- The “Eurovision Song Contest” is the biggest music event of the year.
- In the 2024 tournament, 37 countries from Europe, Asia and Australia will compete against each other.
- But why are countries outside of Europe allowed to participate in European competition?
“Eurovision Song Contest” is the biggest music event in the world. Artists from many European countries compete to bring success to their country with the best musical act. But what started as a European competition has long since become continental, with countries from Asia and even Australia participating in the ESC. But why are they allowed to do so?
Australia's participation in particular has divided the ESC's fan base over the years, with many still viewing the music competition as a purely European event. However, with Israel's participation in 1973, the competition was no longer confined to Europe.
Countries such as Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Australia participate in the ESC because they are members of the EBU, the European Broadcasting Union. The EBU is an association of currently 69 broadcasters in 56 countries across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
All countries wishing to participate in the ESC must be members of the EBU. But Australia is not officially a true EBU member, but only a so-called associate member.
Why is Australia allowed to participate in the ESC?
The “Eurovision Song Contest” has been very popular in Australia since it was first broadcast in 1983. So there has been a special relationship between the ESC and Australia over the years.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the “Eurovision Song Contest”, the EBU invited Australia to participate in the ESC in 2015. Especially given the competition's popularity in Australia. Here's a comparison to the Super Bowl, which runs late at night in Germany and still gets incredible ratings.
Australia qualified directly for the final in 2015 and finished 5th with the song “Again Tonight”.
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If Australia had not won the tournament then, they would have been allowed to return in 2016. The EBU decided to allow the country to compete the following year after Australia was well received by the audience as a participant. However, this time, Australia had to qualify for the semi-finals, just like the other participating nations.
Until 2018, whether Australia would be allowed to participate again was only decided shortly before the start of the tournament. In February 2019, it was announced that the EBU and Australian broadcaster SBS had agreed a five-year deal for the ESC.
Australia in “Eurovision Song Contest 2024”.
The contract agreed between the EBU and SBS expired after their participation in Liverpool 2023. It was long uncertain whether Australia would be allowed to return this year. But fans Down Under can now breathe a sigh of relief as the EBU has confirmed Australia as one of the 37 participating countries in 2024.
However, it is not yet clear whether the participation in Malmö in 2024 is a one-off extension or whether the broadcaster has once again concluded a multi-year contract with the TV station.
Here's our overview of where you can watch what will be Australia's last appearance at the “Eurovision Song Contest 2024” on TV or live stream. We'll also tell you where you can watch other ESC-related shows.
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