They’ve waited 54 years to host the Eurovision Song Contest, and Portugal want to make it as memorable as they can.

Today host broadcaster RTP set the groundworks for Eurovision 2018 during a press conference at RTP HQ, which included the announcement of Lisbon as host city, as well as dates for the contest, which culminates in the grand final on May 12.

Of course, there was lots more to talk about too. Thankfully wiwiblogger Bernardo was on-the-scene Instagramming with one hand and Facebook live-streaming with the other.

You can watch the full press conference below. Check the Facebook comments for live translations as well.

RTP Press Conference: Full Livestream

Eurovision Song Contest 2018 – Press Conference @ RTP

Posted by Wiwibloggs on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RTP President Goncalo Reis was clear that his team weren’t feeling the pressure of hosting:

We didn’t just win. We won with personality and authenticity. The team from RTP reinvented Festival da Canção and it paid off. We are not worried about organising Eurovision. We are excited. Eurovision is a huge event for Portugal and the city, for music and entertainment content. It’s an amazing opportunity for internationalisation.

This international mood is why Lisbon and the MEO Arena were chosen, with Reis calling it a “rational” decision. The city council and tourism board will help foot the bill for the events and venue.

A full budget will be ready in December. But it sounds like Portugal has got everything well and truly in order already. After the 2017 budget crisis saga, it’s a welcome change!

RTP’s Daniel Duesdado put it simply: “Portugal won a responsibility. We couldn’t miss that responsibility. We needed to do it and do it well…an opportunity for development.”

It’s great to see the Portuguese team already looking at all the positives of Eurovision 2018. It’s still very early days, of course. But there’s a real sense that Lisbon 2018 could be a truly classy — and classic — year.

What do you think of RTP’s early preparations? Are you excited to see what the shows will be like? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!

Find more Portugal Eurovision news here

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Gariv Voge
Guest
Gariv Voge

Early predictions for 2018
Either Belgium, Romania, Russia or more likely Bulgaria will win!!! 🙂

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

I’m from Romania and for the first time I start to think that my country is desperate to win Eurovision, because we became obsessed with having many international music festivals during the summer especially. Romania is one of the countries that don’t have a strong NF, but somehow a decent song emerges. In 2016 the disqualified ‘Moment of silence’ was voted only for emotional reasons, because the song was about a real life tragedy. I have no idea what will be in 2018, some desperate attempt to find the perfect EDM, or anything else. My hope is that will not… Read more »

Osterreich
Guest
Osterreich

I have a feeling Belgium, Netherlands, hopefully it will be Hungary!

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

How can you make a prediction when you haven’t even heard the songs yet?

greenmoon
Guest
greenmoon

ICELAND

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

They’ve hosted the EUROs before, which is arguably a much bigger event than Eurovision in terms of people and fans. I have no doubts that they can come together and pull off an amazing event, down to the details/events leading up to the contest (such as Vienna’s crosswalks, the offerings for the fan club, etc.). It’s so hard though because it’s very difficult to separate the contest and production from the music–I loved the music in 2009, 2010, and 2013, but the production was a bit lacking compared to what we’ve had in other years. I love the ubiquitous LED… Read more »

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

It is interesting to see that people that continue wining about the winning song try to find all sorts of arguments to belittle the victory, RTP and the country. How sad…

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I read somewhere it will be the cheapest contest in the last year(cost wise), I’m not sure if that’s good or not?

Josh S.
Guest
Josh S.

Well… Look, for example, at Sweden 2016, Stockholm: €14 Million, the cheapest of the last, I don’t know, decade? xD

Did you like that show?

To help the comparison: Denmark spent around €45 Million in 2013; Azerbaijan spent more than €65 Million in 2012 (not counting the millions they spent on the water system renovation, etc.); Ukraine Spent around €30 Million in 2017.

I still think Stockholm managed to put on a better show, all things considered.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Well it didn’t beat Denmark, but it was still one of the better contests(Sweden 2016)… Im still worried about it, Sweden knew what they were doing you know, they have hosted it a lot of the times before, well I hope for the best.

Kai
Guest
Kai

you have no idea about the infrastructures in Lisbon to host ESC. I guess you are worried because you totally underestimate Portugal…

Music is the key
Guest
Music is the key

I am So happy for Portugal winning…:-D One thing is that they desered it, after so many (often undeserved) bad placings, ever since 1964…. AND – I think it was so deserved. It WAS the best song. Italy was my favourite….but it became a bit too “simple” in the long run…Along with ukraine, latvia and Belgium etc. Portugal was best. The very best! A very original song. Done with heartfelt honestly. Lovely, expressive voice. Atmospheric, beutiful melody. Full of soul And actully, this retro 30s jazz vibe sounded just perfect in 2017 even! WONDERFUL! And I think his “speech” about… Read more »

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

RTP is already working in the contest preparations, though it’s still summer. And I give them credit for that. They’ve been waiting for 50+ years. Now that they have the opportunity to host, they don’t want to miss the chance to present sth wonderful. If you want sth to be well done you start organising early. And that’s what Portugal does! I’m really looking forward to May 2018 and I’m optimistic about what we’re going to see. I’m sure they’ll do a great work. I hope they’ll put some traditional, authentic pieces of the Portuguese culture and the result will… Read more »

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

It’s their first time ever hosting ESC so I’d expect them to really promote their country’s culture, music and attractions much like Azerbaijan did in 2011. Can’t wait to there next year. Better start studying Portuguese then 😛

sheba
Guest
sheba

Azerbaijan 2012 was one of my favorites, some fans were just sad that hosts were not funny enough. I like hosts that speak english with local accent, I don’t mind if they are not funny, just try to be yourself, and it’s hard when is your only chance to prove you are a modern country, but Portugal is proud so we can only hope they will make the right choices.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Is anyone really asking if Portugal is a modern country?

sheba
Guest
sheba

Modern countries don’t have corridas.

GreenMoon
Guest
GreenMoon

If you are talking about “bullfights” unfortunately I have to agree with you…

sheba
Guest
sheba

Yes I’m talking about bullfights, is so unnecessary and ugly, why, just why?

Kai
Guest
Kai

modern coutries have good technological index, like Portugal

VF
Guest
VF

Actually, no one really attends bullfights other than pro-monarchy families from the Ribatejo region and old people in Alentejo. Here in the North it’s nonexistent.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

Modern countries don’t have fox hunting either but that still goes on in the UK (albeit technically illegally)

Kai
Guest
Kai

“is your only chance to prove you are a modern country”?? Host the ESC? LOL Not at all
Portugal already host much bigger events like Expo´98 or Euro2004

sheba
Guest
sheba

Luisa Sobral should represent Portugal, Lena did that in 2010, 2011, now it’s time for Luisa to write a song for herself. It’s the natural choice.

sheba
Guest
sheba

Why do you have to downgrade Ukraine, in order to say how great Portugal is? I feel that your optimism is based on mitigating Ukraine. We’ll see what will be next year, no need to speak bad about Ukraine.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Not bad about the country, rather the organisation was a total mess

Denis
Guest
Denis

What is so wrong with simply saying a song won? Which is what happened. Nothing more, nothing less.
Don’t like this attitude from RTP and some fans, that real music won and that it is a game changer. Weren’t the other winners music too? Weren’t they authentic too? People believed in them enough to win.
Don’t make this win more important than it is, it is not an earth shattering event .

jet
Guest
jet

To be honest, they have a point by saying that they won with personality and authenticity. Amar pelos dois is everything that Eurovision isn’t. It’s just a Portuguese song that no one ever thought could do well in this competition. Just look at “Love Love Peace Peace”. It tries to teach people how to do well in ESC, and let’s face it, they kind of had a point. You have to go big with the performance and have a formulaic song. However, Portugal took the risk and went in the opposite direction. It worked and they are proud. But trust… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

“authenticity and personality” doesn’t always work … because we are too damn lazy to full appreciate music outside of the cheesy kitsch formula that has installed itself in Eurovision … and a lot of it we have ourselves to blame … Eurovision could have a lot more musical credibility … if we weren’t always expecting all that bs every single damn year.

jet
Guest
jet

What I meant is that authenticity and personality is not the same as having a good song. Portugal can’t expect to have a “Salvador Sobral” and a “Amar pelos dois” every year.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

You say that you have to go big or go home with the stage show and conform to a special formula to win Eurovision. Honestly, that’s one way to guarantee failure. Look at both Ireland (as sickening as the hot air balloon was) and Denmark. Both songs that displayed ZERO personality or real interest for it’s listeners and quite elaborately staged (you might say that it wasn’t, but Anja’s overall presentation and delivery, as passionate as it was, was quite extraordinary). Look at what happened, both failed quite miserably. Ireland missed out and Denmark nearly followed suit. So that only… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

Yes but that statement is still wrong. That makes it look as if Salvador was the only one who won with being authentic and that it makes him special. But wasn’t other winners before him authentic? Wasn’t Rybak authentic in his style? Lena? Loreen? Or the winners from the 70s?
Authentic means people believe in you and that they felt the artist really believes in the words and performamce. Was Salvador really the only one who won due to being “real”?

Josh S.
Guest
Josh S.

Denis, I believe they were merely saying they are proud of having won singing in Portuguese with a clearly portuguese song. I think we all (no matter the country) have that fear of winning with a song that is not special. So, when you win with that is different from everything else and true to the country it comes from, it makes you proud. I don’t think they were sayng every other winner was not athentic. For example, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Sweden (2012), Austria, and many others… were all authentic in their own way as well… People try to make… Read more »

Ddraven
Guest
Ddraven

It’s precisely because it’s Portugal that he, and others, twist anything that is said, because to them Portugal is a country of idiots and is just a trash country.
If it was his precious Sweden, or other countries like Russia, Azerbaijan or Iceland, he would defend them, saying their statement is fully justified.

Denis
Guest
Denis

No I would still say the same. Pretentious quotes is something I dislike.
And the difference is that Sweden don’t see a win as as earth shattering event that will change things.

Josh S.
Guest
Josh S.

Well, when you consistently place in the TOP10 or TOP5 and your country is the only country which won the contest twice in the new century, as well as the country with the second highest number of victories, it helps… xD When you’re a country that hasn’t been to the final since 2010, only has one neighbour, and have never been higher than 6th place, a victory with the record-breaking score of all time makes you cry, laugh, go crazy. I would say it’s pretty normal. And, by the way, I may or may not agree with Salvador. But I… Read more »

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

If you sing in a language other than your native one, then by definition you are being less than authentic.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

All too often is eccentricity mistaken for authenticity. People apply these labels like real/fake, original/generic, masterpiece/meh to make the world easier to understand. To some 2014 was a rebellion against social norms, to some it was a bearded lady. To some 2015 was the story one nation’s utter devotion to this contest, to some it was a stick man. To some 2016 was the scream of generations of anguish, to some it was politics. We all need to feel special so we create our own narratives for what’s happening around us. So for some 2017 must be the cataclysmic dethroning… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

But we can all agree that the best song never wins. Except for Euphoria; that song was the bomb.

jet
Guest
jet

The best song doesn’t always win, but it does from time to time. And I think that 2017 fits into the latter. Besides, it was Portugal’s time. They deserved to do well at least once in their history.

Music is the key
Guest
Music is the key

It is 100 % right though….real music, honest quality music won over glamour and gimincks…

That’s how ESC should be…about honest, original, quality music…not generic contrived schlagers / euroballads.

And about MUSIC of course…not glamour 🙂

So totally right thing to say

Evan
Guest
Evan

Exactly. I would have liked if they had won with a song. But OK. Eurovision has survived worse winners.Nothing to fret about. Not yet.

I’m liking what RTP is doing though. Refreshing logo for the city. After Ukraine’s organizational nightmares this seems refreshing.

Osterreich
Guest
Osterreich

Simple and refreshing logo! I hope it’s the official one.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

As far as I know, it’s not the actual 2018 logo. It’s probably just a design to brand the city/dates announcement and so that the official website can move away from the 2017 design.

As with previous years, we should expect the 2018 logo and slogan to be formally and definitively revealed later in the year. 🙂

Osterreich
Guest
Osterreich

So it means this is just the logo Lisbon presented for the selection? The Eurovision facebook page already uses the blue theme for its profile picture.

James
Guest
James

Last year when the EBU announced the dates of the contest sans the actual host city, they’ve put up an image of purple particles on Facebook, which didn’t match up with the eventual over-all design for the 2017 contest.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I like the design. Clearly a representation of Portugal’s past as a sea barring superpower.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Looking forward to to Lisbon 2018. Really hoping that Portugal promote their culture and landscape through Eurovision 2018 and it becomes a typically Portuguese event. The past few years, Eurovision has felt like any typical music show (X-Factor), it could really have been hosted anywhere. This is Portugal’s first time hosting and I think they should make the most of it. They won with a classical and cultural song, let’s keep this trend in the actual hosting. No Justin Timberlake, No “We Are One” [email protected]…:make this typically Portuguese! Postcards, Theme music, interval acts etc …showcase your beautiful country and your… Read more »

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I think it didn’t felt like X-factor, but yeah I get your point and I agree with you. Azerbaijan, Ukraine did quite a good job in that- Since 2010, when I started watching ESC.

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s mainly the western countries that disregard their own culture when they are hosting. Sweden would rather have an American interval act while Denmark would rather have an Australian interval act…something about China or some weird futuristic man on a ladder singing.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Well let’s look at the history. Sweden hosted in 2013, therefore the Swedish feeling of presentation. Then Denmark hosted; another Scandinavian country so not surprising the shows felt similar.

The following year was Austria; another wealthy western country, although they were a but behind in the technology (every time they lost a signal during the voting).

Then back to Sweden; then a Swedish ran year in Ukraine…

Is it really any wonder why the last five years have felt similar?

Charles
Guest
Charles

“We didn’t just win. We won with personality and authenticity.” And I would add although it would never be politically correct to admit it … “We won this because we know what music is and should sound like … and Swedish-bubblegum-recycled-radio-pop ain’t that” I can imagine the number of Portuguese musicians, Jorge Palma, Sérgio Godinho, Rui Veloso, Jose Cid (who ironically took part in 1980) and the rock band Xutos and Pontapés, who have such a strong and passionate connection to music (in the vein of Salvador’s link to music) that will be complaining about the musical content within the… Read more »