Eurovision 2016: Dates, location, hosts

The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 will take place at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The first semi-final will be held on Tuesday 10 May, the second semi on Thursday 12 May and the grand final on Saturday 14 May.

The shows will be hosted by 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw and 2013 host Petra Mede.

EricssonGlobe
Stockholm’s Globen Arena – home of Eurovision 2016

The 2016 slogan is “Come together”.

EuroClub will be held in a new venue in front of the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, Stockholm, while the Eurovision Village fan zone will be in the nearby Royal Gardens.

Changes for 2016

Instead of having clips of their music videos played at the semi-finals, the Big 5 and host country will now have earlier rehearsals filmed and producers will use excerpts from those as their preview.

Swedish broadcaster SVT suggested that the show’s start time be moved an hour earlier to 20:00 CET. There was some support from other countries, but the EBU did not change the start time.

A big change, however, has been made to the points delivery. Using a similar style to Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, the points will be split into the jury scores (delivered by each country’s spokesperson) and the total televote scores (delivered by the show hosts). This will keep the final result from being revealed until the very last minute, increasing the tension and drama.

Which countries are doing Eurovision 2016?

42 countries will be participate at Stockholm. This includes 38 of the 40 countries who participated in Vienna, with Portugal withdrawing for 2016. Returning to the competition in 2016 are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine.

For full dates of national finals, selection announcements and other important events, see the Eurovision Calendar of Events.

Albania – Eneda Tarifa “Fairytale”

Albania selected its 2016 entry using the 54th edition of its long-running national song contest Festivali i Këngës. The winner was Eneda Tarifa, with her song “Përrallë” (Fairytale). At Eurovision she will perform a new version of the song called “Fairytale”,  with a shorter duration and English lyrics. Albania will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Armenia – Iveta Mukuchyan “LoveWave”

Armenia has internally selected the Armenian-German pop singer Iveta Mukuchyan. She will be singing “LoveWave”, written by the same songwriters behind Armenia’s JESC 2015 entry. Armenia will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Australia – Dami Im “Sound of Silence”

After their successful guest performance in 2015, Australia has been invited back for another year. So far the invitation only extends to 2016 and this time Australia will be competing in a semi-final. Australia have again used internal selection, with X Factor winner Dami Im chosen. Her song is called “Sound of Silence”. Australia will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Austria – Zoë “Loin d’ici”

Austria again used its national final Wer singt für Österreich? to select its candidate, this time with ten acts competing. The winner was Zoë and her French-language song “Loin d’ici”. Austria will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Azerbaijan – Samra Rahlimi “Miracle”

Azerbaijan will again use internal selection from open submissions. They will be represented The Voice of Azerbaijan runner-up Samra Rahlimi with the song “Miracle”. Azerbaijan will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Belarus – Ivan “Help You Fly”

Belarus again chose its representative using a national final, but this time with 100% televote. The national final was won by Alexander “Ivan” Ivanov and his song “Help You Fly”. Belarus will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision .

Belgium –  Laura Tesoro “What’s the Pressure”

Flanders broadcaster VRT again used their Eurosong national final, this time with just five actsLaura Tesoro was voted the winner with her song “What’s the Pressure”. Belgium will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala “Ljubav je”

Bosnia and Herzegovina is will be represented by Dalal Midhat-Talakic, Fuad Backovic Deen, featuring the cellist Ana Rucner and rapper Jasmin Fazlic Jala. Deen previously represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at Eurovision 2004. The group will perform “Ljubav je”, with lyrics in Bosnian. Bosnia and Herzegovina will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Bulgaria – Poli Genova – “If Love Was a Crime”

Returning to Eurovision for the first time since 2013, Bulgarian broadcaster BNT has internally selected Poli Genova as their act for Stockholm. Poli previously represented Bulgaria in 2011, and was most recently seen as the host of Junior Eurovision 2015. Poli will sing “If Love Was a Crime”. Bulgaria will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Croatia – Nina Kraljic “Lighthouse”

Croatia is making a return, having last participated in 2013. Broadcaster Croatia Radiotelevision has internally selected Nina Kraljic, who won The Voice Croatia in 2015. She will sing the sea shanty “Lighthouse”. Croatia will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Cyprus – Minus One “Alter Ego”

This year Cyprus has gone with internal selection, choosing rock band Minus One, who have written their pop-rock song “Alter Ego” with Swedish songwriter and producer Thomas G:Son. Cyprus will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Czech Republic – Gabriela Guncikova “I Stand”

After returning in 2015 after a five-year absence, the Czech Republic is set to compete again in 2016. The broadcaster again chose their act via internal selection, picking Idol alum Gabriela Guncikova with her song “I Stand”. The Czech Republic will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Denmark – Lighthouse X “Soldiers of Love”

Despite tough competition at the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix final from fan favourites Simone and Anja Nissen, the competition was eventually won by boyband Lighthouse X and their song “Soldiers of Love”. Denmark will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Estonia – Jüri Pootsmann “Play”

Estonia again used the national final show Eesti Laul. The competition was won by Jüri Pootsmann with his song “Play”, which was written by 2015 Eesti Laul winner Stig Rästa. Estonia will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Finland – Sandhja “Sing It Away”

Finland again used the Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) national final. From nine finalists, Sandhja was the overall winner with her funk song “Sing It Away”, beating the televote winner Saara Aalto by only six points. Finland will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

France – Amir “J’ai cherché”

France 2 have again used internal selection, but this time with an open submission. French-Israeli singer Amir Haddad — who placed third on The Voice France in 2014 — will represent France with his song “J’ai cherché”. France will vote in the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Georgia – Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz “Midnight Gold”

Georgian Public Broadcasting has internally selected the indie band Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz. After an open call for songs was made, the band performed the five shortlisted songs, with the winning track “Midnight Gold” chosen by public and jury vote. Georgia will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Germany – Jamie-Lee Kriewitz “Ghost”

After originally to have the German public choose a song for the internally selected R&B singer Xavier Naidoo, broadcaster NDR instead reverted to a traditional national final, Unser Lied für Stockholm. It was won by The Voice of Germany winner Jamie-Lee Kriewitz with her song “Ghost”. Germany will vote in the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Greece – Argo – “Utopian Land”

Greece has dropped its usual national selection process and instead gone for internal selection. The band Argo (formerly known as Europond) will represent Greece. Their song is “Utopian Land”, a hip hop number with lyrics in Greek, Pontic Greek and English. Greece will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Hungary – Freddie “Pioneer”

Hungary again used its successful A Dal national final. From eight finalists, Freddie won with his song “Pioneer”. Hungary will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Iceland – Greta Salóme “Hear Them Calling”

Iceland again used the Söngvakeppnin national final to select its entry. It was won by Greta Salóme and her song “Hear Them Calling”. Greta previously represented Iceland in 2012 when she performed “Never Forget” with Jónsi. Iceland will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Ireland – Nicky Byrne “Sunlight”

Broadcaster RTÉ ditched the highly criticised Eurosong national final and instead internally selected former Westlife member and Irish points spokesperson Nicky Byrne. He will be singing “Sunlight”. Ireland will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Israel –  Hovi Star “Made of Stars”

Israel again chose its act via the TV talent show HaKokhav HaBa Le Erovizyon 2016 (The next star for Eurovision). The winner was Hovi Star and his song “Made of Stars”, written by “Golden Boy” composer Doron Medalie. Israel will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Italy – Francesca Michielin – “No Degree of Separation”

Due to increased interest in Eurovision in Italy, broadcaster RAI will screen Eurovision on RAI 1 for the first time in 25 years. Sanremo Song Festival winners veteran rockers Stadio chose not to go to Stockholm with their song “Un giorno mi dirai”. The ticket instead went to Sanremo runner-up Francesca Michielin. She will sing her Sanremo entry “Nessun grado di separazione”, retitled as “No Degree of Separation”, with one English chorus for Eurovision. Italy will vote in the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Latvia – Justs “Heartbeat”

Latvia again used the Supernova national final show. From four finalists, Justs won with his song “Heartbeat”, written by Latvia’s 2015 representative Aminata. Latvia will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Lithuania – Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”

Lithuania are using the ten-week national selection show Eurovizijos atranka to choose its entry, this year running heats for both singers with their own song and singers without a song. After 10 weeks of heats, 2012 representative Donny Montell was selected with his song “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. Lithuania will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

FYR Macedonia – Kaliopi “Dona”

Popular singer Kaliopi will represent FYR Macedonia, making it the third time she has entered Eurovision. Kaliopi will perform “Dona”, co-written with frequent collaborator Romeo Grill. FYR Macedonia will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Malta – Ira Losco – “Walk on Water”

Malta again used its Malta Eurovision Song Contest national final. 2002 representative Ira Losco won the competition, but her MESC song “Chameleon (Invincible)” will not be her Eurovision entry. From a shortlist of 10 new songs (including a revamped “Chameleon”) Malta internally selected “Walk On Water”, co-written by Melfest star Molly Pettersson Hammar. Malta will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Moldova – Lidia Isac “Falling Stars”

Moldova again used the national final O melodie pentru Europa. From 16 finalists, Lidia Isac won with her ballad “Falling Stars”. Moldova will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Montenegro – Highway “The Real Thing”

X Factor Adria boyband Highway has been internally selected to represent Montenegro. Bojan Jovovich, who represented Serbia & Montenegro in 2005 as part of the boyband No Name, has also joined the group. Their song is the fuzzy pop-rock track “The Real Thing”. Montenegro will perform in the second half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Netherlands – Douwe Bob “Slow Down”

Singer-songwriter Douwe Bob will represent the Netherlands, chosen internally by the broadcaster. His song is the county pop tune “Slow Down”. The Netherlands will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Norway – Agnete “Icebreaker”

Norway again used the national final Melodi Grand Prix to chose their entry. From 10 finalists, four gold finalists were decided, with Agnete and her song “Icebreaker” winning the ticket to Norway’s eastern neighbour. Norway will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Poland – Michal Szpak “Color of Your Life”

Polish broadcaster TVP has confirmed their participation for Stockholm. After earlier saying the act would be chosen by internal selection, TVP later announced that a national final would be used, the first since 2011. Despite a strong showing from veteran Edyta Gorniak and fan favourite Margaret, the final was won by Polish X Factor runner-up Michal Szpak and his song “Color of Your Life”. Poland will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Russia – Sergey Lazarev – “You Are the Only One”

Russia has internally selected the hugely popular singer Sergey Lazarev to represent Russia. He will sing “You Are the Only One”. Russia will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

San Marino – Serhat “I Didn’t Know”

San Marino have internally selected the Turkish performer Serhat to represent the microstate in Stockholm. After mixed reaction to the original verison of “I Didn’t Know”, San Marino has changed their entry to the more popular disco mix of the song. San Marino will perform in the first half of the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Serbia – ZAA Sanja Vucic “Goodbye (Shelter)”

Serbia have chosen their artist by internal selection, a change from their usual national final process. Newcomer Sanja Vucic will represent Serbia, using the name ZAA, with her song “Goodbye (Shelter)”.  Serbia will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Slovenia – ManuElla “Blue and Red”

Broadcaster RTVSLO are again used the Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA) national final. From 10 finalists, the ticket to Stockholm went to ManuElla and her country song “Blue and Red”. Slovenia will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Spain – Barei “Say Yay!”

After internally selecting Edurne in 2015, Spain returned a national finalObjetivo Eurovisión, for 2016. Six finalists competed, with the ticket to Stockholm going to Barei and her song “Say Yay!”. Spain will vote in the first semi-final at Eurovision.

Sweden – Frans “If I Were Sorry”

The host country will again select their entry using the Melodifestivalen competition. From 12 finalists, Frans was selected, with his song “If I Were Sorry”. Sweden will vote in the first semi-final at Eurovision and will perform ninth at the grand final.

Switzerland – Rykka “The Last of Our Kind”

Switzerland again used its national final, Die Entscheidungsshow. From a shortlist of 19, six finalists were selected, with Canadian singer Rykka winning with her song “The Last of Our Kind”. Switzerland will perform in the first half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Ukraine – Jamala “1944”

After taking a break in 2015, Ukraine will return in 2016. Their act was selected by a national final, with UA:Pershiy and STB teaming up to cut costs. Jamala won with her song “1944”, sung in English and Crimean Tatar. The song lyrics refer to the deportation of the Crimean Tatars during World War II by the Soviet Union. Ukraine will perform in the second half of the second semi-final at Eurovision.

United Kingdom – Joe & Jake “You’re Not Alone”

After using internal selection for five years, the BBC is returning to a national selection process for 2016, with an open submission. From six finalists, former The Voice stars Joe & Jake won with their song “You’re Not Alone”The UK will vote in the second semi-final at Eurovision.

Which countries aren’t doing Eurovision 2016?

Romania again used the Selectia Nationala national final, with the winner chosen by 100% televote. The winner was Ovidiu Anton and his rock ballad “Moment of Silence”. Romania was later forced to withdraw after the EBU suspended the broadcaster’s membership privileges due to a substantial unpaid debt.

Microstates AndorraLuxembourg and Monaco have again confirmed they will not be returning. RTVS has confirmed that Slovakia will definitely not return to Eurovision in 2016. Portugal will not be competing in 2016, but broadcaster RTP says they will return in 2017.

Despite rumours of a return, Turkey has confirmed that they will not be back in 2016 as they are still unhappy with the ESC voting system. While Lebanon did not officially rule out competing in 2016, they were not on the EBU’s list of confirmed countries.

The Faroe Islands, Kosovo and Liechtenstein have all expressed an interest in participating, but are unable to do so as they are not members of the EBU, for various reasons. China‘s Hunan Television is also interested in participating, but has not been invited as a guest performer by the EBU.

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El Rosario de RaquelMelissa KutcherCookyMonztaEUROFAN MEXICOEric Recent comment authors
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El Rosario de Raquel
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Me gusta

Melissa Kutcher
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Melissa Kutcher

Canada would also be a great guest for Eurovision, though I don’t see Celine Dion represent her home country.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

Until then, the EBU is sizing up Asia right now, and if they flash that green light, the big dog in that region, China, will be the next invite.

Next stop after that: Africa. Either Nigeria or South Africa will get the call.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

@Eurofan Mexico: If they invite one from North America and the U.S. (being the big dog in this region) declines the invitation, you would obviously be next in line.

EUROFAN MEXICO
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invite Mexico we are ready to go

Eric
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Eric

If it is Australia, they can’t have the kind of power they had last year, auto-finalist and voting in BOTH semis.

Secret
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Secret

I think Azerbaijan will use ‘The Voice of Azerbaijan’ this year.

Miguel
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Miguel

Portugal .(