A record-breaking 19* broadcasters will take part in the 16th Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC), which celebrates extraordinary young musical talent from across Europe, in Minsk on Sunday 25 November.
Belarus’ Member BTRC (Belarusian Television and Radio Company) will host the competition at the 15,000 seat Minsk Arena for the second time.
Following Polina Bogusevich's triumph at last year’s contest, Russia return to defend their title in Belarus, facing tough competition from previous winners Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Italy, Malta and The Netherlands plus the rest of the 2018 contenders Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, France, FYR Macedonia, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Wales.
Kazakhstan and Wales will both make their JESC debut. France returns to the competition for the first time since 2004.
Belarus is among the few countries who have won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest more than once along with Russia and Malta who have also won twice, and Georgia who have won a record three times.
Young contestants will look to emulate the success of previous Junior Eurovision contestants, including Ieva Zasimauskaitė who performed for Lithuania in 2007 and went on to represent her country at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. As in previous years, the winner of this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be invited to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Israel.
Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Head of Live Events and JESC Executive Supervisor said “We are delighted to have a record-breaking 19 countries taking part at the 16th Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Since the contest began in 2003 we have been thrilled to see a wealth of young talented performers take to the stage, some of whom have gone on to represent their countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. We are looking forward to seeing the next generation of young musical talent shine in the 2018 contest at the Minsk Arena in Belarus.”
* Update 2 August 2018: Ukraine has joined the line up for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 taking the total number of participating countries to 20.
The following countries (and EBU Members and Associates) will participate in the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Belarus:
Australia (ABC / SBS)*
France (France TV)
FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
Kazakhstan (Khabar Agency)*
The Netherlands (AVROTROS)