A Nordic Song Contest. The suggestion arose in Sweden's neighbouring countries and may become real already next year.
After this year's ESC – or actually the results of it – the initiatives of changing the procedures grow bigger and bigger. The perhaps most interesting idea comes from Finland and Denmark, which are both out for 2003. The idea is that all Nordic countries meet in a Nordic Song Contest and leave the rest of Europe outside.
Kjell Ekholm, head of the Finnish delegation, is positive. “We have another approach to producing music TV programmes in the Nordic countries. This co-operation should be strengthened”, he says. There is already a 'Nordic Melodi Grand Prix Junior', and Kjell Ekholm says, “why not make one for adults as well?”
Bert Karlsson, who is patriarch of Swedish ESC artists and has heavily denounced this year's contest, also feels that a drastic change must be made. “We must do something to keep the contest alive – otherwise we might as well pack our bags”, he says.
Bert Karlsson's idea is to base the ESC on several regional semifinals – e.g. one for the Nordic countries, one for East Europe, one for the Mediterranean countries and so forth. “The winners of each region will then compete in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Swedish entrants Afro-Dite are also positive about regional finals.
“That way it would be a contest again”, member Gladys del Pilar says. Later in June, delegates from all Nordic countries will meet in Stockholm to discuss the immediate future of the ESC.
author's footnote: Scandinavia is Denmark. Sweden and Norway. The Nordic countries are Iceland, Scandinavia and Finland.)