Next year in May, the 61st Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the Globen Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The official deadline for registering is overdue already, but it’s still possible to join or withdraw later on. So the exact number of participating countries is not confirmed 100% yet. The most of the EBU broadcasters have announced already if they are going to take part or not. Every year there are surprise both for the good and the worse.
By now we have 40 countries to be expected next year. It’s great to see that Bulgaria and Ukraine are going to be back in the competition, especially Ukraine after the political situation. Furthermore the Czech Republic is going to participate again even though they did not qualify for the Grand Final last year. There must have been a great interest in the Czech public, as there were the popular Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta in Vienna.
Therefore Portugal will not join next year due to restructuring issues in the Portuguese TV RTP. Rumours said that Christiano Ronaldo’s sister had the strong believe to represent Portugal next year. Even established countries like Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina will probably not return due to financial reasons. It’s a pity if countries withdraw from the contest. For the participating countries the ESC is one of the “cheaper” TV events and it attracts up to 200 million people all over the world. For many countries the participation is a national challenge to be represented in a proper way. In some cases the EBU is even supporting the countries financially.
One of the richest countries Luxembourg is always mentioning the financial reason, which cannot be taken seriously. There is probably now interest anymore, even if Luxembourg belongs to one of the most successful ESC countries with five victories.
It was also being expected that Turkey might come back into the contest. Until now there are now news regarding this.
Last year Australia had its debut at the ESC. It was said that this was a unique exception due the 60th anniversary. But there might be a chance that Australia returns next year in Stockholm, depending on the interest in Australia.
Other former participants like Andorra, Monaco and Slovakia have already denied their participation.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!