The artist who will represent Australia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden, in May will be revealed today, Thursday 3rd March!
Who better to deliver this announcement than The Queen of Eurovision from Austria, the country which first invited Australia to join the competition, 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst?
Conchita herself will unveil Australia’s artist during her one-off concert event with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Conchita: From Vienna with Love, followed by a special performance by the brand new Aussie Eurovision star on the iconic Sydney Opera House stage.
So who will it be? Keep a close eye on Eurovision.tv and our social media channels for the artist reveal!
Last year, Australia was represented by megastar Guy Sebastian who finished 5th in the Grand Final with Tonight Again. The Conchita: From Vienna with Love concert is presented by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in association with the Austrian National Tourist Office and is an official Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival event.
The EBU Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, voted unanimously in favour of Australia's participation. "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," says Dr. Frank Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Reference Group. “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.
"The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia's participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive," says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the EBU. "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 continues.
Last year in Vienna, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final. For 2016 Australia will have to compete in the second Semi-Final on Thursday the 12th of May. It is yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant in the contest.
"SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the EBU 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." says CEO and Managing Director SBS, Michael Ebeid.
In case Australia wins the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the 2017 contest will be co-hosted by Australian broadcaster SBS and another European public broadcaster, somewhere in Europe.