Eurovision 2018: RTP reveals more details on ESC preparations

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 2,417 views

Portugal is gearing up for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in full steam. RTP, the Portuguese national broadcaster is determined to showcase an extraordinary event next May.

The Portuguese broadcaster has shed more light on next year’s Eurovision preparations and its plan of action for Eurovision 2018. RTP’s Voz do Cidadao (Citizen’s Voice) programme dedicated an episode to the Portuguese viewers’ questions and concerns regarding the forthcoming Festival da Cançao and Eurovision Song Contest.

You can watch the special Eurovision episode of Voz do Cidadao below:

RTP has 5 months to go until it hosts the world’s most celebrated songfest aka the Eurovision Song Contest, in the majestic city of Lisbon. Thus the broadcaster is working very hard and round the clock, as organizing such a mega event entails a lot effort, work, organization, time and planning etc.

Many locals are curious to know more about the contest’s preparations and on how their national broadcaster is carrying out this gigantic task.

RTP’s key officials have shed more light on the ongoing preparations for the upcoming Eurovision edition which is scheduled to take place in Lisbon next May. Ms. Carla Bugalho (Head of Delegation for Portugal at ESC/Deputy Executive Producer ESC 2018), Mr. Daniel Deusdado (Director of RTP), Mr. Gonçalo Reis (Deputy Director of RTP) and  Mr. Nuno Galopim (Commentator ESC 2017 RTP /Consultant FdC) revealed more details on the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest and 2018 Festival RTP da Caçao during last Saturday’s Voz do Cidadao program:

  • 43 countries will participate in Eurovision 2018.
  • The postcards concept will entail 42 delegations to travel to Portugal in order to film their respective presentation postcards, thus showcasing the country’s attractive sights, culture, heritage and diversity.
  • RTP will move into Altice Arena on April 1st in order to adequate the venue for the contest and build the stage.
  • The first delegations are expected to arrive in Lisbon by late April/early May.

Organizing a cost efficient Eurovision

  • The costs and full budget of the contest will be known by end of the year. The contest will be financed by sponsors, advertisers, City of Lisbon, Tourism Portugal, Lisbon Tourist Board and EBU revenues from the participants’ fees. RTP intends to host one of the most cost efficient ESC editions in recent years.


  • Many volunteers will be required during the 2 Eurovisions weeks, one of the main requirements for volunteers will be their language skills, particularly being able to speak English in order to communicate with the Eurovision guests, delegations, artists, press, fans etc. RTP is yet to finalise and determine its plan of action for the ESC 2018 volunteers. The broadcaster will release more details on the volunteer scouting in due course.

Tight Schedule and ESC 2018 Preparations

  • RTP has a tight schedule ahead for Eurovision 2018, which is divided in 3 phases.
  • RTP is now in the preparation phase with many deadlines and targets to accomplish. RTP’s Eurovision team is fulfilling and materialisng many of its main objectives on a week to week basis.
  • The broadcaster is working on the content of the live shows and city events.
  • Currently the 2018 ESC host broadcaster is evaluating resources, tenders, logistics, suppliers and hiring the required people and companies.
  • From January-March both Lisbon and RTP will have to have all the logistics and requirements to host the contest ready, verify and fulfill the participating countries’ requirements and needs, supervise the whole organization of the event,  side events, city events etc.
  • RTP has to yet finalise the venues and locations for the 2018 Euroclub, Eurovision Village, Opening Ceremony, Red Carpet etc.

RTP to air special shows in the lead up to ESC

  • RTP is planning to broadcast a series of special programs focusing on Festival RTP da Cançao and the Eurovision Song Contest dedicated to their history,  greatest winners, Portuguese music, participants etc. These shows will be aired in the lead up to the main Eurovision event next Spring.

ESC 2018  Provisional Timeline

  • November/2017 – Reference Group Meeting in Lisbon
  • January/2018 – Eurovision 2018 Host Insignia Handover Ceremony
  • January/2018 – Eurovision 2018 Semifinal Allocation Draw
  • 12/03/2018 – Heads of Delegation Meeting in Lisbon (TBC) – (provisional date)
  • 01/04/2018 – RTP moves into Altice Arena – stage construction begins
  • 29/04/2018 – Rehearsals begin (TBC) – (provisional date)
  • 06/05/2018 – Welcome Reception/Opening Ceremony (TBC) – (provisional date)
  • 07/05/2018 –  Semi-final 1 – Jury Show
  • 08/05/2018 – Semi-final 1 – Family Show
  • 08/05/2018 – Semi-final 1 – Live Broadcast
  • 09/05/2018 – Semi-final 2 – Jury Show
  • 10/05/2018 – Semi-final 2 – Family Show
  • 10/05/2018 – Semi-final 2 – Live Broadcast
  • 11/05/2018 – Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final – Jury Final
  • 12/05/2018 – Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final – Family Show
  • 12/05/2018 – Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final – Live Broadcast

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon.