It’s finally time for Eurovision! Stockholm has been sparkling the whole week and visitors from all around the globe have come to enjoy the Eurovision. But how much do you know about this musical event? For instance, why are the Swedes so crazy about it? And why does the event cause such a debate? The Newbie Guide to Sweden briefs you on the most important matters concerning the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
- Why is Sweden hosting the Eurovision? The country who won the last Eurovision will host the next years event and as Måns Zelmerlöf won the whole shebang with the song “Hero” last year in Vienna, Sweden will stand host this year. However, it has caused a whole lot of debate due the costs that come with hosting the event. The estimated cost for the taxpayers is 95 million SEK – quite a lot for a television program many claim.
- Which countries are participating? 42 nations participate in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, but not all of them will perform in the final tomorrow. Just the “big five” (Spain, France, Germany, UK, Italy), Sweden (as the host) and the finalists from the two semi-finals will compete during the final. Most participating countries come from Europe. However, the European Broadcasting Union, EBU has a quite generous definition of Europe, so many countries that wouldn’t necessarily count as Europe participate. Even Australia has made into the Eurovision and is competing for the second time this year.
- How does the new voting system work? Eurovision will get a new voting system for the first time since 1975. It is inspired by the Swedish voting system applied at Melodifestivalen and means that each country gets to award two sets of point: one from a professional jury and another from televoting. This means that twice as many points will be awarded this year.
- Who will win the whole shebang? Nobody knows. However, the odds hint that Russia, Ukraine, France, Sweden and Australia might have a good shot. Sweden is represented by the 17 year old Frans from Ystad. He is the youngest person to represent Sweden in the Eurovision since Carola in 1983. But he is old in the game: he had his breakthrough when he was only seven with the hit “Who´s da man?”
- Why do Swedes love Eurovision? Eurovision is big in Sweden and a lot of Swedes are crazy about it. Swedes start off with their Eurovision preparation in January-February. Melodifestivalen (the Swedish pre selection for Eurovision) is split in several semi-finals stretching over a period of weeks. So Swedes surely love their Melodifestival and Eurovision. But why? One reason could be that music is very big in Sweden in general. Many define themselves through music and many Swedish artists have launched successful international careers. Another reason could be that Swedes lack a festival that has the ability to unite the whole nation. Most countries celebrate their national day. However, Swedes are quite low profile about the 6 of June. Melodifestivalen and Eurovision however, have the ability to do exactly that – it unites the nation.
Psst! The Swedish television will broadcast the whole event and you can also watch interviews, documentaries about the preparations and much more on SVT PLAY.