The cities that have been granted the honour of hosting a Melodifestivalen event, have today been announced by SVT, Sweden's national broadcaster. Once again, the route of the biggest television show of the year for sweden will begin in Gothenburg and end in Stockholm, where the next act to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest will be decided at the Golben Arena.
After starting on the West coast, at what has become the traditional opening venue for the competition, with the grand sea buffet opening ceremony, Melodifestivalen moves north for two semi finals in the northern regions in Skellefteå and Leksand. T
he competition then moves all the way to the Southern coast of Sweden where Malmö returns to the Melodifestivalen cities list. The Malmö Arena is a brand new 15,000 seater arena that some believed would pose a threat to the Globen as the home of the final. Instead, it hosts the last of four semi finals. The new arena is in a regeneration area of the city close to a new shopping mall and the Malmö-Copenhapen metro, linking the city to Denmark's capital in 21 minutes.
The second chance round will be held in Norrköping, a regular city on the tour, before the road moves to the host venue of the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest and regular home of the Melodifestivalen final, the Globen Arena.
- 1st Semi Final – 07 February 2009 – Scandinavium, Göteborg
- 2nd Semi Final – 14 February 2009 – Skellefteå Kraft Arena, Skellefteå
- 3rd Semi Final – 21 February 2009 – Ejendals Arena, Leksand
- 4th Semi Final – 28 February 2009 – Malmö Arena, Malmö
- Second chance round – 07 March 2009 – Himmelstalundshallen, Norrköping
- The final – 14 March2009 – Globen, Stockholm
In 2008, Charlotte Perrelli won the competition and Sweden's ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade with Hero despite coming second in the televote to Sanna Nielsen's Empty Room. Her lead was too great after the jury vote. The last time a the televote winner missed out on victory was in 2005 when Nanne Gronvall won the popular vote, only to miss out by three points to Martin Stenmark.
Click here to read about changes to the Melodifestivalen rules for 2008, as announced in August.