Eurovision 2016: What do we know so far?

Just a couple of days ago, Sweden won the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with Måns Zelmerlöw and the song ‘Heroes’. Broadcaster SVT has already announced that they have started their preparations for the 2016 contest today. So what do we know so far of Sweden 2016?

First information on the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest has already been released even ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final. Preliminary dates have been set – 10th and 12th of May for the two Semi-Finals, and 14th of May for the Final. These dates may be subject to change.

On the winner’s press conference in Vienna, Christer Björkman, on behalf of Swedish public broadcaster SVT, has already announced that first internal talks about hosting the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest had already been held.

The steps that follow are usually the appointment of a “core team” – including the executive producer and the creative director – that is in charge of the organisation of the upcoming contest, and possibly the opening of a bidding process for the host city of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Host City
In 2013, many were expecting that the contest would strike down in Stockholm, but it was Malmö that got the honour of hosting Europe’s biggest music event of the year. This time, it looks like Sweden’s capital wants to take revenge.

According to the Swedish newspaper Expressen the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm is the first choice as host arena. However, other cities and arenas still would be able to apply for hosting of the contest, with a final decision to be made later. They also write that the 2013-venue Malmö Arena already dropped out of the race for hosting.

Apart from the Tele2 Arena (capacity 45.000) and the big Friends Arena (capacity 65.000) in Stockholm, Scandinavium (capacity 14.000) in Gothenborg is also trying to get the contest next year. Gothenborg hosted the contest in 1985 and has to withdraw their bid in 2013 after they were unsure about the availability of hotel rooms due to the city being the host of the Göteborg Horse Show. This time, Gothenborg wants to be the smaller city to luff Stockholm.

The announcement of the 2016 Eurovision host city is not expected to be made until mid summer, early August. But SVT said that they already asked potential cities to create their bidbook before the victory in Vienna, because they don’t want to lose time (and money) like in 2013 and “start with the production design work now. In this way we will save incredibly much power and money and thus actually save a lot of anxiety,” says Björkman on the SVT-website.

Australia and other returns to the contest
SBS has confirmed ESC Daily its interest in participating again, after being invited as a one-time guest to compete at the 2015 Contest. Jon Ola Sand and the EBU stated in February 2015 that Australia can only return if they win the 2015 Contest and choose to jointly host the 2016 Contest with a European country. However, after the fifth place in Vienna and the booming viewing figures, Australia might return to the contest after all.

In some countries, like Switzerland, national selections start as early as September, and first entries in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest are likely known already before the end of the year. Countries have until mid-March to select their songs, when they are officially presented at the Head of Delegation Meeting.

Some websites claim that Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Ukraine are planning a return to the contest. Usually the official list of countries participating in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest will be released late the year before or early on the year of the contest. So, you can expect this to happen either late this year or early 2016. Until then, or until broadcasters like Belgium’s VRT give a public announcement, we’ll have to wait to see which countries will be there.

Hosts and other adaptions
On the night of Måns Zelmerlöw’s win, he announced his interest of being one of the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Zelmerlöw’s previous TV hosting experience includes Melodifestivalen 2010 and the popular Swedish sing-along show Allsång på Skansen. Christer Björkman stated to Expressen newspaper that Sanna Nielsen, Gina Dirawi and Petra Mede were also potential choices as hosts.

The contest of 2013 introduced a change in the rules according the combination of televoting and jury voting results. Each member of a respective nation’s jury was required to rank every song, except that of their own country. Maybe the innovative Swedes, leaded by Christer Björkman, want to change the voting and shape it more like Melodifestivalen. It is doubtful however if this gets approved by the Steering Group before next year’s contest.

How to get tickets
Usually tickets go out late the year before the contest or early on that year. This always depends on the Host Broadcaster and their process of choosing a host city, the venue, finalising staging plans and so on. Stay tuned to, to get this information as soon as possible.