At exactly 08:59 this morning local time, the submission deadline for Melodifestivalen 2016 came and went in this year’s host nation of Sweden. Later that same day, broadcaster SVT announced that 2,450 songs were sent in, 273 more than in 2015.
This increase can be explained by the nation-wide Eurovision enthusiasm following Måns Zelmerlöw’s win in Vienna earlier this year. Christer Björkman, executive producer for Melodifestivalen, is pretty clear on the intentions to win the Song Contest once again. ‘I really hope we can deliver a winner on home ground at the Globen in May,’ he stated to SVT.
Now, it is up to a professional Swedish jury to pick the artists and songs that will compete in one of Europe’s biggest preselection events. One slot has already been filled: the trio SMAJLING won the Svensktoppen Nästa radio contest and are guaranteed of a starting position in the 2016 line-up of ‘Melfest’. However, because the rules of the Swedish preselection require every competing entry to be written especially for the show, SMAJLING will have to compose a new song with which they will enter the competition.
More news on songs, artists and composers will be announced by the SVT later this fall.