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.