SBS announces week-long Eurovision festival in lieu of cancelled event

Image via SBS

SBS is going big.

On March 18, Eurovision announced it would be cancelling its 2020 event set to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was going to be the event’s 65th instalment and Australia’s fifth involvement at the event.

To celebrate the achievements Australia has made at the global event, SBS has announced a week-long Eurovision festival beginning on Sunday, May 10 and culminating the following Sunday.

The festival will commence with Road to Eurovision, a two-hour program that celebrates the 64-year history of the event. Featuring performances from 22 past Eurovision winners and performers, including the likes of Sergey Lazarev, Dana International, Netta and Johnny Logan, the program will be broadcasted straight from The Netherlands.

Across the next five days, SBS will broadcast every event Australia has been involved in from 2015-2019. Across the five years, Australia has made it to the top ten on four occasions – Guy Sebastian finished fifth in 2015, Dami Im second in 2016, Isaiah came home with ninth in 2017, while Kate Miller-Heidke also finished ninth in 2019.

Then on Saturday, May 16, the week-long festival will culminate with Eurovision 2020: Big Night In! to be hosted by music media legend Myf Warhurst alongside comedian Joel Creasey. The program will feature special guest appearances from big names across the globe while also featuring an exclusive studio performance from our very own Montaigne, who was set to represent Australia at this year’s event.

The festival will then close on Sunday, May 17 with Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, a program broadcasted from The Netherlands spotlighting all 41 songs that were going to be performed at this year’s event in a non-competitive format.

“Sixty-four years ago, Eurovision was born as an idea to help unite people after a period of turmoil and instability. In 2020, SBS is incredibly proud to fill the gap left from the cancellation of this year’s contest in Rotterdam, with a network event that champions the very same goal,” said Josh Martin, SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation, on the event.

“Music really is the great unifier and a perfect antidote for a nation in isolation. We’ve already seen this through the thousands of apartment block singalongs and virtual choirs and, in this spirit, we promise this will be a fun, exciting and inclusive party that everyone is invited to! So get your costumes planned, and your Twitter fingers ready as we countdown Australia’s Eurovision 2020 votes.”

In the lead-up to the Big Night In!, SBS viewers will be invited to vote for their favourite three 2020 acts from all competing nations (except your own nation). The performances can be watched via YouTube, with voting now open until Sunday, May 3. The results will then be announced when the Big Night In! is screened on May 16 from 7.30pm.

This article was originally published on Beat

SBS’s week-long Eurovision festival kicks off from Sunday, May 10 and runs until Sunday, May 17. Find out more and vote for your favourite 2020 performance via the SBS website.

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