up” (Andy Hill, John Danter). English
Harrogate 1982. Final: Saturday, 24 April, 1982, 21:00 CEST BBC: Harrogate Conference Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom 18 18 –  Germany:  Nicole — “Ein bißchen Frieden” (Ralph Siegel, Bernd Meinunger). German
Munich 1983. Final: Saturday, 23 April, 1983, 21:00 CEST BR/ARD: Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle, Munich, Germany 20 20 –  Luxembourg:  Corinne Hermès — “Si la vie est cadeau” (Jean-Pierre Millers, Alain Garcia). French
Luxembourg 1984. Final: Saturday, 05 May, 1984, 21:00 CEST CLT/RTL: Théâtre Municipal, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 19 19 –  Sweden:  Herrey’s — “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley” (Torgny Söderberg, Britt Lindeborg). Swedish
Gothenburg 1985. Final: Saturday, 04 May, 1985, 21:00 CEST SVT: Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden 19 19 –  Norway:  Bobbysocks! — “La det swinge” (Rolf Løvland). Norwegian
Bergen 1986. Final: Saturday, 03 May, 1986, 21:00 CEST NRK: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway 20 20 –  Belgium: Sandra Kim — “J’aime la vie” (Jean-Paul Furnémont, Angelo Crisci, Rosario Marino Atria). French
Brussels 1987. Final: Saturday, 09 May, 1987, 21:00 CEST RTBF: Palais de Centenaire, Brussels, Belgium 22 22 –  Ireland: Johnny Logan — “Hold Me Now” (Johnny Logan). English
Dublin 1988. Final: Saturday, 30 April, 1988, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: Simmonscourt Pavillion of the Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland 21 21 –  Switzerland: Céline Dion — “Ne partez pas sans moi” (Nella Martinetti, Atilla Şereftuğ). French
Lausanne 1989. Final: Saturday, 06 May, 1989, 21:00 CEST SRG SSR: Palais de Beaulieu, Lausanne, Switzerland 22 22 –  Yugoslavia: Riva — “Rock Me” (Rajko Dujmić, Stevo Cvikić). Serbo-Croatian, English


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Zagreb 1990. Final: Saturday, 05 May, 1990, 21:00 CEST JRT/RTZ: Koncertna Dvorana Vatroslav Lisinski, Zagreb, Yugoslavia 22 22 –   Italy: Toto Cutugno — “Insieme: 1992” (Toto Cutugno). Italian
Rome 1991. Final: Saturday, 04 May, 1991, 21:00 CEST RAI: Studio 15 de Cinecittà, Rome, Italy 22 22 –  Sweden: Carola — “Fångad av en stormvind” (Stephan Berg). Swedish
Malmö 1992. Final: Saturday, 09 May, 1992, 21:00 CEST SVT: MalmöMässan, Malmö, Sweden 23 23 –  Ireland: Linda Martin — “Why Me” (Johnny Logan). English
Millstreet 1993. Final: Saturday, 15 May, 1993, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, Ireland 25 25 7 Ireland: Niamh Kavanagh — “In Your Eyes” (Jimmy Walsh). English
Dublin 1994. Final: Saturday, 30 April, 1994, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland 25 25 –  Ireland: Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan — “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids” (Brendan Graham). English
Dublin 1995. Final: Saturday, 13 May, 1995, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland 23 23 –  Norway: Secret Garden — “Nocturne” (Rolf Løvland, Petter Skavlan). Norwegian [Contains one word in French]
Oslo 1996. Final: Saturday, 18 May, 1996, 21:00 CEST NRK: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway 23 23 29 Ireland: Eimear Quinn — “The Voice” (Brendan Graham). English
Dublin 1997. Final: Saturday, 03 May, 1997, 21:00 CEST RTÉ: The Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland 25 25 –  United Kingdom: Katrina and the Waves — “Love Shine a Light” (Kimberley Rew). English
Birmingham 1998. Final: Saturday, 09 May, 1998, 21:00 CEST BBC: National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, United Kingdom 25 25 –  Israel: Dana International — “Diva” (דיווה) (Svika Pick, Yoav Ginai). Hebrew
Jerusalem 1999. Final: Saturday, 29 May, 1999, 21:00 CEST IBA: Usshishkin Hall of the International Convention Centre, Jerusalem, Israel 23 23 –  Sweden: Charlotte Nilsson — “Take Me to Your Heaven” (Lars Diedricson, Marcos Ubeda). English


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Stockholm 2000. Final: Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 21:00 CEST SVT: Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden 24 24 –  Denmark: Olsen Brothers — “Fly on the Wings of Love” (Jørgen Olsen). English
Copenhagen 2001. Final: Saturday, 12 May, 2001, 21:00 CEST DR: Parkenstadion, Copenhagen, Denmark 23 23 –  Estonia:Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL — “Everybody” (Ivar Must, Maian-Anna Kärmas). English
Tallin 2022. Final: Saturday, 25 May, 2002, 21:00 CEST ETV/ERR: Saku Suurhall, Tallinn, Estonia 24 24 –  Latvia: Marie N — “I Wanna” (Marija Naumova, Marats Samauskis). English
Riga 2003. Final: Saturday, 24 May, 2003, 21:00 CEST LTV: Skonto Olympic Hall, Riga, Latvia 26 26 –  Turkey: Sertab Erener — “Everyway That I Can” (Demir Demirkan, Sertab Erener). English
Istanbul 2004. Semi-Final: Wednesday, 12 May, 2004, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 15 May, 2004, 21:00 CEST TRT: Abdi Ipekci Sport Center, Istanbul, Turkey 36 24 22 Ukraine: Ruslana — “Wild Dances” (Ruslana Lyzhychko, Alexandr Ksenofontov). English, Ukrainian
Kyiv 2005. Semi-Final: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 21:00 CEST NTU: Palace of Sports, Kyiv, Ukraine 39 24 25 Greece: Helena Paparizou — “My Number One” (Manos Psaltakis, Christos Dantis, Natalia Germanou). English
Athens 2006. Semi-Final: Thursday, 18 May, 2006, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 20 May, 2006, 21:00 CEST ERT: Olympic Indoor Hall, Athens, Greece 37 24 23 Finland: Lordi — “Hard Rock Hallelujah” (Mr Lordi). English
Helsinki 2007. Semi-Final: Thursday, 10 May, 2007, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 12 May, 2007, 21:00 CEST YLE: Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland 42 24 28 Serbia: Marija Šerifović — “Molitva” (Молитва) (Vladimir Graić, Saša Milošević Mare). Serbian
Belgrade 2008. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 20 May, 2008, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 22 May, 2008, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 24 May, 2008, 21:00 CEST RTS/PTC: Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, Serbia 43 25 SF1: 19  SF2: 19 Russia: Dima Bilan — “Believe” (Dima Bilan, Jim Beanz). English
Moscow 2009. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 12 May, 2009, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 14 May, 2009, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 16 May, 2009, 21:00 CEST C1R/RTR: Olimpiysky Arena, Moscow, Russia 42 25 SF1: 18 SF2: 19 Norway: Alexander Rybak — “Fairytale” (Alexander Rybak). English


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Oslo 2010. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 25 May, 2010, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 27 May, 2010, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 29 May, 2010, 21:00 CEST NRK: Telenor Arena, Oslo, Norway 39 25 SF1: 17 SF2: 17 Germany: Lena — “Satellite” (Julie Frost, John Gordon). English
Düsseldorf 2011. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 10 May, 2011, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 12 May, 2011, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 14 May, 2011, 21:00 CEST NDR/ARD: Düsseldorf Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany 43 25 SF1: 19 SF2: 19 Azerbaijan: Ell and Nikki — “Running Scared” (Stefan Örn, Sandra Bjurman, Iain James Farquharson). English
Baku 2012. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 22 May, 2012, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 24 May, 2012, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 26 May, 2012, 21:00 CEST İTV: Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan 42 26 SF1: 18 SF2: 18 Sweden: Loreen — “Euphoria” (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström). English
Malmö 2013. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 14 May, 2013, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 21:00 CEST SVT: Malmö Arena, Malmö, Sweden 39 26 SF1: 16  SF2: 17 Denmark: Emmelie de Forest — “Only Teardrops” (Lise Cabble, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen, Thomas Stengaard). English
Copenhagen 2014. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 10 May, 2014, 21:00 CEST DR: B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark 37 26 SF1: 16 SF2: 15 Austria: Conchita Wurst — “Rise Like a Phoenix” (Charlie Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski, Julian Maas). English
Vienna 2015. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 19 May, 2015, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 21 May, 2015, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 23 May, 2015, 21:00 CEST ÖRF: Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria 40 27 SF1: 16 SF2: 17 Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw — “Heroes” (Anton Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb). English
Stockholm 2016. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 10 May, 2016, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 12 May, 2016, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 14 May, 2016, 21:00 CEST SVT: Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden 42 26 SF1: 18 SF2: 18 Ukraine: Jamala — “1944” (Jamala). Crimean Tatar, English
Kyiv 2017. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 09 May, 2017, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 13 May, 2017, 21:00 CEST UA:PBC/NTU: International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine 42 26 SF1: 18 SF2: 18 Portugal: Salvador Sobral — “Amar pelos dois” (Luísa Sobral). Portuguese
Lisbon 2018. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 10 May, 2018, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 12 May, 2018, 21:00 CEST RTP: Lisbon Arena, Lisbon, Portugal 43 26 SF1: 19  SF2: 18 Israel: Netta — “Toy” (Doron Medalie, Stav Beger). English [Contains several words in Hebrew]
Tel Aviv 2019. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 14 May, 2019, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 18 May, 2019, 21:00 CEST IPBC/Kan: Expo Tel Aviv (International Convention Center), Tel Aviv, Israel 41 26 SF1: 17 SF2: 18 The Netherlands: Duncan Laurence — “Arcade” (Duncan Laurence, Joel Sjöö, Wouter Hardy, Will Knox). English


Edition. Year – Date Host broadcaster(s). Venue – Host city Countries Winner: Performer(s) – Song. Songwriter(s). Language
Total In Final In Semi-Final
Rotterdam2020. (Cancelled) First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 12 May, 2020, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 14 May, 2020, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 16 May, 2020, 21:00 CEST NPO/NOS/AVROTROS: Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 41 26 SF1: 17 SF2: 18 No winner. Contest cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Rotterdam 2021. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 18 May, 2021, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 20 May, 2021, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 22 May, 2021, 21:00 CEST NPO/NOS/AVROTROS: Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 39 26 SF1: 16 SF2: 17 Italy: Måneskin —”Zitti e buoni” (Damiano David, Ethan Torchio, Thomas Raggi, Victoria De Angelis). Italian
Turin 2022. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 10 May, 2022, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 12 May, 2022, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 14 May, 2022, 21:00 CEST RAI: PalaOlimpico, Turin, Italy 40 25 SF1: 17 SF2: 18 Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra — “Stefania” (Стефанія) (Ihor Didenchuk, Ivan Klimenko, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk).Ukrainian
Liverpool 2023. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 09 May, 2023, 21:00 CEST; Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 11 May, 2023, 21:00 CEST; Grand Final: Saturday, 13 May, 2023, 21:00 CEST BBC: Liverpool Arena, Liverpool 37 26 SF1: 15 SF2: 16 Sweden — “Tattoo” (Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt, Jimmy Jansson, Lorine Talhaoui, Moa Carlebecker, Peter Boström, Thomas G:son).English
Malmö 2024. First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 07 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST; Thursday, 09 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST; Saturday, 11 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST SVT: Malmö Arena, Malmö SF1:  SF2:


  • [a]^ Each country in the first contest was represented by two songs.
  • [b]^ The 1977 contest was originally scheduled for 2 April, but a strike by BBC camera operators and technicians resulted in a postponement until 7 May.

Contest themes and slogans. An individual slogan has been associated with each edition of the contest since 2002, except in 2009. This slogan is decided by the host broadcaster and is then used to develop the contest’s visual identity and design. This slogan is typically used by the producers in planning and formulating the show’s visual identity, and is channelled into the contest’s stage design, the opening and interval acts, and the “postcards”: short videos interspersed between the entries which usually highlight the host country, and in many cases introduce the competing acts.

Year Host city Slogan
2002  Tallinn A Modern Fairytale (Moodne muinasjutt) 
2003  Riga A Magical Rendez-vous 
2004  Istanbul Under the Same Sky (Aynı Gökyüzü Altında)
2005  Kyiv Awakening (Пробудження)
2006  Athens Feel the Rhythm (Νιώσε Το Ρυθμό)
2007  Helsinki True Fantasy (Todellista fantasiaa)
2008  Belgrade Confluence of Sound (Ушће звука)
2010  Oslo Share the Moment (Del øyeblikket)
2011  Düsseldorf Feel Your Heart Beat! (Fühl’ dein Herz schlagen)
2012  Baku Light Your Fire! (Öz məşəlini alovlandır!)
2013  Malmö We Are One! 
2014  Copenhagen #JoinUs 
2015  Vienna Building Bridges (Brücken bauen)
2016  Stockholm Come Together 
2017  Kyiv Celebrate Diversity (Святкуймо розмаїття)
2018  Lisbon All Aboard! (Todos a Bordo!)
2019  Tel Aviv Dare to Dream (הָעֵזו לחלום)
 Rotterdam Open Up 
2022  Turin The Sound of Beauty (Il suono della bellezza)
2023  Liverpool United by Music (Об’єднані музикою)
2024 Malmö –  ()