Picture sources: DR Arkiv/INA

French television conserver INA has confirmed to Wiwibloggs that it does not possess a working copy of Eurovision 1964. This follows fan rumours that the French repository held a working video copy of the contest in its archives.

Eurovision 1964 stays perhaps the most mysterious contest of all the 65 editions of the song contest. Besides the very first contest, the competition of 1964 remains the only Eurovision of which all original television footage has been lost. While a tape of the radio broadcast has been uncovered, currently no video exists of the broadcast.

The contest has a large amount of myths surrounding its tape loss. Eurovision.tv states that a later fire at the Danish host broadcaster DR erased all footage. Another rumour states that the BBC held on to a surviving tape, which they later wiped out during a routine clean-up of its archives. However, in 2019, DR stated that the contest had actually never been recorded on tape and was only ever broadcast live.

French television archive INA does NOT possess a copy of Eurovision 1964

The French Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA) has confirmed it doesn’t have the tapes of Eurovision 1964 either. Earlier, a fan rumour appeared after an anonymous Wikipedia user pointed to the INA catalogue pertaining an entry for the ninth contest.

On the site of the INA, searchers can indeed find an entry for the contest of 1964. This entry also features key details about the show, including the original broadcast date and the duration of the programme.

Eurovision 1964 indexed in the INA online catalogue

 

In an email exchange with Wiwibloggs, the television archive of the INA confirmed that this does NOT mean they have a consultable tape of the contest. The archive wrote to us:

“Unfortunately, the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 was broadcast live, and has not been recorded. The descriptive entry of the broadcast is actually available in our online catalogue, but we don’t have [it] in our consultable video collections.”

Fans have always hoped that the “lost” contests of 1956 and 1964 would once be found somewhere in some archive. Recently, by mere chance, ERT employees found an unreleased HD test version of the 2006 contest in Greece, giving hope for more lost tapes.

Did you hear the rumour? Do you have hope that a copy of Eurovision 1964 is still somewhere in Europe? Let us know in the comments down below!

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John Young
John Young
17 days ago

I would be very surprised if the Danish Broadcasting Corporation did not “roll tape” the night of March 21, 1964. But, in the period from 1956 to 1964, there were only three companies in the west successfully selling broadcast-quality videotape machines, Bosch Fernseh (Germany), Ampex (USA), and RCA (USA). The tape was 2 inches (50 mm) wide and the reels were as large as 10.5 inches (~26.67 cm) in diameter. The large reel tapes cost several hundred USD dollars back then. Not only was tape expensive, but took enormous space to store. Tape manufacturers such as 3M/Scotch, Ampex, BASF, and… Read more »

Wieke Kwieke
Wieke Kwieke
1 month ago

But why does INA registrate a programme they don’t have in their archives? So strange!
Search for ESC 1956 at INAthèque and you won’t find it. This is not registrated.
So my confidence in INAs answer is not 100%. Sorry.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

RAI probably have it in their archives since they WON.

Kirby
Kirby
1 month ago

I bet that, in a near future with the help of existing pictures, footage, that radio recording and… AI, some people may reenact Copenhagen 1964. Mark my words.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

One would think that somebody, somewhere, recorded the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest and did not junk it. Then again, there are still missing Doctor Who episodes from up to 1969, so maybe not.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Rebuild the 1964 stage and have Gigliola re-enact her performance as a Torino 2022 interval act.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I like that idea. Can I steal it and send it to Rai? 😀

Kaitlin
Kaitlin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

With led screens instead of the panels and a rail on the staircase

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

I once watched the video of the official ESC channel on youtube with the top10 italian entries, Non Ho L’eta obviously came 3rd iirc but what made me curious is that an actual clip played instead of a picture of Gigliola which is shown normally in other videos for Non Ho L’Eta. I guess there isn’t an actual tape of the whole show but at least it’s not COMPLETELY lost!

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

It was important. International broadcasting, live, was not as easy back then – the contest was an admirable part of helping that technology to grow.

Kirby
Kirby
1 month ago

Congratulations and many thanks for such an interesting article!

Jenny
Jenny
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

Because Gigliola won Rai asked for a copy of her second performance of the night to keep in the archives and to show clips of it during the news. So somewhere in the Rai archives there should be her entire performance

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

”To be or not to be a ESC tape, this is the question”.

Euroboitoy
Euroboitoy
1 month ago

With today’s technology, I don’t know why they don’t commission an animated contest for 1964. This has worked wonders for Doctor Who in recent years. They have a radio broadcast they can work with.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Euroboitoy

You know, I’ve often made comparisons between Doctor Who and Eurovision:

  1. They are both the longest running programs of their kind (sci-fi and music competition)
  2. They have undergone many changes over time due to their long-runner status (black-and-white to color for both, expanding from one show to three, episode length changes)
  3. They’ve had missing media (missing episodes vs missing contests)

I’m surprised there’s been very few Doctor Who videos using Eurovision songs (maybe the fandoms don’t overlap a ton). I’ve actually made a playlist of eurovision songs that would fit each doctor from 1 to 13: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA1uqDQDSJC8GvJlvq3eGnuB94DEB7Dyn

Maya G
Maya G
1 month ago
Reply to  Euroboitoy

Great idea, though I doubt there’s enough public interest to justify an investment in a production like that. I would love to see an animation recreation of the 1964 contest, but it’ll probably appeal to a very small portion of the ESC fandom. Most fans are barely aware of earlier contests than 2010.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Euroboitoy

Ah, I didn’t see your comment until after I wrote mine above. Great minds?

Euroboitoy
Euroboitoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Euroboitoy

and, to help out with things, each competing nation at that time could commission artists from their country to animate their entries….would make an interesting concept.

Natalia Mandarinaitsme
Natalia Mandarinaitsme
1 month ago

I hope one day we’ll see this tape, maybe some parts of the show!

James
James
1 month ago

Come on kinescope gods, do your thing!

In the meantime, some bits and pieces of the broadcast were found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCLENL3Plts