Plans for Finland’s national final 2021 are well underway. Entries are currently open and broadcaster YLE has also confirmed that the grand final of UMK 2021 will take place on 20 February 2021. The show will again be held at a television studio at the Mediapolis complex in Tampere.

Applications for UMK 2021 opened on 1 September and will close on Monday, 7 September.

UMK entries must comply with the EBU’s standard rules for Eurovision, but the Finnish broadcaster also requires that at least one songwriter and at least one lead vocalist must have Finnish citizenship or permanent residency.

There is no stipulation of what language the song must be sung in. Typically, Finland selects English-language songs for Eurovision, however in the past decade, Finland has also sent a Swedish ballad and a Finnish punk rock song. At UMK 2020, the Finnish-language “Cicciolina” won the televote and placed second overall.

The UMK rules also require that entries must not be sent to song selections in other countries. They’re looking for unique UMK entries, not generic hand-me-downs rejected from other national finals.

From the submitted songs, an expert panel led by YleX’s music manager Tapio Hakanen will select a number of entries to compete in the national final. The finalists will be announced in January 2021.

UMK 2021 returns to Tampere

UMK 2021 will return to a studio at the Mediapolis complex in the city of Tampere. This was also the venue for the 2020 show.

YLE hasn’t said if the event will have a studio audience or if so, what size it will be. The Finnish government currently allows indoor events with an audience of more than 500 if the event complies with public health guidelines.

Check out the size of last year’s venue with our footage of the winner’s annoucement filmed from the audience:

Will Aksel return to UMK 2021?

Among the Finnish artists submitting an entry this week is likely to include 2020 winner Aksel Kankaanranta.

Earlier in the year, YLE confirmed that Aksel would not be granted an automatic place in the 2021 competition. However, the broadcaster said that Aksel was welcome to submit an entry for consideration.

In April, he confirmed his intention to enter, saying he was working on new music for the contest.

What do you think? Who would you like to see enter UMK 2021? What sort of song should Finland send to Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below.

Read more Finland Eurovision news here

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Una
Una
2 months ago

Nice reminder of the rules for UMK!! I would like of course to see Aksel back. His song was the most memorable for me from 2020 and a huge grower in the big contest. I do not know the Finnish music scene well so it is impossible for me to come up with ideas right now. But it is so good to see that another broadcaster gives us news about their plans for next year!!

Charity Shop Sue
2 months ago

Will this clash with melfest and the Danish show again? I hope not

Una
Una
2 months ago

It looks like it will not. Article states that UMK is scheduled for 20 February. Melodifestivalen and DGP are usually in the first or second week of March. I am pretty sure I have read about Mello being scheduled 6 March 2021.

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
2 months ago

I hope that Aksel Kankaanranta get’s another change to represent Finland next year with a great song.

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 months ago

With this kind of announcements I feel the Esc 2021 more and more concrete, and I’m a little bit reassured.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

I wish all participating countries had that same rule as in only accepting entries by songwriters who didn’t submit other songs to guess what, the competition. Very well done Finland!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Alongside the requirement for one of the songwriters to have permanent residency/citizenship, Finland might just have my favourite rules of any NF!

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Yes indeed!

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

I like that too.