Recently we published an article looking at the furthest distances Eurovision has travelled over the decades. While compiling the data for that article, Eurovision Ireland regular and global wanderer James worked out the distance each Eurovision Song Contest has travelled from the previous year’s host venue to the next and ranked them. You’ve had the longest trips the contest has ever made – so what about the shortest?
Eurovision has flown from one end of the continent to the other. But what times might it have been better to take a bus… or even walk?! Below are the 10 shortest journeys Europe’s favourite TV show has made since the beginning. Can you guess which editions were closest? Read on and find out!
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.
10 – Dublin, Ireland to Edinburgh, UK
218 miles / 351 km
Although they won the previous year, Monaco’s small size meant they were unable to provide a suitable venue for the show (there were also rumours the country didn’t have the money to do so!) so the 1972 contest went to the Scottish capital Edinburgh. Monaco remains the only country in history to win but never host.
9 – London, UK to Paris, France
217 miles / 349 km
The move from London to Paris in 1978 saw several Eurovision firsts. Not only was Paris the backdrop for Israel’s first ever win with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”, but the 1978 contest saw the first time 2 people hosted together and the participation of 25 countries – while that would be a tiny Eurovision today, back then it was a record!
8 – Frankfurt, Germany to Hilversum, The Netherlands
211 miles / 340 km
1958 marked Eurovision’s 3rd outing and also one of it’s shortest journeys, moving just over the border from Frankfurt to Hilversum. This year was also the first time Eurovision was hosted in the country that won the previous year, giving rise to this tradition that continues even today.
7 – The Hague, The Netherlands to London, UK
199 miles / 320 km
Following the most recent Dutch Eurovision victory (well, we say recent, it was back in 1976…) Eurovision was taken across a narrow stretch of the North Sea to London by Brotherhood of Man. While nowadays it’s unthinkable to have Eurovision without Sweden, The Hague was one of the few contests they missed, as they claimed they couldn’t afford to host again if they won – worth mentioning they’ve hosted it 5 times since then!
6 – Dublin, Ireland to Harrogate, UK
198 miles / 319 km
“Where is Harrogate?” asked the opening credits of Eurovision 1982. Well, it’s in Yorkshire and just shy of 200 miles away from Dublin, which hosted the previous year. The 1982 contest saw Germany’s first Eurovision victory, but also France withdrawing from the contest, claiming rather dramatically that the contest was “a monument to insanity” – charming!
5 – Dublin, Ireland to Birmingham, UK
190 miles / 306 km
Appearing on this list for the 3rd time, this was the most recent time the contest moved from Ireland to the UK and the last time that either nation hosted. While this was one of the shortest journeys Eurovision has ever made, next year’s trip from Birmingham to Jerusalem reigned as Eurovision’s longest trip for 20 years!
4 – Tallinn, Estonia to Riga, Latvia
172 miles / 277 km
2001 saw Estonia take home their first Eurovision trophy and the next year in Tallinn saw another first time winner – Estonia’s neighbour Latvia! As the contest travelled down the Baltic states, you’d be forgiven for wondering if Lithuania were going to be next – but we’re still waiting on that on!
3 – Millstreet, Ireland to Dublin, Ireland
148 miles / 238 km
The 1993 contest was broadcast live from Millstreet, a remote town in County Cork in south west Ireland that still holds the record for the smallest host city for Eurovision. Ireland won the contest they were hosting (not for the last time either!) but next year the contest moved across the country to the capital, Dublin. Now surely you’d think you couldn’t it get any shorter than being in the same country?! Well…
2 – Malmö, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark
17 miles / 27 km
The move from Malmö in 2013 to Copenhagen in 2014 is one of only two Eurovisions that were held less than 100 miles apart. In fact, it only hopped over to the other side of the Öresund Bridge! Copenhagen and Malmö are so close, you can take a train between both cities in less than half an hour! This also marks the closest that 2 Eurovisions have been held whilst still being in separate countries. (Bet that’s given a big clue to who has the #1 spot on this list!!)
1 – Dublin, Ireland to Dublin, Ireland
0 miles / 0 km
Ireland’s 3rd hosting in 3 consecutive years, Eurovision 1994 and 1995 were not only hosted in the same city, but the same venue too! This counts the only time so far in history that Eurovision was held in the same place 2 years running. The Point Theatre even hosted Eurovision again (after a brief trip to Norway) in 1997 – making it the only venue in history to host the Eurovision Song Contest 3 times!
What do you think of our list? Which city do you think Eurovision will jump to for 2020? Will it be another epic trek across the continent, or just a stroll down the road?
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,
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