One of the best things about Eurovision is that it moves every year – so not only does every contest give you another set of songs to enjoy, but it also gives you a brand new host city to explore and fall in love with! But just how far has Eurovision moved over the years? What’s the furthest the contest has moved in a single year? Well, we wondered the same!
Never one to resist a map, Eurovision Ireland’s resident travel guru James has had a look and worked out the distance each Eurovision Song Contest has travelled from the previous year’s host venue to the next. He’s then ranked these to give us a Top 10 list of the greatest distances the contest has moved over the years.
Disclaimer for geographers: All distances are calculated in a straight line, or as the crow flies between the host venues each year. They are also approximate values calculated in miles, then converted into kilometres for our European friends. So without further ado, let’s get going!
10 – Riga, Latvia to Istanbul, Turkey
1125 miles / 1811 km
From the Baltic to the Bosphorus in one step! Turkey’s first ever win in 2003 also saw the contest travel over a thousand miles the following year to Istanbul. The 2004 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest also saw the first semi-final introduced, leading some to argue this was the beginning of the modern contest we know today!
9 – Athens, Greece to Helsinki, Finland
1534 miles / 2469 km
Lordi’s victory in Athens took Eurovision over 1500 miles north, from the sun kissed Mediterranean to the northern most capital city in mainland Europe! Both countries had to wait several decades before they got a chance to host – 31 years in Greece’s case and 45 for Finland!
8 – Baku, Azerbaijan to Malmö, Sweden
1972 miles / 3174 km
EUUUUPPPPHHHHOOOOOOOOORRRIIIAAAAAAA!!! Let’s face it, we watched Eurovision 2012 not to see IF Loreen would win, but by how much she would win! Taking the trophy from the shores of the Caspian Sea to Scandinavia saw the contest clock up almost 2000 miles for the 2013 edition.
7 – Jerusalem, Israel to Stockholm, Sweden
2062 miles / 3318 km
Featuring again on our list, it seems Sweden has a knack for winning Eurovision at the remoter corners of the Eurovision map! (Does that mean we can expect the same in Tel Aviv?!) “Take Me To Your Heaven” took us to Melodifestivalen heaven, namely the Swedish capital Stockholm for Eurovision 2000.
6 – Paris, France to Jerusalem, Israel
2075 miles / 3339 km
In 1979, the contest moved from Paris to Jerusalem. As well as being Israel’s first time hosting the contest, it was also the first time the contest moved over 2000km in a single year. In fact, it more than doubled the previous largest move in Eurovision history from Copenhagen to Naples in 1965!
5 – Kyiv, Ukraine to Lisbon, Portugal
2084 miles / 3354 km
Portugal’s first-ever win in Kyiv in 2017 saw Eurovision hop from the edges of Eastern Europe to the most westerly capital of mainland Europe – almost at opposite ends of Europe! Interestingly, the winners of both Eurovision 2017 and 2018 were also at opposite ends of the spectrum of musical genres (!)
4 – Jerusalem, Israel to The Hague, the Netherlands
2094 miles / 3370 km
Although Israel hosted and won the 1979 contest, they declined organising it a second year running so the contest went to the The Hague instead. Had Israel hosted, and Johnny Logan still won there, the jump from Jerusalem to Dublin would have easily topped this list!
3 – Düsseldorf, Germany to Baku, Azerbaijan
2175 miles / 3500 km
The Land of Fire’s first foray into Eurovision was indeed a spectacular event – I mean, how amazing was the Baku Crystal Hall?! The move to Baku for Eurovision 2012 from Germany was, at the time, the second furthest the contest had ever moved – meaning it was only recently pushed down into 3rd!
2 – Birmingham, UK to Jerusalem, Israel
2341 miles / 3767 km
Marking both the last time both the UK and Israel hosted Eurovision, the mammoth journey from Birmingham to Jerusalem sat comfortably at the top of this list for 20 years as Eurovision’s longest journey… so just how far do you have to go to beat it?!
1 – Lisbon, Portugal to Tel Aviv, Israel
2493 miles / 4012 km
Yes, Eurovision 2019 is moving further across the continent than ever before! By going from Portugal’s capital Lisbon all the way to Tel Aviv in Israel, the contest will travel over 4,000 km for the first time ever. Could this record ever be broken? Guess we’ll have to wait and see!
What do you think of our list? Which city do you think Eurovision will jump to for 2020?
Let us know what you think!
Author: James Scanlan
Source: Eurovision Ireland, http://tjpeiffer.com/crowflies.html
Images: Eurovision Ireland via http://tjpeiffer.com/crowflies.html