60 years ago on this very day, one of the most momentous occasions in European history took place in Lugano, Switzerland. Seven of the countries in Western Europe united in song to stand proud against a recent history of war and turmoil. Little did the people of 1956 know that this little gathering of seven European broadcasters would continue, never mind grow and flourish into the biggest international TV event. And here we are, six decades later, loving the consequences more than even. Happy 60th birthday, Eurovision!

It was Lys Assia who was victorious on that evening in Lugano, in her home country, and 60 years later we are still dissecting the results that saw Ukraine’s Jamala crowned champion. But over the years, the contest has seen so many highs and lows and a lot of drama, glitter, spandex, fireworks, crazy acts, border-defying acts, gender-defying acts, prejudice-defying acts. We’ve seen everything from the monsters of rock to the kitsch-est disco numbers, from bearded ladies to turkeys to drag queens and back again through every kind of artist, person or group. And let’s not forget that some of the worlds biggest acts, including ABBA and Céline Dion, have a lot to thank this contest for.

So thank you for the music, Eurovision. We at ESC United can only hope for at least 60 more years!

Watch the first Eurovision winner, Lys Assia with “Refrain”, below;

Watch the most successful international act from Eurovision history, ABBA, perform “Waterloo” below;

Watch the reigning champion, Ukraine’s Jamala, below;

What are your favourite memories from the past 60 years?

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