Eurovision 2024: When and where are the semi-finals and final taking place?

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Eurovision 2024: When and where are the semi-finals and final taking place?

Image source, Getty Images

Sweden is gearing up to host the 68th Eurovision Contest.

The UK automatically qualifies for the grand final, but singer Olly Alexander will showcase Britain’s entry Dizzy at the first semi-final, on Tuesday.

What is the Eurovision Song Contest and which countries take part?

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual televised competition organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Songs must be original and no more than three minutes long.

Lead vocals must be live, and a maximum of six singers and dancers are allowed.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,

Singer Saba will represent Denmark with her song Sand

Most Eurovision countries are European, but Australia takes part every year, after being invited to join Eurovision’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2015. However, Australia cannot host if it ever wins.

Other non-European countries including Israel participate because they are members of the EBU.

Where is the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest taking place?

She became the first woman to win the contest twice, after triumphing in 2012 with Euphoria.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,

Loreen is one of only two individual singers to score more than one Eurovision victory – the other being Ireland’s Johnny Logan

This is the seventh time the contest has been held in Sweden, and the third time in Malmo.

The contest will be hosted by actor Malin Åkerman and presenter and comedian Petra Mede, who was also at the helm in 2013 and 2016.

When are the Eurovision semi-finals and final, and how can I watch and listen?

The grand final will be at the Malmo Arena on Saturday 11 May.

Sweden will be the first country to perform, after a random draw.

The semi-finals are on Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 May.

Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are guaranteed places in the final, so do not compete in either semi-final.

However, the host country and “big five” will perform their songs during the semi-finals.

Fifteen countries will compete in the first semi-final on Tuesday 7 May, including Croatia, Ireland, Ukraine and Australia.

Sixteen countries will feature in the second semi-final on Thursday 9 May, including Austria, Denmark, Greece and Israel.

Who is the UK entrant Olly Alexander?

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,

A seasoned performer, Alexander has scored several top 10 hits around Europe

Alexander is well-known around Europe for hits including Desire, King and If You’re Over Me.

He is also a Bafta-nominated actor, having played the lead role in Channel 4’s hard-hitting Aids drama It’s A Sin.

Why is Israel’s Eurovision entry controversial?

Image source, Shai Franco
Image caption,

Israel will be represented by Eden Golan at this year’s contest

The lyrics now tell the story of a woman experiencing a personal crisis, according to Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan.

Separately, musicians and organisations from a number of countries have called for Israel to be suspended over the war in Gaza.

Iceland’s Association of Composers and Lyricists said Israel’s military action made its participation incompatible with an event “characterised by joy and optimism”.

Image source, Getty Images

Eurovision organisers have resisted calls for Israel’s exclusion, saying the situations in Ukraine and Gaza are different.

The EBU has also said that abuse and harassment of artists over Israel’s participation is “unacceptable”.

How does Eurovision voting work?

The semi-finals are decided entirely by a public vote from competing countries and people in the rest of the world.

Audiences in the UK, Germany, Sweden and the other countries which are not competing in either semi-final can vote.

Media caption,

Can fans finish popular Eurovision song lyrics?

For the final, every country which qualifies awards two sets of scores: one from a jury of experts and one by fans.

Each of their 10 favourite songs is given points – but they cannot vote for their own country’s song.

Their favourite act receives 12 points, their second-favourite 10 points, their third choice eight points, and then seven points, and so on, down to one point for their 10th favourite.

Eurovision was one of the first televised competitions to let viewers vote.

Fans in Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK began voting by phone in 1997.

The rest of the world was allowed to vote in 2023, with points given to the 10 most popular songs worldwide.

How much does Eurovision cost?

Each participating broadcaster pays an entrance fee to the EBU.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK pay the most, although the BBC does not make its contribution public.

It is thought staging the 2023 event in Liverpool cost the BBC between £8m and £17m. The UK government pledged £10m, while local authorities in Liverpool committed £4m.

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