When is Eurovision 2024? Olly Alexander releases song entry

When is Eurovision 2024? Olly Alexander releases song entry

Olly Alexander has released Dizzy, which serves as the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

The Years & Years vocalist will play the song at the yearly competition in Malmö, Sweden, in May.

Dizzy was written by Alexander and British producer Danny L Harle, who drew inspiration from DJ Adamski, Erasure, and the Pet Shop Boys from the 1980s.

Alexander hopes to outperform Mae Muller, who finished second-to-last during last year's Eurovision contest, with I Wrote A Song.

But, unlike Muller, Alexander is already a well-known artist in the UK.

With Years & Years, he previously had two number one albums, five top 10 UK singles, and six nominations for Brit Awards.

This year’s Eurovision will be complicated compared with previous years.

Finnish artists are calling for Israel to be banned from this year’s Eurovision song contest over "war crimes" they claim the country has committed in Gaza.

More than 1,400 Finnish artists are in protest for Israel to be excluded from the competition.

A petition that has been signed by Finland-based artists, musicians and music industry professionals says: “It is not in accordance with our values that a country that commits war crimes and continues a military occupation is given a public stage to polish its image in the name of music.”

Meanwhile, Olly Alexander has been criticised for signing a statement accusing Israel of genocide and describing it as an "apartheid state".

Thirty-seven countries have been announced by the European Broadcasting Union as competing in the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The organisation behind the contest announced the 37 countries currently confirmed as participating in the event, but discussions are under way with one further country.

TVR of Romania is still in discussions about being in the competition. If Romania does not participate, this would be its first non-appearance since 2016, when TVR was disqualified due to debts.  A decision is due on January 22.

Every year, Eurovision brings together a wealth of musicians from across Europe. For UK viewers, the event provides an opportunity to enjoy Graham Norton's quick-witted commentary to offset the country's typically low rankings.

Although it is still six months away, here's everything we know about the musical extravaganza so far.

When is Eurovision 2024?

The Eurovision Song Contest normally takes place across several days, with artists competing in the two semi-finals and the grand final.

Next year's first semi-final will take place on Tuesday May 7 and the second on Thursday May 9.

The grand final will be on Saturday May 11.

Where will Eurovision 2024 take place?

Given that the 2023 winner was Swedish singer Loreen with the song Tattoo, next year's contest will be held in Sweden.

Organisers have decided that the host city will be Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city. It will be the third time that the coastal city in the south of Sweden has hosted the competition.

Organisers selected the city after evaluating its venue facilities and accommodation availability. This was due to the influx of thousands of visitors who flock to Eurovision's host city.

Sweden has won the song contest an impressive seven times, with the pop supergroup Abba being the country's most notable entry. It previously hosted the contest in Stockholm (1975, 2000, 2016), in Malmö (1992, 2013) and once in Gothenburg (1985).

The executive supervisor of Eurovision, Martin Osterdahl, said of the decision to hold the event in Malmö again: “Malmö holds a special place in the history of the contest, having successfully hosted it firstly in 1992 and then in 2013 – following Loreen’s last win.

“We’re excited to be returning to this vibrant and dynamic city, which has demonstrated it has the venues and infrastructure that are perfect for staging the world’s largest live music event.”

Which countries are participating?

The following countries are believed to be participating in this year's song contest:

Albania – RTSH

Armenia – AMPTV

Australia – SBS

Austria – ORF

Azerbaijan – Ictimai

Belgium – RTBF

Croatia – HRT

Cyprus – CyBC

Czechia – ÄŒT

Denmark – DR

Estonia – ERR

Finland – YLE

France – FT

Georgia – GPB

Germany – NDR

Greece – ERT

Iceland – RÚV

Ireland – RTÉ

Israel – Kan

Italy – RAI

Latvia – LTV

Lithuania – LRT

Luxembourg – RTL

Malta – PBS

Moldova – TRM

Netherlands – AVROTROS

Norway – NRK

Poland – TVP

Portugal – RTP

San Marino – San Marino RTV

Serbia – RTS

Slovenia – RTVSLO

Spain – RTVE

Sweden – SVT

Switzerland – SRG SSR

Ukraine – Suspilne

United Kingdom – BBC

When will Eurovision 2024 tickets go on sale?

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday, November 28 through Ticketmaster.

Prices for the various Eurovision events start from 145 Swedish krona, which is about £11.

Fans will also have three chances to see the grand final, as there are two rehearsal previews before the live show. Tickets cost up to 3,795 krona, about £280.

More information is available here about the nine Eurovision live shows and how to buy tickets.

How to watch Eurovision 2024 live

All three live programmes – both semi-finals and the grand final – will be broadcast live on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer in 2024.

The BBC has said that its overall coverage of Eurovision across TV, radio and online in 2023 increased by 55 per cent since 2022, reaching 29.8 million people.

What rules could be changed for Eurovision 2024?

The first Eurovision Song Contest Workshop took place at the Meistersaal, in Berlin, Germany, on September 12, 2023.

During the workshop, various potential rule changes were discussed.

A new draw

First and foremost, a draw could be introduced to determine which semi-final each participating country will be assigned to during the event

The allocation process will involve grouping semi-finalists into different sets, taking into account past voting trends.

The purpose of this is to minimise the likelihood of “bloc voting”, where groups of countries tend to vote in the same direction. It would also aim to increase suspense during the semi-finals.

The move would determine in which semi-final the automatic qualifiers, including the host country Sweden and the “Big Five” countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), would participate. The draw will reportedly take place in January 2024.

Voting system changes

There may also be changes to the voting system on the way. Norway's NRK broadcaster has pushed for discussions with the European Broadcasting Union about revisions to the jury-voting procedure.

This follows Sweden winning the 2023 event despite Finland’s high number of televotes. Furthermore, Norway came sixth and fifth in 2019 and 2023 respectively despite also receiving high numbers of televotes.

Stig Karlsen, the Norwegian head of delegation, suggested reducing the jury's influence on the final score. This would involve lowering the jury’s share from the current 49.4 per cent to either 40 per cent or even 30 per cent. Official announcements regarding these ideas are expected to be made in January.

AI in Eurovision

Finally, the idea of prohibiting any AI content was also discussed with the aim of safeguarding human creativity.