While other countries have already internally selected their acts for 2021, Sweden is sticking with what it does best — its six-decades-old national final Melodifestivalen. Broadcaster SVT has now released the entry rules for the 2021 edition of the competition.
It’s mostly business as usual for Melodifestivalen 2021. While there is no mention of COVID-19 in the rules, there’s also no sense that the competition will be scaled back. However, the venues for the six Melodifestivalen shows are still to be revealed.
In the rules, SVT confirms that the usual number of 28 acts will compete in the contest. As with previous years, 14 of the acts will be chosen by the selection jury from the songs entered via the open submission process. The other 14 songs will be internally selected by SVT from invited artists.
The Melodifestivalen 2021 rules also confirm that the winner of Mello 2021 will also be Sweden’s representative at Eurovision 2021. Therefore, there will be no changes to the way Sweden selects its act for Eurovision next year.
Entry is limited to Swedish citizens or residents, however people outside this category can collaborate with Swedish creatives.
While there is no language rule, SVT intends for at least ten of the competing songs to be in the Swedish language. Entrants can also submit versions of their song in different languages.
As well, SVT confirms that again, around half of the competing entries will have at least one female songwriter.
The broadcaster has also given a heads-up for a new rule coming in 2022. From next year, all songs written by more than one person should have at least one female songwriter. But this shouldn’t be difficult for Swedish songwriters to achieve. As it stands, most Melodifestivalen entries already have at least one female creative on the songwriting team.
The entry period for Melodifestivalen 2021 submissions opens on 24 August and closes just over three weeks later, on 16 September.
SVT will announce the selected entries for Melodifestivalen 2021 sometime in October or November.
The first Melodifestivalen 2021 act will come from P4 Nästa 2020
But fans won’t have to wait until November to learn the first competing act in Melodifestivalen 2021. One finalist from Sveriges Radio’s contest P4 Nästa will again receive a wildcard entry into the Melfest semi-finals.
The contest is run by the Swedish Radio network P4 and it aims to find new artists and new music suited to the station format. Most recently, Amanda Aasa competed at Mello 2020 with her song “Late”, which placed sixth in its semi-final.
Regional heats for P4 Nästa are currently taking place. From the 25 regional winners, eight acts will be selected to compete at the grand final on 12 September. From that contest, one act will be awarded wildcard entry to the Melodifestivalen grand final.
As the P4 Nästa final takes places before the 1 September release deadline for Eurovision songs, the winner of the Melodifestivalen wildcard must enter Melfest with a new song.
It’s not known how COVID-19 may impact the P4 Nästa grand final, however as it is primarily a radio contest, it will be more flexible than a television production.
What do you think? Who would you like to see enter Melodifestvialen 2021? What kind of song should Sweden send to Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below.