Eurovision 2016: The story so far…
As the music fades on another successful Junior Eurovision Song Contest, I started to get even more excited for next year’s Eurovision, but then I realised I was a little bit ‘out of it’, if you like, in terms of what we know so far. So I thought I’d spend some time yesterday recapping stories, researching the news and generally bringing myself up to speed. So here’s my quick update for you of Eurovision 2016: The story so far…
Where’s it at? Sweden, obviously, I’m pretty sure you know that! So what do we know of our venue? The event will be held at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena, which has seen Eurovision action before as it was the venue for the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest. It has a seating capacity of 16,000 (making it a similar size to our venue for this year, the Wiener Stadhalle) and just in case you want even more thrills from your trip to Stockholm for Eurovision, you can take a trip on the ‘Skyview’, an exterior pod that climbs up the outside of the arena and deposits you on the very top for unparalleled views of Stockholm, oh yes, I’m definitely doing that, who’s with me?!
Who’s in, who’s out? The EBU have confirmed there are 43 countries who have submitted an application, here are some of the notable ones. Firstly Australia are back, which is a bit of a crowd divider I know, seems that Guy Sebastian flew the flag well for Australia so they are back, but this time they have to compete in the semi-finals. Turkey threw their toys out of the pram at the end of 2012 stating that they disagreed with the current rules of participation and thus have not joined us since then. There were some rumours over the summer that they had decided to return in 2016 but it was confirmed a few weeks ago that they wouldn’t. Perhaps the statement that they made saying after Conchita’s victory they will never compete in the contest again, is actually going to be followed through.
Personally I hope Turkey do return, as for the most part I have very much enjoyed their entries and they always bring a little bit of the exotic east to the contest. Other regulars who won’t be at 2016 are Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia and Portugal, we’re sad you’re not playing this year, we miss you all and look forward to you coming back soon. STOP PRESS: News just in Bosnia and Herzegovina are BACK. We last saw them in the contest in 2012 so after a few years off, it will be wonderful to see them on the Eurovision stage once again. So with Bosnia & Herzegovina in, that makes 43.
Who’s singing, what are the songs? Whilst we don’t have any songs yet, we do have a few singers who have been named. Cyprus are sending rock band Minus One and it seems Cyprus are pulling no punches this year as they are working with Thomas G:Son who has written countless songs for Eurovision including 2012 winning song Euphoria. Armenia have announced that pop star Iveta Mukuchyan will represent them. Highway will be representing Montenegro, this trio of lads came 4th in X Factor Adria last year, their style is a kind of bass-y, guitar-y, funk-y sound. Finally, we know that Douwe Bob, the 23 year old country singer-songwriter from Amsterdam will be flying the flag for The Netherlands. The newest singer to be announced is Kaliopi who will be flying the flag for FRY Macedonia. You may of recognise Kaliopi as she represented Macedonia in Baku in 2012 (Is it me, or does that seem like a really long time ago?!) And then there was Xavier Naidoo for Germany, and then there wasn’t! It is, of course, far too early to start sighting any winner, but I’d say if they come up with the right song, keep half an eye on Macedonia and Cyprus.
Who’s having national selection shows and can we watch them? Well let’s start with the obvious Melodifestivalen is of course alive and kicking and will be streamed on SVT online the final is on March 12th, mark your diaries! The Sanremo Festival will once again decide Italy representative, stay tuned to RAI1 for details of the livestream. If you’ve got nothing happening much over Christmas you can watch 30 acts battle it out in Albania to be their representative, RTSH are streaming Festivali I
Këngës live on 25th, 26th and 27th December – Merry Christmas! ORF (Austria) had been undecided as to whether to preselect or whether to have a selection show, they went for the latter and Wer singt für Österreich will be streamed on ORF’s website on 12th February and if that wasn’t enough you can hop across the western border for Switzerland’s national final the following day. For the first time in what seems like forever, the UK will have a national selection show. No details so far from the BBC, but I’m watching and waiting eagerly for news on that. There are many others to come too, in fact the first 10 weeks of the year will, as always, be awash with national selection shows, song announcements and Eurovision news.
Who’s hosting? The simple answer is, we don’t know yet! There are several names in the frame, so to speak. 2013 host Petra Mede’s name was being talked about pretty much as Måns was collecting the trophy, and Måns himself also said he’d love to be involved. Gina Diwari, Sanna Neilson and Dolph Lundgren are three other potential names that have been talked about. One thing I am going to guess is that there will be a male presenter this year after Vienna’s all girl line-up of hosts.
Can we get tickets yet? Aha, the big question! And the answer is YES. The first wave of tickets went on sale yesterday the starting price for tickets is 100SEK which is about €11 or £8 (guessing these aren’t for the grand final though!) What better way to treat a Eurovision fan than with a ticket to Stockholm under the tree this Christmas.
I think that’s it, of course stay tuned to Eurovision Ireland for all your updates as the national selections take place and of course we’ll bring you all the news, views (and gossip!) as we get closer and closer to the Eurovision Song Contest 2016; hands up, who’s excited! Did you get your tickets yesterday?
Guest Author : Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source : Eurovision Ireland