The first day of September is a key milestone in the Eurovision calendar. In theory, any song commercially released after this date may be considered for inclusion in the next Eurovision Song Contest. A new Eurovision season has come!
Summer is usually a quiet time for the Eurovision fan community but for the European Broadcasting Union, which oversees the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest, the work continues all year round. It's also the time when participating broadcasters evaluate their efforts from the previous competition and make plans for the next season. What can you expect in the run-up to the 2018 contest?
In or out?
In the coming weeks we will announce the official list of participants for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Australia has already officially confirmed that it will participate once again but many more participating broadcasters have yet to follow. The record number of participants was set in 2008 and 2011 when 43 countries took part. Could we see that record broken in 2018? A maximum of 46 members are eligible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest so there's room for more! Could one of the countries that previously participated make a return? Italy returned to the competition in 2011 after a 14 year absence so anything is possible!
National selection season
Participating broadcasters will reveal their plans for the coming national selection season. Many countries choose to organise a televised national final whilst others opt for an internal selection. Each country is free to decide if they send their number one star or the best new talent they can find. They have to do so before mid-March, the official deadline to send in entries for the contest.
Little by little in Lisbon
In November the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, will meet in Lisbon where plans for the upcoming competition will be discussed and key decisions around the production will be taken. We will bring you the latest from Lisbon over the coming weeks and months.
Thunder and lightning, it's getting exciting!
From September onwards the Eurovision machine goes up a gear and with each month that passes, new details about the upcoming contest will emerge. Of course, sometimes there's drama, but that's what keeps the Eurovision Song Contest interesting!