PRESS RELEASE published on 17 Nov 2015 • Department / Unit Media

Australia to make Eurovision Song Contest return in 2016

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Australian Associate Member SBS are excited to announce that Australia will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest again in 2016. History was made in Vienna in May, when Australia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest to celebrate the event's 60th anniversary and Australia's 30-year history of broadcasting the show.

"The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia's participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive," said Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand.

"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," Sand added.

In Vienna, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final. Next year however, Australia will have to compete in one of the two Semi-Finals. Australia's participation is secured for 2016, but it is yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant in the contest.

With Australia also debuting at the 13th Junior Eurovision Song Contest on 21 November in Sofia, Bulgaria the enthusiasm from SBS to do more Eurovision events is immense.

"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,” said SBS CEO and Managing Director Michael Ebeid.

“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," he added.

Earlier this year, Australia was represented by multi-platinum seliing artist Guy Sebastian who finished 5th in the Grand Final with Tonight Again

The EBU Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, voted unanimously in favour of Australia's participation. The group consists of three elected representatives from the participating broadcasters, the Executive Producer of the upcoming contest in Stockholm, the Executive Producers of the previous two contests in Vienna and Copenhagen, the EBU Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand and Chairman Frank Dieter Freiling from German Member ZDF.

"Europe and Australia have a lot in common in regards to cultural values and when a broadcaster is so committed to bring great acts to the contest, the only right thing to do is to be inclusive," said Dr. Freiling.

“This is also a way for many Australians to re-connect with their European roots, and celebrate our shared cultural values and understanding through music," he added.

Should Australia win the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the 2017 contest will be co-hosted by Australian broadcaster SBS and an EBU Member based in Europe.

The next Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 10, 12 and 14 May, 2016, in Stockholm's Globe Arena, co-hosted by Swedish public broadcaster SVT and the EBU. 41 countries are expected to take part.