Italy and its national broadcaster RAI hosted this year's contest for the first time. 18 countries took part, at that point, the number of participants ever. After a year of absence, Sweden returned to the competition and Ireland debuted. Belgium, Germany, Finland and Spain all scored nul points while Luxembourg won for the second time with the highly controversial Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son sung by teenager France Gall. The song went on to become a massive hit in almost all European countries and had a major impact on the type of songs entered into the contest in the following years.
Swedish participant Ingvar Wixell performed his song -originally called Annorstädes Vals - in English instead of Swedish while all the other participants sang in their native languages. This incident led to a rule change meaning that all participants would have to perform their songs in their respective national languages.