MELODIFESTIVALEN (/mɛlʊˈdiːfɛstɪvɑːlɛn/ ; literally "The
Melody Festival") is an annual music competition organised by Swedish
Sveriges Television (SVT) and
Sveriges Radio (SR).
It determines the country's representative for the Eurovision Song
Contest , and has been staged almost every year since 1959. Since
2000, the competition has been the most popular television programme
in Sweden; it is also broadcast on radio and the Internet. In 2012,
the semifinals averaged 3.3 million viewers, and over an estimated
four million people in
The festival has produced six Eurovision winners and eighteen
top-five placings for
The introduction of semifinals in 2002 raised the potential number of
contestants from around twelve to thirty-two. A children's version of
Lilla Melodifestivalen , also began that year. Light
orchestrated pop songs, known locally as schlager music, are so
prevalent that the festival is sometimes referred to as
Schlagerfestivalen ("The schlager festival") by the Swedish media .
However, other styles of music such as rap , reggae , and glam rock
have made an appearance since the event's expansion. The introduction
of a grand final in
The most recent
* 1 Origins * 2 Participation
* 3 Selection of contestants
* 3.1 Songs * 3.2 Artists and wildcards
* 4 Hosting
* 5 Televised rounds
* 5.1 Semifinals and Second Chance * 5.2 Final
* 6 Voting * 7 Winners
* 8 Presenters
* 8.1 Presenters who have competed at Eurovision
* 8.2 Presenters who have presented the Eurovision in
* 9 Rules * 10 Media coverage * 11 Musical styles and presentation * 12 See also * 13 Notes * 14 Bibliography * 15 References * 16 External links
Main article: History of Melodifestivalen The first generic logo for Melodifestivalen, in use 2002–2010 The second generic logo for Melodifestivalen, in use 2011–2015 The third generic logo for Melodifestivalen, in use 2016-present
With seven nations competing, the first
Eurovision Song Contest
The first Melodifestival, incorporated into the Säg det med musik
radio series, took place on 29 January 1959 at Cirkus in
The Melodifestival has failed to be staged on three occasions. In
1964, the competition was cancelled due to an artist's strike; Sweden
did not send a song to Eurovision that year.
Hundreds of songs and performers have entered
Until 2001, participation in the festival was limited to a single
night. The number of contestants ranged from five to twelve. A
two-round system was used intermittently between 1981 and 1998, in
which all but five of the contestants were eliminated in a first round
of voting. Failure to reach the second round under this system was
seen as a major failure for a prominent artist; when Elisabeth
Andreassen failed to qualify in 1984, it almost ended her career. The
introduction of weekly semifinals in 2002 increased the number of
contestants to thirty-two. At least ten of the contestants must
perform in Swedish . A CD of each year's competing songs has been
released since 2001, and a
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SVT begins looking for songs nine months before the start of the televised Melodifestival (within days of the previous year's Eurovision final). The deadline for submission is in September and songs can be in any language. In the pre-selection, song length is limited to three minutes and twenty seconds; songs must be shortened to three minutes if they reach the final twenty-eight and qualifying songs may also be remixed.
The submission process is overseen by members of the Swedish Music
Publishers Association (SMFF), whose task is to reduce the number of
songs, which have numbered over 3,000 a year since 2002, to around
1,200. The 3,440 entries received in the preselection for
ARTISTS AND WILDCARDS
SVT selects performers for the entries. Artists who perform the demo of a song automatically enter the competition; they must perform their songs if suitable alternate performers cannot be found. The artists' songs risk disqualification if they refuse. In the past, this rule led to the disqualification of, among others, Carola's "När löven faller" in 2003 and Stephen Simmonds 's "So Good" in 2006. SVT may also give songs to other performers without considering the interests of the demo artist. This prevented the Brandsta City Släckers (in 2004) and Pernilla Wahlgren (in 2005) from performing the songs they had submitted. Replacements for disqualified songs fare unpredictably at the competition. In 2006, "Naughty Boy" by Hannah Graaf (the replacement for Simmonds' song) finished second to last in its semifinal. In 2002 and 2007, by contrast, the replacements performed by Jan Johansen and Måns Zelmerlöw reached the final ten. The contestants that will perform the twenty-eight qualifiers from the preselection are announced in late November. Singer-songwriters are common. As such, artists often confirm that they will participate before the official announcement.
The wildcard (joker) system was introduced in 2004 to diversify the music featured. Four artists, one in each semifinal, were invited by SVT to enter a song of their choice into the competition, provided it does not breach the rules. The wildcard songs and artists were announced in January. Since the wildcards' introduction, three have won the competition. In 2011 there were 15 wildcards. The wildcard system was discontinued in 2013.
The venues for each year's Melodifestival are announced in September
of the preceding year. The semifinals are held in towns and cities
throughout Sweden. The 16,300-capacity
The event spent its early years at one venue: Cirkus in Stockholm,
which hosted the first ten competitions. It has hosted the final of
The televised Melodifestival lasts five weeks and consists of six live shows: four semifinals, in which eight songs compete; a Second Chance round featuring songs which narrowly missed out on qualification from the semifinals; and a grand final. Ten songs comprise the final: two automatic qualifiers from each of the semifinals, and the two most popular songs in the Second Chance round. In 2015, there are seven songs for each semifinal, and twelve (eight winners and four from Andra Chansen) in the final.
SEMIFINALS AND SECOND CHANCE
Prior to the introduction of the current format of semifinals (deltävlingar) in 2002, the competition was usually a single live show. Under the current system, four semifinals are broadcast at 20:00 CET on consecutive Saturday nights. The semifinals begin in early February, and eight songs compete in each show.
Unlike in the final, no juries are used; televoting decides the
results. The songs are performed live with telephone lines open for
the first round of voting; two songs with least votes do not qualify
to the second round. The top 5 battle for a place in the final and
Andra chansen round - the 1st and 2nd placed songs qualifying to the
final, and the 3rd and 4th placed songs progressing to Andra chansen.
Both finalists reprise their entries at the end of the broadcast. The
organisation of a semifinal system for
The Second Chance round (Andra chansen) is the fifth heat in which the remaining four entries to the final are chosen. The third- and fourth-placed songs from each semifinal (eight songs in total) compete in the event. The first Second Chance round in 2002 had a panel of former winners decide the two finalists. Between 2003 and 2006, the semifinal performances were re-broadcast, and a round of voting narrowed the songs to three or four. Another round then determined the two finalists. The programme was broadcast on the Sunday afternoon after the fourth semifinal. It was held in a smaller venue than those that would have hosted the semifinals—such as Berns Salonger in Stockholm, which hosted the Second Chance round in 2005.
In 2007, the Second Chance round became a full semifinal, taking place in a venue comparable in size to those hosting the others. The expanded Second Chance takes place on a Saturday night, adding an extra week to the event's timetable. The format of voting also changed with the introduction of a knock-out system. The system pairs the eight songs off against each other, then narrows them down to four before pairing them off again. The winners of the two second round pairings go through to the final. The two finalists do not reprise their songs at the end of the programme.
In 2015, the system was changed again. The eight songs are divided into four duels, with one song from each duel qualifying into the final, bringing the number of finalists to 12.
The final takes place at 20:00 CET on a Saturday in mid-March. Twelve songs (11 songs in 2009 , 10 before 2015 ) participate: two from each semifinal, four from the Second Chance round, and, only in 2009, the international jury's choice. A running order is decided by the competition's supervisors the week before to ensure that similar songs and artists are kept apart in the final. Dress rehearsals for the final are held on the prior Friday, and tickets sell out almost as quickly as those for the final itself. The final attracts much tourism to its host city; a survey in 2006 showed that 54% of spectators had travelled from outside the host city, Stockholm. Of these, 6% had come from outside Sweden.
As at Eurovision, a broadcast of the EBU logo introduces and closes
the television coverage, accompanied by the prelude to Marc-Antoine
Charpentier 's setting of "Te Deum ". Video "postcards" introduce the
entries. The final includes interval performances, which are performed
while the juries deliberate and before the televote closes. Former
The winner receives a trophy, Den stora Sångfågeln (The Great Songbird), from the previous year's winner. The trophy, designed by Ernst Billgren , was unveiled in 2005 and awarded to all previous Melodifestivalen winners at the Alla tiders Melodifestival gala in March of that year. The winner of the competition reprises their song at the end of the event.
Before the introduction of the current voting system in 1999, a group
of regional or age-based juries decided the winner of
Melodifestivalen. In 1993, televoting was used experimentally, but
proved unsuccessful. The Swedish telephone network collapsed due to
the number of calls, and claims by the Swedish tabloid press suggested
the use of televoting had drastically altered the results. Evening
newspapers released what they claimed to be the back-up juries' votes,
which showed that the winner,
The current voting format introduced in 1999 is a positional voting
system , similar to that used at the
Eurovision Song Contest
Telephone lines open immediately after the radio preview for the
final and do not close until the juries have voted. Two telephone
numbers are used for each song, giving voters the option of whether to
donate money to SVT's
Radiohjälpen charity appeal or not as they
vote. Viewers can also vote by text message , and only residents of
The votes of the juries are announced by spokespeople who are not members of the juries. The votes are read in ascending order, beginning with one point and finishing with twelve. When read, they are repeated by the host, for example:
Spokesperson: "Ett poäng till melodi nummer två." (One point to song number two.) Presenter: Ett poäng till (name song)." (One point to (name song).)
Since 2012, most spokespeople have announced the points in English, with the hosts repeating them in Swedish.
As the votes are announced, they are collated on a graphic
scoreboard. SVT varies the way the jury votes are announced from year
to year. For example, the finalists of Expedition: Robinson acted as
spokespeople in 2004, and in 2006 Fredrik Lindström announced jury
tallies using the dialects of each region. The final of
If there is a tie, the song that has received more votes from the public receives the higher position. There have been two ties for first place in the history of the contest. In 1969, Tommy Körberg tied for first place with Jan Malmsjö . The juries them voted for their favourite out the two, leading to Tommy Körberg winning. In 1978, Björn Skifs tied for first place with Lasse Holm and Wizex (performing together); a similar tie-break process resulting in Skifs winning.
Main article: Melodifestivalen winners
Fifty-five of Sweden's fifty-six Eurovision representatives have come
YEAR SONG ARTIST POSITION IN EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
1973 "Sommaren som aldrig säger nej " Malta 5th (as "You\'re Summer ")
1983 "Främling " Carola Häggkvist 3rd
"Bra vibrationer "
"E\' de\' det här du kallar kärlek? "
Lasse Holm "> Hosts
Christine Meltzer and Måns Zelmerlöw
during the second semi-final of
Melodifestivalen 2010 in
Petra Mede , during the third semi-final of
1959 Thore Ehrling
1960 Jeannette von Heidenstam
1961 Jeannette von Heidenstam
1962 Bengt Feldreich
1963 Sven Lindahl
1965 Birgitta Sandstedt
1966 Sven Lindahl
1967 Maud Husberg
1968 Magnus Banck
1969 Pekka Langer
1971 Lennart Hyland
1972 Gunilla Marcus
1973 Alicia Lundberg
1974 Johan Sandström
1975 Karin Falck
1977 Ulf Elfving
1978 Ulf Elfving
1979 Ulf Elfving
1980 Bengt Bedrup
1981 Janne Loffe Carlsson
1982 Fredrik Belfrage
1983 Bibi Johns
1984 Fredrik Belfrage
1985 Eva Andersson
1986 Lennart Swahn and Tommy Engstrand
1987 Fredrik Belfrage
1988 Bengt Grafström
1990 Carin Hjulström
1991 Harald Treutiger
1992 Adde Malmberg and Claes Malmberg
1993 Triple & Touch
1997 Jan Jingryd
1998 Pernilla Månsson Colt and Magnus Karlsson
Carola Häggkvist ,
2002 Kristin Kaspersen and Claes Åkesson
2005 Alexandra Pascalidou and Shan Atçi (Semi Final 1) Henrik Schyffert and Erik Haag (Semi Final 2) Johanna Westman and Markoolio (Semi Final 3) Kayo and Micke Leijnegard (Semi Final 4) Annika Jankell (Second Chance) Jill Johnson and Mark Levengood (Final)
2006 Lena Philipsson (Semi Finals human voices were not allowed on backing tracks. However, from 2009, the number of performers allowed on stage was eight, and voices were allowed on backing tracks. A live orchestra was used every year from the event's debut to 2000, except 1985 and 1986. Two orchestras were used between 1960 and 1963, a large orchestra and Göte Wilhelmsons kvartett, a jazz quartet. Since 2001, participants have performed to backing tracks .
Entries cannot be publicly broadcast until the semifinals are previewed on radio. Entries eliminated in the semifinals may be broadcast as soon as the semifinal has finished. An embargo is placed on songs that qualify for the later rounds until the previews for the Second Chance are broadcast. After this, restrictions on the broadcast of contestant songs are lifted.
Broadcasters sometimes make sweeping changes to winning songs before
they go to Eurovision. For example, at
Until 1999, competing songs were only permitted in Swedish, apart from 1965, 1973, 1974, 1975. This did not stop most winning entries recording English (and other language) versions of their songs. Since the abolition of Eurovision's language restrictions in 1999, regardless of the performance language at Melodifestivalen, every Swedish entry has been in English. Spanish, French, Greek , Italian , Portuguese , Bosnian and Persian are among the other languages to have featured. Cameron Cartio 's entry in Melodifestivalen 2005 was performed in a constructed language .
Although the final is traditionally held on a Saturday, in 1990 it
was held on a Friday. TV2 suggested this would attract more viewers.
In 1991, it was held on
The competition has had an official website since 1999. Webcasts have been provided since 2005. Since 2006, between February and the Eurovision final in May, SR has webcast a radio station dedicated to the competition called P4 Melodifest. On P4, the public previews semifinalists every Friday. Broadcast the night after the final, a dagen efter ("the day after") television programme acts as an epilogue to the event. It gauges the reactions of the finalists after the competition's climax. No commentary is given for the event on television. Carolina Norén is commentator on the event for Sveriges Radio . The festival has been broadcast in widescreen since 2002 and Dolby Digital since 2004.
The competition's viewing figures have been rising since 2002. In
2007, approximately 4.1 million Swedes—almost 44% of the country's
population—watched the final, and between 2.9 million and 3.2
million viewers watched each of the semifinals. The viewing figures
for the 2007 festival are nearly two million short of the highest
recorded viewing figures from 1990.
MUSICAL STYLES AND PRESENTATION
Lill Lindfors &
Svante Thuresson "
Nygammal vals (hip man
svinaherde)" (1966) The winner of
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Melodifestivalen's image has evolved throughout its existence, but one word has defined the competition's music: schlager . In Sweden, schlager (a German word literally meaning a "hit") represents any song associated with the competition, from the jazz music featured heavily in the 1960s to entries such as Linda Bengtzing 's in 2006. Christine Demsteader of The Local described Swedish schlager as "typically characterized by an annoyingly repetitive melody and trivial lyrics of little or no meaning".
Jazz artists such as
Monica Zetterlund and
Östen Warnerbring won the
event in the 1960s.
On-stage gimmicks have long been a part of performances at the
Lena Philipsson 's use of a microphone stand in her
performance of "
Det gör ont " at the 2004 competition is an example.
When Philipsson hosted
* Eurovision portal
List of historic rock festivals
* ^ Also referred to as the Melodifestival, and incorrectly as the Melodifestivalen. The plural is Melodifestivaler. * ^ Translated by SVT as The Swedish Eurovision Song Contest. * ^ Sveriges Radio controlled Swedish public service television and radio until 1 July 1979, when SVT was created. * ^ In 2002 and 2003 only the top four songs went through to the second voting round. * ^ The band changed its name to Nova for Eurovision.
* Leif Thorsson.
* ^ Television in Sweden. Sweden.se (30 September 2005). Retrieved
on 20 October 2006.
* ^ "Månadsrapport Februari 2012" (PDF). MMS - Mediamätning i
Skandinavien. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
* ^ Lindström, Therese (12 March 2012). "Över fyra miljoner såg
finalen". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
* ^ "Jag koncentrerar mig på schlagerfestivalen" (in Swedish) .
Aftonbladet.se (27 February 2002). Retrieved on October 20, 2006.
* ^ Anders Foghagen (13 October 2006) Agnes diskad från
Schlagerfestivalen Archived 2007-09-26 at the