Two days ago, Sweden won the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with Måns Zelmerlöw and the song Heroes. Now the preparations for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest are about to start. Here is a brief overview of the next steps to be taken by the European Broadcasting Union, the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, and 2016 Host Broadcaster SVT.
First information on the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest has already been released even ahead of Saturday's Grand Final. Preliminary dates have been set - 10th and 12th of May for the two Semi-Finals, and 14th of May for the Final.
Host broadcaster gets ready
On the winner's press conference in Vienna, Christer Björkman, on behalf of Swedish public broadcaster SVT, has already announced that first internal talks about hosting the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest had already been held, and more information was due tomorrow.
The steps that follow are usually the appointment of a "core team" - including the executive producer and the creative director - that is in charge of the organisation of the upcoming contest, and possibly the opening of a bidding process for the host city of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
Reference Group approves
In June, a meeting between the host broadcaster and the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group takes place, where the organisational setup and timeline of preparations are agreed on and the Host Broadcaster gets a first briefing.
After that, the host broadcaster starts working on more detailed aspects of the event, for example the artistic concept, stage design, theme art, which are being revealed in the months to come after being approved by the Reference Group.
List of represented countries
Usually the list of countries participating in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest will be released late the year before or early on the year of the contest on Eurovision.tv. So, you can expect this to happen either late this year or early 2016.
Tickets usually go on sale late this year or early next year too. The procedure and the official ticketing partner website will be announced on Eurovision.tv as well.
National selections kick off
In some countries, like Switzerland, national selections start as early as September, and first entries in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest are likely known already before the end of the year. Countries have until mid-March to select their songs, when they are officially presented at the Head of Delegation Meeting.
You can follow the news and watch many national selection finals live on Eurovision.tv. So there are good reasons to check our website and follow our official Twitter in the months to come!