- Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 06 April 1974 – 20:00 CET
- Host – Venue & Location: The Dome (Brighton Dome), Brighton, 🇬🇧 United Kindom
- Presenter (s): Catherine (Katie) Boyle
- Musical Director: Ronnie Hazlehurst
- Director: Michael Hurll
- Executive Producer: Bill Cotton
- Executive Supervisor: Clifford Brown
- Multicamera Director: Michael Hurll
- Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
- Interval Act: The Wombles
- Participants – Number of entries: 17 [🇧🇪 Belgium (18ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (18ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (18ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (18ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (18ª), 🇬🇧United Kindom (16ª), 🇲🇨 Monaco (15ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (13ª), Yugoslavia (13ª), 🇮🇪 Ireland (9ª), 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (17ª), 🇫🇮 Finland (12ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (13ª), 🇵🇹 Portugal (9ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (14ª), 🇮🇱 Israel (1ª), 🇬🇷 Greece (1ª)]
- Debuting countries: 🇬🇷 Greece (1ª)
- Return: —
- Non-returning countries: 🇫🇷 France (18ª)
- Vote – Voting system: Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
- Nil Points: —
- Winning song: “Waterloo” – ᗅᗺᗷᗅ (ABBA) – 🇸🇪 Sweden (1ª)
About. For the second time in three years the United Kingdom staged the Eurovision Song Contest without having won the contest in the preceding year. Due to the fact that the broadcaster in Luxembourg, RTL, did not wish to host the event again for financial reasons, the BBC embraced the possibility once more. The 1974 Eurovision Song Contest was held at The Dome, in the seaside resort of Brighton.
Winners become legends. 1974 saw the first participation of Greece who sent their national star Marinella. France was to enter the song contest with the entry “La Vie A Vingt-cinq Ans” by Dani, but the French singer never got the chance to perform though as the French president, Georges Pompidou, died in the week of the contest and France withdrew. The voting system changed once more: 10 jury members in every country each awarded one point to their favourite song. For the first time, a draw of lots was used to decide the order in which countries would give the results of their juries. However, it was the last time this method was used to cast the votes – from 1975 onwards, a new voting system would be implemented where the order of the jury votes followed the order of performance.
About the winner. Sweden won the song contest for the first time with the entry Waterloo, performed by ABBA. The song became a huge international hit and was the starting point of their legendary international career. Over 30 years after it won, “Waterloo” was even voted the best Eurovision Song Contest song ever at the 50-year anniversary show Congratulations, in Copenhagen in autumn 2005. ABBA had actually tried to enter the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Ring Ring”, which later became a hit for them in many European countries – but they only reached the third place in the Swedish national selection. For their 1974 entry, the group hesitated a while before choosing “Waterloo” as they thought their other option “Hasta Mañana” would be a more suitable song for the contest. However, “Hasta Mañana” was only really sung by only one of the girls, Agnetha Fältskog, and ABBA wanted a song where all four members could give their vocals to.
Facts & figures. Some years before she starred in the American movie Grease, the Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John sang “Long Live Love”, representing the United Kingdom. Olivia Newton-John actually wanted to sing a different song, but “Long Live Love” was chosen by a public postal vote; The winner from 1964, Gigliola Cinquetti, returned to the contest and finished second with her song, “Si”; Katie Boyle presented the contest for the fourth and final time. She holds the record for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest the most times.
|o/r||Country||Participant (s)||song – translate – Language||Points||rank|
|01||🇫🇮 Finland YLE||Carita Holmström||Keep Me Warm [Äla Mene Pois (Don’t Go Away)] English||004||013|
|02||🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC||Olivia Newton-John||Long live love English||014||004|
|03||🇪🇸 Spain TVE||Peret||Canta y sé feliz (Sing and be happy) Spanish||010||009|
|04||🇳🇴 Norway NRK||Anne-Karine Strøm feat. Bendik Singers||The first day of love (Hvor er du?) English||003||014|
|05||🇬🇷 Greece ERT||Marinella||Krasí, thálassa ke t’ agóri mu
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ’ αγόρι μου, Wine, sea and my boyfriend) Greek
|06||🇮🇱 Israel IBA||Poogy (Kaveret, כוורת)||Natai la khaiai (נתתי לה חיי, I gave her my life) Hebrew||011||007|
|07||Yugoslavia JRT||Korni Grupa (Корни група)||Moja generacija (Моја генерација, Generacija 42, My generation) Serbo-Croatian||006||012|
|08||🇸🇪 Sweden SR||ᗅᗺᗷᗅ (ABBA)||Waterloo English||024||01|
|09||🇱🇺 Luxembourg CLT||Ireen Sheer||Bye bye, I love you French[b]||014||04|
|10||🇲🇨 Monaco TMC||Romuald||Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va (The one who stays and the one who goes) French||014||04|
|11||🇧🇪 Belgium RTB||Jacques Hustin||Fleur de liberté (Flower of freedom) French||010||09|
|12||🇳🇱 The Netherlands NOS||Mouth and MacNeal||I see a star English||015||03|
|13||🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ||Tina Reynolds||Cross your heart English||011||07|
|14||🇩🇪 Germany ARD||Cindy & Bert||Die sommermelodie (The melody of summer) German||003||14|
|15||🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG||Piera Martell||Mein ruf nach dir (My call to you) German||003||14|
|16||🇵🇹 Portugal RTP||Paulo de Carvalho||E depois do adeus (And after the goodbye) Portuguese||003||14|
|17||🇮🇹 Italy RAI||Gigliola Cinquetti||Sì (Yes) Italian||018||02|
• 🇫🇷 France: “La Vie à 25 Ans / La vie à vingt-cinq ans” (French) – Dani. France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song “La vie à vingt-cinq ans” by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of French President, Georges Pompidou, during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Since President Pompidou’s funeral was held the day of the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.
Participating countries Countries that participated in the past but not in 1974
The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Brighton, United Kingdom and was organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), who agreed to host the event after Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973, declined to host it for a second successive year on the grounds of expense. The contest was held at the Brighton Dome on 6 April 1974 and was hosted by Katie Boyle for the fourth and final time (having hosted the 1960, 1963 and 1968 editions).
Seventeen countries took part in the contest, with France being absent and Greece competing for the first time this year.
The winner was Sweden with the song “Waterloo” famously performed by the Swedish group ABBA, who would later go on to become one of the best-selling acts in pop music history.
1.Location. The contest was held in the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom. At the time, Brighton was a separate town; it is now the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) on the south coast of Great Britain.
The venue which hosted the event was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue that contains the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. All three venues are linked to the rest of the Royal Pavilion Estate by a tunnel to the Royal Pavilion in Pavilion Gardens and through shared corridors to Brighton Museum; the entire complex was built for the Prince Regent (later George IV) and completed in 1805.
2.Format. A two-night preview programme, Auftakt für Brighton (Prelude for Brighton), was coordinated by the German national broadcaster ARD, broadcast at the end of March and was hosted by the journalist Karin Tietze-Ludwig. It was the first “preview”-type programme to be broadcast in many European countries simultaneously (traditionally each national broadcaster puts together its own preview programme). The UK did not broadcast the programmes, instead airing its own preview shows introduced by David Vine on BBC1 on 24 and 31 March. The French entry was broadcast by all the nations showing the previews, even though the song was withdrawn from the Eurovision final itself. The programme was also notable in being the European television debut for the winners, ABBA, who were credited in previews as “The Abba”.
Each song was introduced by a ‘postcard’ featuring a montage of film material, beginning with library footage of the participating nation provided by the various national tourist organizations. This was then intercut with various clips of the artists in rehearsal, conducting their press conference with the media or posing for photographs in and around the Brighton Pavilion complex. It was the first time the contest had broadcast rehearsal footage or behind the scenes footage from the run-up to the grand final.
3.Participating countries. Seventeen nations took part in this year’s contest. Greece made their début in the contest, while France withdrew during the week of the contest after the sudden death of French President Georges Pompidou.
3.1.Conductors. Each performance had a conductor who conducted the orchestra.
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Ossi Runne
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Nick Ingman
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Rafael Ibarbia[a]
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Frode Thingnæs
- 🇬🇷 Greece – Giorgos Katsaros
- 🇮🇱 Israel – Yoni Rechter
- Yugoslavia – Zvonimir Skerl
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Sven-Olof Walldoff
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Charles Blackwell
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – Raymond Donnez
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Pierre Chiffre
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Harry van Hoof
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Colman Pearce
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Werner Scharfenberger
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Pepe Ederer
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – José Calvário
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Gianfranco Monaldi
Jean-Claude Petit was scheduled to conduct the French entry prior to France’s withdrawal.
|Gigliola Cinquetti||🇮🇹 Italy||1964|
|Romuald||🇲🇨 Monaco||1964, 1969 (for 🇱🇺 Luxembourg)|
|Bendik Singers||🇳🇴 Norway||1973|
3.3.Participants and results.
3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1974:
• National Selections in 1974:
|🇧🇪 Belgium||Eurosong 1974 (song selection) [d]||Jacques Hustin – “Fleur de liberté“|
|🇫🇮 Finland||(Finnish Selection 1974)||Carita Holmström – “Keep Me Warm” (Älä mene pois)|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||(Irish Selection 1974) (song selection) [e]||Tina Reynolds – “Cross Your Heart”|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nationaal Songfestival 1974 (song selection) [f]||Mouth & MacNeal – Ik zie een ster|
|🇳🇴 Norway||Melodi Grand Prix 1974 [h]||Anne-Karine Strøm – “The First Day of Love”|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||Grande Prémio TV da Canção 1974||Paulo de Carvalho – “E depois do adeus“|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Melodifestival 1974||ABBA – “Waterloo”|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||Concours Eurovision 1974||Piera Martell – “Mein Ruf nach dir“|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||A Song for Europe 1974 (song selection) [g]||Olivia Newton-John – “Long Live Love”|
|Yugoslavia||Opatija Festival 1974||Korni Grupa – “Moja Generacija / Generacija ’42” (Генерација ’42)|
• Internal Selections in 1974:
|🇩🇪 Germany||Cindy und Bert – “Die Sommermelodie“|
|🇬🇷 Greece||Marinella – “Krasi, thalassa ke t’ agori mou”
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ’ αγόρι μου)
|🇮🇱 Israel||Kaveret (Poogy) – “Natati La Khayay” (נתתי לה חיי)|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Gigliola Cinquetti – “Sì“|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||Ireen Sheer – “Bye Bye I Love You”|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Romuald – “Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va“|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Peret – “Canta y sé feliz“|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||14||1||4||1||1||2||1||1||3|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||15||1||1||1||3||2||1||1||1||3||1|
4.1.Spokespersons. The two-person jury system used for the previous three contests was abandoned, with a resurrection of the 10-person jury system with one vote per juror, last used in 1970, returning. This was the final time it was used. Unusually, a separate draw was made for the order in which the participating countries would vote. In all previous contests either nations had voted in the same running order as the song presentation or in the reverse of that order. It was not until 2006 that the voting sequence was decided by draw again. Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Italy drew the same position in both draws.
Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1974 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Aarre Elo
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – TBC
- 🇮🇱 Israel – Yitzhak Shim’oni
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Sverre Christophersen
- 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – Colin Ward-Lewis
- Yugoslavia – Helga Vlahović
- 🇬🇷 Greece – Mako Georgiadou
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Brendan Balfe
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Ekkehard Böhmer
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Henrique Mendes
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Harry Hagedoorn[c]
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Sven Lindahl
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Antolín García
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – Sophie Hecquet
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Michel Stocker
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – André Hagon
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Anna Maria Gambineri
5.Broadcasts. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. The contest was broadcast live in all participating countries, except for Italy which took a deferred transmission. The contest was also broadcast live in Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the Soviet Union, and was recorded for later broadcast in Algeria, Cyprus, France, Japan, Jordan, Iceland, Morocco, Poland, South Korea and Tunisia. In addition to the broadcast on television, the contest was also provided via radio in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
|🇧🇪 Belgium||RTB||French: Georges Désir|
|BRT||Dutch: Herman Verelst|
|🇫🇮 Finland||YLE TV1, Yleisohjelma||Matti Paalosmaa|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Deutsches Fernsehen||Werner Veigel||–|
|🇬🇷 Greece||EIRT||Mako Georgiadou|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||RTÉ||Mike Murphy|
|RTÉ Radio||Liam Devally|
|🇮🇱 Israel||Israeli Television||No commentator|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Secondo Programma||Rosanna Vaudetti|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||RTL Télé Luxembourg||Jacques Navadic|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Télé Monte Carlo||Carole Chabrier|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nederland 2||Willem Duys||–|
|🇳🇴 Norway||NRK||John Andreassen|
|NRK P1||Erik Heyerdahl|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||I Programa||Artur Agostinho||–|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Primera Cadena||José Luis Uribarri|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||SR TV1||Johan Sandström||–|
|SR P3||Ursula Richter||–|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||TV DRS||German: Theodor Haller||–|
|TSR||French: Georges Hardy|
|TSI||Italian: Giovanni Bertini|
|Radio Beromünster (delayed broadcast on 9 April)||–|
|Radio Sottens||French: Robert Burnier||–|
|Radio Monte Ceneri|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||BBC1||David Vine||–|
|BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2||Terry Wogan||–|
|BFBS Radio||Richard Astbury||–|
|Yugoslavia||TVB 1||Serbo-Croatian: Milovan Ilić|
|TVZ 1||Serbo-Croatian: Oliver Mlakar|
|TVL 1||Slovene: Tomaž Terček|
|🇦🇹 Austria||FS2||Ernst Grissemann|
|Hong Kong||TVB Jade (delayed broadcast on 5 May 1974)||Unknown||–|
|TVB Pearl (delayed broadcast on 28 April and 5 May 1974)||Unknown||–|
|🇲🇹 Malta||MTV||Charles Saliba|
|Turkey||Ankara Television||Bülend Özveren|
6.1.French withdraw. France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song “La vie à vingt-cinq ans” (“Life at 25”) by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of the French PresidentGeorges Pompidou during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Given that President Pompidou’s memorial service (he had been buried in a private ceremony on 4 April), which was attended by numerous international dignitaries, was held on the same day as the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner. In her absence, the Director General of the BBC and President of the EBU, Sir Charles Curran, presented the Grand Prix to the winners.
6.2.Italian broadcast. Italy did not broadcast the televised contest on the state television channel RAI because the contest coincided with the intense political campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce, which was held a month later in May. RAI felt that Gigliola Cinquetti’s song, which was entitled “Sì”, and repeatedly featured the word “si” (yes), could risk the accusation of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote “yes” in the referendum. The song was not played on most Italian state TV and radio stations until the referendum had been held.
- Juan Carlos Calderón was initially slated to conduct his own composition for Spain, only to be replaced by Rafael Ibarbia when he fell ill prior to the contest.
- [b] Contains some words in English
- [c] Dutch commentator Willem Duys stated during the broadcast that the jury spokesman was Harry Hagedoorn.
- [d] Jacques Hustin was internally selected to represent Belgium at Eurovision 1974.The song “Fleur De Liberté” that Hustin performed at Eurovision was selected through a national final, Eurosong.
- [e] Tina Reynolds was internally selected to represent Ireland at Eurovision 1974. The song “Cross Your Heart” that Tina performed at Eurovision was selected through a national final with eight songs.
- [f] Mouth & MacNeal was internally selected to represent Netherlands at Eurovision 1974. The song “Ik zie een ster” (I See A Star) that they performed at Eurovision was selected through Nationaal Songfestival 1974 with three songs.
- [g] Olivia Newton-John was internally selected to represent United Kingdom at Eurovision 1974. Newton-John performed three songs a show over two shows on BBC1. Viewers were asked to cast votes via postcards through the mail to choose the Eurovision song for Olivia.
- [h] Each song was performed twice by different artists. Anne-Karine Strøm won Melodi Grand Prix 1974 with the song “Hvor er du?”. The winning song, Hvor er du?, was determined by a 14-member public jury. Anne-Karine Strøm was selected as the Norwegian artist for Eurovision 1974At Eurovision 1974 Anne-Karine performed the song in English under the title “The First Day Of Love”.
- Some years before she starred in the movie Grease, pop singer Olivia Newton-John represented the United Kingdom.
- Olivia Newton-John actually wanted to sing a different song, but Long Live Love was chosen by a public postal vote.
- 1974 saw the first participation of Greece who sent their national star Marinella.
- ABBA took their collective name from the initials of their four members, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (Frida).
← Eurovision Song Contest 1973 • Eurovision Song Contest 1974 • Eurovision Song Contest 1975 →
Countries (in order of appearance)
|Final||Finland ⦁ United Kingdom ⦁ Spain ⦁ Norway ⦁ Greece ⦁ Israel ⦁ Yugoslavia ⦁ Sweden (winner) ⦁ Luxembourg ⦁ Monaco • Belgium ⦁ The Netherlands ⦁ Ireland ⦁ Belgium • Germany • Switzerland • Portugal • Italy|
Artists (in order of appearance)
|Final||Carita ⦁ Olivia Newton-John ⦁ Peret ⦁ Anne-Karine Strøm and the Bendik Singers ⦁ Marinella ⦁ Poogy ⦁ Korni Grupa ⦁ ABBA (winner) ⦁ Ireen Sheer • Romuald ⦁ Jacques Hustin ⦁ Mouth and MacNeal ⦁ Tina Reynolds • Cindy and Bert ⦁ Piera Martell ⦁ Paulo de Carvalho • Gigliola Cinquetti|
Songs (in order of appearance)
|Final||“Keep Me Warm” ⦁ “Long Live Love” ⦁ “Canta y sé feliz” ⦁ “The First Day of Love” ⦁ “Krasi, thalassa ke t’ agori mou” (Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ’ αγόρι μου) ⦁ “Natati La Khayay” (נתתי לה חיי) ⦁ “Generacija ’42” (Генерација ’42) ⦁ “Waterloo” (winner) ⦁ “Bye Bye I Love You” ⦁ “Celui qui reste et celui qui s’en va” ⦁ “Fleur de liberté” • “I See a Star” ⦁ “Cross Your Heart” ⦁ “Die Sommermelodie” ⦁ “Mein Ruf nach dir” ⦁ “E depois do adeus” • “Sì“|
|Non-participating entries: Francia: Dani – “La Vie à 25 Ans / La vie à vingt-cinq ans”|