For the third time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, the Netherlands organised the musical highlight of the year. After having hosted the event in Hilversum and Amsterdam, The Hague was chosen as host city for the 1976 event.
After being host of the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden withdrew from the contest as Swedish TV thought that the contest had become too commercial. They were also afraid of winning again and having to host the expensive show so soon. Turkey and Malta withdrew as well, but Greece and Austria returned. 18 countries participated in the 1976 song contest altogether. Former Dutch Eurovision Song Contest winner Corry Brokken hosted the contest.
The orchestra rules changed this year. For the first time, instrumental playback was allowed if certain passages in the music could not be reproduced by the live orchestra. Most of the countries decided to sing in English hoping that they might earn a better placing with this. The Yugoslav entry was sung by Ambassadori and it marked the last Yugoslav entry for five years - the country would only come back in 1981.
About the winner
Just as the Netherlands did the previous year, the United Kingdom succeeded in winning after performed first in the running order. The UK winner, Save Your Kisses For Me, became a big international hit selling almost six million copies making it one of the most successful winning songs ever. The winning group, Brotherhood of Man, still perform together today.
Facts & figures
- Italy sent the daughter of US actor Tyrone Power to the contest, Romina Power, who sang with her husband, Al Bano;
- Luxembourg looked abroad again to find its entry. Winning the Luxembourg national final, Jürgen Marcus from Germany beat the equally popular German singer Marianne Rosenberg who then went on to have a big hit with her unsuccessful Eurovision Song Contest song.