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|Eurovision Song Contest 2018|
|Semi-final 1 date||8 May 2018|
|Semi-final 2 date||10 May 2018|
|Final date||12 May 2018|
|Venue||MEO Arena, Lisbon, Portugal|
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Number of entries||42|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting.|
|Eurovision Song Contest|
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be the 63rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It will take place for the first time in Portugal, at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, following the country's first victory at the 2017 contest in Kiev with the song "Amar pelos dois", performed by Salvador Sobral. The contest will consist of two semi-finals and a final scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May 2018.
Russia is expected to return after withdrawing from the 2017 edition, following the ban of their representative from entering Ukraine, host country of 2017 contest. On 21 October, the Portuguese broadcaster RTP confirmed that 43 countries would participate in the contest, expecting the official confirmations from Moldova and Russia. This means that this will be the largest ever contest alongside 2008 and 2011. Although it was originally announced on October 30 that F.Y.R. Macedonia would not be participating due to an unpaid debt it was announced on November 17 that they had been given the go ahead to participate.
The contest will take place for the first time in Portugal, following the country's victory in the 2017 edition with the song "Amar pelos dois", performed by Salvador Sobral. After a bidding phase, the MEO Arena in Lisbon was selected as the venue by host broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The multi-purpose arena was built for the Expo '98 and has a capacity of 20,000 attendees, making it the largest indoor venue in Portugal and among the largest in Europe. It is located in the heart of the modern Parque das Nações riverside district, which hosted the Expo '98, in the northeast of Lisbon. It is connected by metro to the nearby international airport and by train (Oriente Station) to the rest of the country and Europe.
Bidding phase and host selection
On the day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 final, it was reported that Portuguese broadcaster RTP would accept the challenge of organising the 2018 contest in case of a victory. Following Sobral's triumph, the EBU's Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, issued the hosting invitation to RTP during the winner's press conference. The following day, the director-general of RTP, Nuno Artur Silva, confirmed that the broadcaster would organise the contest in 2018 and mentioned the MEO Arena in Lisbon as a likely venue to host the contest. On 15 May 2017, RTP appeared to have confirmed Lisbon as the host city, but clarified the following day that no final decision had been taken regarding both the host city and venue.
The basic requirements to select a host city were set out in a document presented by the EBU to RTP following their win in Kiev:
- A suitable venue that can accommodate around 10,000 spectators.
- An international press centre for 1,500 journalists with adequate facilities for all the delegates.
- A good distribution of hotel rooms, at different price categories, able to accommodate at least 2,000 delegates, accredited journalists and spectators.
- An efficient transport infrastructure, including a nearby international airport with readily available connections with the city, venue and hotels.
Besides Lisbon, other cities signaled their interest in bidding to host the 2018 contest: Braga, Espinho, Faro, Gondomar, Guimarães, and Santa Maria da Feira. The mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, declared he would not be interested in "spending millions of euros" to host the contest, but he would support a bid from the Metropolitan Area of Porto (Espinho, Gondomar and Santa Maria da Feira).
On 13 June 2017, RTP representatives met with the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group at the EBU headquarters in Geneva. During the meeting, RTP officials attended a workshop covering several topics related with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and learned from the experience of the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. They also had the opportunity to present their first plans for the 2018 contest, including multiple proposals for host city and venue.
On 25 July 2017, the EBU and RTP announced that Lisbon had been selected as the host city, overcoming confirmed bids from Braga, Gondomar, Guimarães and Santa Maria da Feira. In addition, RTP indicated the Parque das Nações, where MEO Arena is located, as the site for the shows.
To see the key, see them on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurovision_Song_Contest_2018#Location
|Braga||Braga Exhibition Park||15,000 (after renovation)||Agro-industrial park inaugurated in 1981 and further expanded in 1987 with a 6,500 m2 (70,000 sq ft) exhibition hall able to hold 3,000 people, and in 1990 with a congress centre and auditorium for 1,200 people. Renovation works starting in 2017 and ending in the first trimester of 2018 would increase the exhibition hall capacity to 15,000.|
|Gondomar||Multiusos de Gondomar Coração de Ouro||8,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 2007, with a total capacity for 8,000 people (4,400 seats). Hosted the 2007 UEFA Futsal Championship final tournament.|
|Guimarães||Multiusos de Guimarães||10,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 2001, with a total capacity for 10,000 people (3,000 seats) Selected by RTP to host the final of the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, the Festival da Canção, on 4 March 2018.|
|Lisbon||MEO Arena||20,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 1998, it is the country's largest indoor venue with a total capacity for 20,000 people. Hosted the Expo '98, the 1999 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, the 2000 ATP Finals, the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards, the UEFA Futsal Cup Final Four (2001–02, 2009–10 and 2014–15), and the 2016 Web Summit.|
|Santa Maria da Feira||Europarque||11,000||Largest convention centre in the Porto Metropolitan Area, inaugurated in 1995. Hosted the European Council of June 2000, the Festival da Canção final in 2001, and the UEFA Euro 2004 final tournament draw. It was the option supported by the Metropolitan Council of Porto.|
Provisional list of participating countries
The following countries have expressed their provisional interest in participating in the contest:
|Albania||TBD 23 December 2017||TBD 23 December 2017|
|Cyprus||TBD January 2018||TBD January 2018|
|Denmark||TBD 10 February 2018||TBD 10 February 2018|
|Estonia||TBD 3 March 2018||TBD 3 March 2018|
|Finland||Saara Aalto||TBD 3 March 2018|
|Greece||TBD February 2018||TBD February 2018||Greek|
|Hungary||TBD 24 February 2018||TBD 24 February 2018|
|Iceland||TBD 3 March 2018||TBD 3 March 2018|
|Malta||TBD February 2018||TBD February 2018|
|Montenegro||TBD 17 February 2018||TBD 17 February 2018||Montenegrin|
|Norway||TBD March 2018||TBD March 2018|
|Poland||TBD February 2018||TBD February 2018|
|San Marino||TBD February 2018||TBD February 2018|
|Serbia||TBD February 2018||TBD February 2018|
|Sweden||TBD 10 March 2018||TBD 10 March 2018|
|Switzerland||TBD 4 February 2018||TBD 4 February 2018|
|Ukraine||TBD 24 February 2018||TBD 24 February 2018|
|France||TBD January 2018||TBD January 2018|
|Italy||TBD 10 February 2018||TBD 10 February 2018|
|Portugal||TBD 4 March 2018||TBD 4 March 2018|
|United Kingdom||TBD 7 February 2018||TBD 7 February 2018|
Further information: List of countries in the Eurovision Song Contest
Active EBU members
- Andorra – The Director General of Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra (RTVA) announced on 14 May 2017 that Andorra would not participate in the contest, due to financial difficulties and the restructuring of the company.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – On 14 August 2017, BHRT confirmed that they are unlikely to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 on account of financial difficulties. The broadcaster has until 15 September to confirm its participation.
- Bulgaria – BNT communicated through their official twitter account that their application for next year's Contest is no longer valid because the broadcaster is changing its director-general. It will be determined if the country will participate later this year.
- Czech Republic – Although the Czech national broadcaster Česká Televize has not confirmed participation in the 2018 contest, Jan Bors, the Czech Head of Delegation, has stated that participation is "likely".
- Italy – Andrea Fabiano, Head of Rai 1, stated that he would like to see Italy as a winner of the contest in the future, and for technology used in the Sanremo Music Festival to reach the same levels as those used in Eurovision.
- Luxembourg – Steve Schmit, the Director of Programming at the Luxembourgish broadcaster (RTL) explained last year the reasons against participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. He also underlined that Luxembourg’s chance for success in the contest is limited, "I believe that (with) the enlargement of Eurovision, the days (of victory) are gone. With the new voting system, it is very unlikely that Luxembourg is successful. Small countries are somewhat more troubled now". Luxembourg last participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993.
- Monaco – On 31 August 2017 TMC, the Monégasque broadcaster confirmed that Monaco will not participate in the 2018 contest.
- Montenegro – Head of Delegation for Montenegro Sabrija Vulić stated in an interview with RTCG on 17 May 2017 that Eurovision participation was important for the country, because it secures a promotion of Montenegro internationally. Furthermore, he stated that failure to qualify for the final should not be seen as an insult or a reason to withdraw.
- Russia – On 22 May 2017, Russian broadcaster Russia-1 announced that Yulia Samoylova would represent them at the 2018 contest after she received a three-year ban from entering Ukraine, preventing her from representing the country at the 2017 contest. However, on 27 July 2017, Samoylova announced that she was still waiting for official confirmation from Russia-1 regarding her participation in the 2018 contest and the official confirmation is yet to be made.
- San Marino – Dr. Carlo Romeo, Director General of San Marino's broadcaster San Marino RTV has questioned the country's continued participation in the contest after Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson failed to qualify for the country in Eurovision Song Contest 2017 and has stated "There is no place for micro-states in the Eurovision Song Contest."
- Slovakia – Eríka Rusnáková, press spokesperson of the Slovak broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), confirmed on 11 September 2017 to Czech Eurovision website Eurocontest.cz that the country would not participate in the 2018 contest.
- Slovenia – Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVSLO), the Slovene broadcaster has published a rule change for their Eurovision selection, announcing that no songs featuring the English language would be welcome for 2018. However, the broadcaster has yet to announce the official Eurovision participation.
- Turkey – On the evening of 12 July 2017, Sertab Erener, who won for Turkey in 2003, announced on an Instagram live chat that Turkey would return and that she wishes luck to the next representative. maNga, the 2010 Turkish representatives and Hadise, the 2009 Turkish Representative, also expressed their interests for Turkey returning to the contest. Despite these statements, on 7 August 2017, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bekir Bozdağ, issued a statement stating that there are no plans for a return at the moment. The same day, TRT confirmed their non-participation.
Associate EBU members
- Kazakhstan – Khabar Agency became an associate member of the EBU on 1 January 2016, opening up the possibility of a future participation. They broadcast all the shows in 2017. Furthermore the winner of the Turkvision Song Contest 2014, Zhanar Dugalova, said she would be interested in representing Kazakhstan in the contest.
- Israel – The Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) shut down on 9 May 2017. The new broadcasting corporation, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC), is not a member of the EBU. On 24 May 2017, IPBC applied to join the European Broadcasting Union. The application process is expected to be completed in December 2017, which may not allow Israel to have enough time to prepare an entry. Based on this, Israeli Broadcasting Corporation and EBU signed a temporary agreement that will allow Israeli participation in 2018.
- Kosovo – Kosovar media reports that RTK is hopeful that they will debut in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal. In an article published by RTK the Director of Television at the Kosovar broadcaster stated that he has received the support of national broadcasters across the Balkans to participate in the competition. However, both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia have opposed such participation.
- Liechtenstein – On 1 September 2017, 1 FL TV, the national broadcaster of the Principality of Liechtenstein has confirmed that the country will not debut at the upcoming Eurovision edition in Lisbon. However on 4 November 2017, 1 FL TV announced that they are planning a debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.
Commentators and spokespersons
Most countries will send commentators to Lisbon or comment from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, the provision of voting information.
- Australia – Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey (SBS, all shows)
- France - Marianne James and Stéphane Bern (France 2, final)
- United States – Michelle Visage and Ross Mathews (Logo TV, final)