The History of The Eurovision Song Contest – 62 Years of High-Quality Music

Eurovision 2017, which will take place in May in Kyiv, Ukraine, is the 62nd edition of the famous eurosong contest which has fascinated and entertained entire generations of people from all over the world. If you are a big music fan, you’ll undoubtedly be interested in learning as much as possible about the history and evolution of this amazing competition. Thus, keep on reading, and you’ll come across some really interesting facts!

Where Is the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Taking Place and Past Winners

This year’s edition will take place in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 13 May, at 21:00. This comes as a result of Ukraine winning the 2016 Eurovision song competition with Jamala’s highly acclaimed song “1944”. “1944” set a new record, as it won the contest with no less than 534 points! Ukraine is one of the countries which have been very successful in this competition, as it’s hosting it for the second time already. Ukraine also organised the Eurovision 2005, after winning the 2004 edition with Ruslana’s electrifying hit “Wild Dances”.

Up to the present day, Ireland is the country that has won the most Eurovision editions, namely seven. Sweden comes very close to Ireland’s record, having won six contests. The UK, France and Luxembourg have each came in the first place five times. Other important winners from the history of Eurovision are the Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

Contests
1956 - 1976 1977 - 1997 1998 - 2017
Lugano 1956 London 1977 Birmingham 1998
Frankfurt am Main 1957 Paris 1978 Jerusalem 1999
Hilversum 1958 Jerusalem 1979 Stockholm 2000
Cannes 1959 The Hague 1980 Copenhagen 2001
London 1960 Dublin 1981 Tallinn 2002
Cannes 1961 Harrogate 1982 Riga 2003
Luxembourg 1962 Munich 1983 Istanbul 2004
London 1963 Luxembourg 1984 Kyiv 2005
Copenhagen 1964 Gothenburg 1985 Athens 2006
Naples 1965 Bergen 1986 Helsinki 2007
Luxembourg 1966 Brussels 1987 Belgrade 2008
Vienna 1967 Dublin 1988 Moscow 2009
London 1968 Lausanne 1989 Oslo 2010
Madrid 1969 Zagreb 1990/span> Düsseldorf 2011
Amsterdam 1970 Rome 1991 Baku 2012
Dublin 1971 Malmö 1992 Malmö 2013
Luxembourg 1973 Dublin 1994 Vienna 2015
Brighton 1974 Dublin 1995 Stockholm 2016
Stockholm 1975 Oslo 1996 Kyiv 2017
The Hague 1976 Dublin 1997
European Song Contest – How It All Started

The origin of this spectacular European music competition can be traced back to the 1955 committee meeting of the European Broadcasting Union when the idea of creating a global music competition was proposed. The song contest was inspired by the Sanremo Music Festival, which takes place every year in the picturesque Italian city.

Eurovision started out as an audacious and ground-breaking live television project, unlike anything ever seen before. Its target was to unite a large number of states in a unique global network. The very first contest was hosted in 1956, in Lugano, Switzerland and welcomed participants from 7 countries. Unlike the other editions, in the first Eurovision, each country entered two songs instead of one.

How the Eurovision Song Festival Changed Over Time

Although the basic rules of Eurovision have remained the same, the festival has evolved to a great extent in the course of time. As we’ve already mentioned, the first edition only included seven European states, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Over the years, many other countries made their debut entry in the competition. Overall, a number of 52 countries participated in the competition at least once. Eurovision has also welcomed non-European countries, like Israel, Morocco and Australia.

Another element that has undergone many changes throughout the years is the voting system. Initially, the winner was decided exclusively by a professional jury. Starting with 1997, participant countries have introduced the televoting system, which nowadays allows any viewer to cast a vote via telephone, SMS or even a mobile app.

We hope you found our presentation of the history of Eurovision interesting and that we’ve managed to clear some things up for you. Stay updated on the latest news on the Eurovision 2017 final and be a live witness to a whole new chapter of the contest!

Countries & winners
Name First participation Times participated Victories
Albania Istanbul 2004 Anjeza Shahini | The Image Of You 14
0
Andorra Istanbul 2004 Marta Roure | Jugarem A Estimar-nos 6
0
Armenia Athens 2006 André | Without Your Love 11
0
Australia Vienna 2015 Guy Sebastian | Tonight Again 3
0
Austria Frankfurt am Main 1957 Bob Martin | Wohin, Kleines Pony 50
2
Copenhagen 2014 Conchita Wurst | Rise Like a Phoenix
Luxembourg 1966 Udo Jürgens | Merci Chérie
Azerbaijan Belgrade 2008 Elnur & Samir | Day After Day 10
1
Düsseldorf 2011 Ell/Nikki | Running Scared
Belarus Istanbul 2004 Aleksandra & Konstantin | My Galileo 14
0
Belgium Lugano 1956 Mony Marc | Le Plus Beau Jour De Ma Vie 59
1
Bergen 1986 Sandra Kim | J'aime La Vie
Bosna i Hercegovina Bosnia & Herzegovina Millstreet 1993 Fazla | Sva Bol Svijeta 19
0
Bulgaria Kyiv 2005 Kaffe | Lorraine 11
0
Croatia Millstreet 1993 Put | Don't Ever Cry 23
0
Cyprus Dublin 1981 Island | Monika 34
0
Czech Republic Helsinki 2007 Kabát | Malá Dáma 6
0
Denmark Frankfurt am Main 1957 Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler | Skibet Skal Sejle I Nat 46
3
Malmö 2013 Emmelie de Forest | Only Teardrops
Stockholm 2000 Olsen brothers | Fly On The Wings Of Love
London 1963 Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann | Dansevise
Estonia Dublin 1994 Silvi Vrait | Nagu Merelaine 23
1
Copenhagen 2001 Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL | Everybody
F.Y.R. Macedonia Birmingham 1998 Vlado Janevski | Ne Zori, Zoro 17
0
Finland Cannes 1961 Laila Kinnunen | Valoa Ikkunassa 51
1
Athens 2006 Lordi | Hard Rock Hallelujah
France Lugano 1956 Mathé Altéry | Le Temps Perdu 60
5
London 1977 Marie Myriam | L'oiseau Et L'enfant
Madrid 1969 Frida Boccara | Un Jour, Un Enfant
Luxembourg 1962 Isabelle Aubret | Un Premier Amour
London 1960 Jacqueline Boyer | Tom Pillibi
Hilversum 1958 André Claveau | Dors Mon Amour
Georgia Helsinki 2007 Sopho | Visionary Dream 10
0
Germany Lugano 1956 Walter Andreas Schwarz | Im Wartesaal Zum Großen Glück 61
2
Oslo 2010 Lena | Satellite
Harrogate 1982 Nicole | Ein Bißchen Frieden
Greece Brighton 1974 Marinella | Krassi, Thalassa Ke T'agori Mou 38
1
Kyiv 2005 Helena Paparizou | My Number One
Hungary Dublin 1994 Friderika Bayer | Kinek Mondjam El Vétkeimet 15
0
Iceland Bergen 1986 Icy | Gleðibankinn 30
0
Ireland Naples 1965 Butch Moore | I'm Walking The Streets In The Rain 51
7
Oslo 1996 Eimear Quinn | The Voice
Dublin 1994 Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan | Rock 'n' Roll Kids
Millstreet 1993 Niamh Kavanagh | In Your Eyes
Malmö 1992 Linda Martin | Why Me
Brussels 1987 Johnny Logan | Hold Me Now
The Hague 1980 Johnny Logan | What's Another Year
Amsterdam 1970 Dana | All Kinds Of Everything
Israel Luxembourg 1973 Ilanit | Ey-sham 40
3
Birmingham 1998 Dana International | Diva
Jerusalem 1979 Milk and Honey | Hallelujah
Paris 1978 Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta | Abanibi
Italy Lugano 1956 Tonina Torielli | Amami Se Vuoi 43
2
Zagreb 1990 Toto Cutugno | Insieme: 1992
Copenhagen 1964 Gigliola Cinquetti | Non Ho L'étà
Latvia Stockholm 2000 BrainStorm | My Star 18
1
Tallinn 2002 Marie N | I Wanna
Lithuania Dublin 1994 Ovidijus Vyniauskas | Lopine Mylimai 18
0
Luxembourg Lugano 1956 Michèle Arnaud | Les Amants De Minuit 37 5
Munich 1983 Corinne Hermès | Si La Vie Est Cadeau | Tu Te Reconnaîtras
Luxembourg 1973 Anne-Marie David | Tu Te Reconnaîtras
Edinburgh 1972 Vicky Leandros | Après Toi
Naples 1965 France Gall | Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son
Cannes 1961 Jean-Claude Pascal | Nous Les Amoureux
Malta Dublin 1971 Joe Grech | Marija L-maltija 30
0
Moldova Kyiv 2005 Zdob si Zdub | Boonika Bate Toba 13
0
Monaco Cannes 1959 Jacques Pills | Mon Ami Pierrot 24
1
Dublin 1971 Séverine | Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue
Montenegro Helsinki 2007 Stevan Faddy | Ajde Kroci 9
0
Morocco The Hague 1980 Samira Bensaïd | Bitakat Hob 1
0
Norway London 1960 Nora Brockstedt | Voi-voi 56 3
Moscow 2009 Alexander Rybak | Fairytale
Dublin 1995 Secret Garden | Nocturne
Gothenburg 1985 Bobbysocks | La Det Swinge
Poland Dublin 1994 Edyta Górniak | To Nie Ja! 20
0
Portugal Copenhagen 1964 António Calvário | Oração 49
0
Romania Dublin 1994 Dan Bittman | Dincolo De Nori 18
0
Russia Dublin 1994 | Dublin 1994 21
1
Belgrade 2008 | Dima Bilan | Believe
San Marino Belgrade 2008 Miodio | Complice 8
0
Serbia Helsinki 2007 Marija Šerifović | Molitva 10
1
Helsinki 2007 Marija Šerifović | Molitva
Serbia & Montenegro Istanbul 2004 Željko Joksimović | Lane Moje 3
0
Slovakia Dublin 1994 Martin Durinda and Tublatanka | Nekovecná Piesen 7
0
Slovenia Millstreet 1993 1X Band | Tih Dezeven Dan 23
0
Spain Cannes 1961 Conchita Bautista | Estando Contigo 57
2
Madrid 1969 Salomé | Vivo Cantando
London 1968 London 1968
Sweden Hilversum 1958 Alice Babs | Lilla Stjärna 57
6
Vienna 2015 Måns Zelmerlöw | Heroes
Baku 2012 Loreen | Euphoria
Jerusalem 1999 Charlotte Nilsson | Take Me To Your Heaven
Rome 1991 Carola | Fångad Av En Stormvind
Luxembourg 1984 Herrey's | Diggi-loo Diggy-ley
Brighton 1974 ABBA | Waterloo
Switzerland Lugano 1956 Lys Assia | Refrain 58
2
Dublin 1988 Céline Dion | Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi
Lugano 1956 Lys Assia | Refrain
The Netherlands Lugano 1956 Corry Brokken | Voorgoed Voorbij 58
4
Stockholm 1975 Teach-In | Ding-A-Dong
Madrid 1969 Lenny Kuhr | De Troubadour
Cannes 1959 Teddy Scholten | Een Beetje
Frankfurt am Main 1957 Corry Brokken | Net Als Toen
Turkey Stockholm 1975 Semiha Yanki | Seninle Bir Dakika 34
1
Ukraine Riga 2003 Olexandr | Hasta La Vista 14
2
Stockholm 2016 Jamala | 1944
Istanbul 2004 Ruslana | Wild Dances
United Kingdom Frankfurt am Main 1957 Patricia Bredin | All 60
5
Dublin 1997 Katrina and The Waves | Love Shine A Light
Dublin 1981 Bucks Fizz | Making Your Mind Up
The Hague 1976 Brotherhood of Man | Save Your Kisses For Me
Madrid 1969 Lulu | Boom Bang-a-bang
Vienna 1967 Sandie Shaw | Puppet On A String
Yugoslavia Cannes 1961 Ljiljana Petrovic | Neke Davne Zvezde 27
1
Lausanne 1989 Riva | Rock Me
Host Cities on map

Check out where the previous Eurovision Song Contests have taken place and click for more details!

  • Latest Host City is in Purple
  • Cities in blue have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest
  • Cities in yellow have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest twice
  • Cities in red have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest more than two times
Winners on map

Check out all the countries that have won the Eurovision Song Contest. Click on the place marks for more information on the winners.

  • Latest winner has a TV icon
  • Countries in blue have won the Eurovision Song Contest 1 time
  • Countries in yellow have won the Eurovision Song Contest up to 3 times
  • Countries in red have won the Eurovision Song Contest more than three times