THE Gold Coast will host Australia’s first ever Eurovision selection show where the public will be able to vote for the artist who they want to represent the country on the world’s biggest stage in 2019.
Eurovision – Australia Decides will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February, with a Live Show broadcast exclusively on SBS on the Saturday.
It’ll be the first time the Australian public has been given the chance to choose its representing artist and song, with the two previously being decided internally by SBS and music label Sony.
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Songs will be shortlisted later this year and will be paired with some of Australia’s most recognised artists.
It’ll then be up to the Australian public and a jury to decide who will perform and what song they will sing at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Israel in May. The jury vote will account for 50 per cent of the vote.
SBS has been the Australian home of the Eurovision Song Contest for 35 years and 2019 will mark Australia’s fifth year of competing in the event.
Previous Eurovision performers include Guy Sebastion, Logan singer Dami Im, Isaiah Firebrace and Jessica Mauboy. Im came second in the 2016 contest – Australia’s greatest achievement so far.
Hosted by radio host and music buff Myf Warhurst and comedian Joel Creasey, Eurovision – Australia Decides is expected to showcase the very best of Australian music.
At a launch event on the Gold Coast on Sunday, SBS called on songwriters across the country to submit an original composition as part of the selection process via sbs.com.au/eurovision.
The song portal is now open for submissions until Sunday 4 November. There are no restrictions on the number of songs composers and songwriters, both published and unpublished, can submit.
“As our country’s passion for Eurovision continues to grow, we are inundated by fans wanting to have their say in choosing who represents Australia on the world’s biggest stage,” SBS Acting Managing Director James Taylor said.
“This will be the first time that Australians can enjoy a Eurovision show live on home soil and we are delighted to begin this next chapter in Australia’s Eurovision journey with our long-term production partner Blink TV and new partners in Queensland – the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and City of Gold Coast.”
It’s the latest achievement for the Gold Coast following the success of the Commonwealth Games in April. The city also this year hosted the TV Week Logie Awards for the first time.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the announcement cemented the Gold Coast’s reputation as a “powerhouse of Australia’s film and television industry”.
“Following the successful shift of the TV WEEK Logies to the Gold Coast this year, securing Eurovision – Australia Decides for the Gold Coast is further demonstration of the respect for this region as an international television and event host,” the premier said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said hosting the Eurovision event was “right up there with the best”.
“I’ve always said that we are a city that dares to dream,” Cr Tate said.
“We dream big and we reap the rewards for that. Hosting this Eurovision event is right up there with the best.
“Our city’s exposure to this global audience is priceless. Lights. Camera. Action. Bring it on.”
Australian Head of Delegation and Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke said the Coast will become “Eurovision Central” in February.
“This will be the first time our huge fan base will be able to see a live Eurovision show in an Australian venue.
“We have great plans to make the Gold Coast Eurovision Central in February 2019, so with spandex and sequins at the ready, it will be an awesome show!”
To submit a song or for more information on Eurovision – Australia Decides, visit sbs.com.au/eurovision
Ticketing information is expected to be released soon.
— SBS Australia (@SBS) October 13, 2018