It might only be months since Salvador Sobral gave Portugal its first-ever victory at Eurovision 2017, but we’re already thinking about Eurovision 2018. There’s a lot of organising to do from both the host country and all the competing countries.
Where is the contest being held and what countries will be participating in Eurovision 2018? Here’s all the information you need!
Where is Eurovision 2018 being held?
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). The contest will be held at Altice Arena, alongside the Tagus River in Lisbon.
When will Eurovision 2018 be held?
The semi-finals will be held on 8 and 10 May 2018, while the grand final of Eurovision 2018 will be held on 12 May 2018. These dates have been locked in, so you can go ahead and book your flights and accommodation!
Who are the hosts of Eurovision 2018?
Eurovision 2018 will be hosted by Portuguese television presenters Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Catarina Furtado and Portuguese-American actress and NCIS: Los Angeles star Daniela Ruah.
What is the logo and slogan of Eurovision 2018?
The branding for Eurovision 2018 has a nautical theme. The main logo is a seashell, but 12 additional sea-themed icons will also be used as part of the branding.
The slogan for Eurovision 2018 is “All aboard!”. It’s intended to represent the openness and welcoming spirit of the song contest.
Which countries are doing Eurovision 2018?
43 countries have been officially confirmed for Eurovision 2018. Russia is returning to the contest after withdrawing in 2017.
After 1 September 2018, broadcasters may reveal their selected songs or national final contenders. So far eight artists have been announced and one song has been released.
Some countries will select their act and song via internal selection, while others will use some form of national final to let the public decide.
Albania – Eugent Bushpepa “Mall”
Albania again selected their act via the long-running song competition Festivali i Këngës. The winner was rock singer Eugent Bushpepa with his self-written song “Mall” (Yearning). The song will be edited down to make the Eurovision time limit, but it’s less likely that any other changes will happen.
Armenia will again use their national final Depi Evratestil, but this time both the song and singer will be selected. The 20 competing acts have been confirmed and the show will take place in February.
Australia – Jessica Mauboy
As well as being part of the inaugural Eurovision Asia Song Contest, Australia has also been invited back to participate in Eurovision 2018. Broadcaster SBS has internally selected Jessica Mauboy, who previously performed as an interval act in 2014. Her song will be released at a later date.
Austria – Cesár Sampson “Nobody But You”
The broadcaster ORF has internally selected Cesar Sampson, who has previously performed at Eurovision as a backing artist for Bulgaria. His song, tentatively titled “Nobody But You”, will be revealed in February.
Azerbaijan – Aisel
Broadcaster Ictimai has internally selected the bluesy singer Aisel. Her song will be revealed at a later date.
Belgium – Laura Groeseneken
Flemish broadcaster VRT is organising Belgium’s entry this year. The broadcaster has internally selected pop/soul/electronic singer Laura Groeseneken. Her song for Lisbon will be revealed at a later date.
Bulgaria’s broadcaster BNT is again using internal selection to choose their act. They are looking for an established artist with creative ideas who is able to financially partner with the broadcaster. The act will be selected by the end of January and will be revealed on 12 March.
Broadcaster HRT has not yet confirmed their selection method for Lisbon. Local media are suggesting that HRT will return to the traditional national final format, Dora. However, this has also been disputed.
Cypriot broadcaster CyBC was earlier confirmed to be using a national final to select its act for Lisbon, however reports now suggest the artist will be internally selected. The song will be written by top songwriter Alex Papaconstantinou.
After holding an open song submission process, broadcaster Czech Television will hold a national final to choose its act for Lisbon. Six finalists will face an international jury and public vote. The online vote will be held from 8 January, with the result announced on 29 January.
Danish broadcaster DR is making changes to Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. The grand final will take place on 10 February.
Broadcaster ERR will again use the national final Eesti Laul, which will celebrate its tenth year. The competing songs in both semi-final one and semi-final two have been released. The grand final of Eesti Laul will take place on 3 March 2018.
Finland – Saara Aalto
Finnish broadcaster YLE has internally selected UMK 2016 runner-up and X Factor UK 2016 runner-up Saara Aalto. Her song will be chosen from one of three performed at the national final UMK on 3 March.
Broadcaster France 2 will hold a national final in January, Destination Eurovision. The 18 competing acts have been revealed and the second semi-final will take place on 20 January.
Georgia – Iriao
The jazz/ethno-folk group Iriao has been internally selected by broadcaster GPB. Their song will be revealed at a later date.
Greek broadcaster ERT has reportedly shortlisted three acts to compete at a national final. This year the broadcaster is looking for a song written in a traditional Greek style and with Greek lyrics. The final will reportedly be held in early February.
RUV will again select their entry via the long-running national final Söngvakeppnin, with the grand final scheduled for 3 March.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ will select their entry using internal selection, with entry open to the public. Punk legend John Lydon is one of the acts vying for the selection.
The EBU has given new Israeli broadcaster IPBC special permission to enter Eurovision 2018. Israel will again use the talent show Rising Star to select their act for Eurovision.
The winner of the Sanremo Song Festival 2018 will have first refusal to be Italy’s act for Lisbon. The competing acts for Sanremo 2018 have been announced. The grand final will take place on 10 February.
Broadcaster LRT will again use their epic national final “Eurovizijos” dainu konkurso nacionaline atranka. The series is in progress, with an expected grand final finish of early March.
After resolving EBU debt issues, broadcaster MRT will back for 2018. It’s not known how MRT will choose their act for Lisbon. Internal selection is likely, but there are also rumours of some sort of national final.
Broadcaster TVM will again use the national final O melodie pentru Europa. Live auditions will be held and from that 16 songs will progress to the semi-final. The grand final will be held on 24 February.
Broadcaster RTCG is bringing back the national final Montevizija, with the grand final scheduled for February 17.
The Netherlands – Waylon
Broadcaster AVROTROS has internally selected the country singer Waylon to again represent The Netherlands. He previously competed in 2014 as part of the Common Linnets.
Broadcaster NRK will again use the national final Melodi Grand Prix. The competing acts and songs have been revealed, and future three former Norwegian Eurovision stars. The grand final will be on 10 March.
Broadcaster TVP has plans to hold a national selection to choose the Polish act for Lisbon.
The host broadcaster will again use their long-running national final Festival da Canção. It will have a similar format to 2017, with invited composers and two semi-finals. The grand final is scheduled for 4 March.
Romania will again use the national final Selectia Nationala which will this year involve five semi-finals. The grand final will be held on 25 February.
The Russian broadcaster has not made any comment on their participation in 2018. It is thought that Russia will again use internal selection.
Local media is speculating that broadcaster RTS will return to using their original national final, Beovizija. However, RTS has not confirmed this. Internal selection is also a possibility.
Broadcaster RTVE will use the relaunched talent show Operación triunfo to select their act for Lisbon. Prior to the OT grand final, the top five acts will each be paired with a song at a special gala on January 29, and the winner will be determined by 100% public vote.
Swedish broadcaster SVT is again using the successful national selection Melodifestivalen. The 28 completing acts have been announced and the grand final will take place on 10 March.
Ukraine will again use their national final, though without a public wildcard this time.
The UK will use the national final Eurovision: You Decide, with Måns Zelmerlöw co-hosting the final. Public submissions are being accepted, as well as invited entries from established songwriters.
Which countries aren’t doing Eurovision 2018?
Every year fans are hopeful that these countries will make a return or debut, but sadly these countries won’t be appearing at Eurovision 2018.
- Andorra: RTVA has confirmed that Andorra will not return to Eurovision, due to financial reasons.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: While the country’s television licence collection issues have been resolved, broadcaster BHRT has told fan media that finances are still an issue and it is “not realistic” for Bosnia and Herzegovina to return in 2018.
- Kazakhstan: Like Australia, the Central Asian country’s national broadcaster is only an associate member of the EBU so would need to be specifically invited to compete in Eurovision.
- Kosovo: While local media is hopeful for a debut, the EBU has confirmed that as RTK is not currently a member of the EBU, Kosovo is ineligible to enter Eurovision.
- Liechtenstein: While the broadcaster has expressed interest in participating, it is not currently a member of the EBU and therefore unable to participate in Eurovision.
- Luxembourg: Despite an active local fan community, broadcaster RTL has confirmed that Luxembourg will not return to Eurovision due to the usual reasons of budget and size.
- Monaco: Last seen at Eurovision in 2006, the tiny principality has confirmed they will not return to Eurovision 2018.
- Morocco: While broadcaster SNRT has not commented on any potential participation, the North African country has only participated at Eurovision once, 37 years ago. Their return is extremely unlikely.
- Slovakia: Broadcaster RTVS has confirmed to fan media that Slovakia will not return to Eurovision in 2018.
- Turkey: The annual glimmer of hope for a Turkish return came and went. Broadcaster TRT confirmed that Turkey will not make a comeback in Lisbon, due to financial reasons and the broadcaster’s continued dissatisfaction with the voting system.