The rumor mill didn’t stop and now we have an official response Australia is going to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed that Australia will be allowed to take part once again. Initially, the EBU announced that the Australian participation would be a One-Off event to celebrate the 60th birthday of the popular contest. Only countries that are within the EBU broadcasting area and are full members, are allowed to participate but an exception was made so the Australian broadcaster could join the event.
Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand says that “The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia’s participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive. We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction, It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run.”
This statement may be significant as this is clearly an indicator that the EBU is looking to expand the contest beyond its current borders.
Unlike 2015, where Australia was given a direct ticket to the Finals, they will have to take part in the Semi Final and fight for one of the 10 qualifying spots. A decision on whether Australia is becoming a permanent member of the contest has not been decided yet.
Needless to say that the Australian broadcaster is exited: “SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the European Broadcasting Union for their invitation. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful example of cultural diversity and social inclusion and our continued participation offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australian musical talent in a truly international multicultural celebration. Production partner Blink TV have been integral in supporting our ambition to build Australia’s presence on the world’s biggest stage and together we look forward to again bringing the Eurovision experience to our screens.” as per Managing Director Michael Ebeid.
What are your thoughts, are you excited about this or think this is against the spirit of the contest? We’d like to hear from you. Join the conversation on our forum HERE.