Earlier today the EBU ( European Broadcasting Union) along with the Australian national broadcaster SBS announced that Australia will return to the forthcoming 2016 Eurovision Song Contest scheduled to be held in Stockholm next May.
Australia debuted at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year in Vienna as a one off participation. Last year the country was given a Wildcard to compete in the grand final directly, the Aussies aired all 3 Eurovision shows live from Vienna and voted in both semi-finals and the grand final. Next year the Aussies will compete in one of the two semi-finals in Stockholm.
Following the great success of the country in the contest last May the EBU’s Reference Group ( the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest) voted for Australia’s return to the event next year. Hence we will have an Australian entry next year in Stockholm! It is yet to determined if Australia will become a permament member of the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the sceneario of an Australian victory at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, SBS in coordination with an European public broadcaster would be responsible to organize the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on European soil.
Guy Sebastian was selected via an internal selection and flew the Aussie flag in Vienna with his entry Tonight again, achieving a 5th place in Vienna.
Mr. Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU is happy and pleased with the annoucement:
The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia’s participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive. We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction.It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run.
Mr. Michael Ebeid, CEO and managing director of SBS is thrilled with Australia’s forthcoming participation:
SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the European Broadcasting Union for their invitation. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful example of cultural diversity and social inclusion and our continued participation offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australian musical talent in a truly international multicultural celebration. Production partner Blink TV have been integral in supporting our ambition to build Australia’s presence on the world’s biggest stage and together we look forward to again bringing the Eurovision experience to our screens.
Mr. Frank Dieter Freiling, chairman of EBU’s Reference Group commented:
Europe and Australia have a lot in common in regards to cultural values and when a broadcaster is so committed to bring great acts to the contest, the only right thing to do is to be inclusive. This is also a way for many Australians to re-connect with their European roots, and celebrate our shared cultural values and understanding through music.
The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 10, 12 and 14 May at the Ericsson Globen Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Stay tuned to ESCToday for the latest news on the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.