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All eyes on Stockholm

04 January 2016 at 10:00 CET
43 countries are set to participate in the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm in May. 2016 will be the sixth time that Sweden has hosted the event and the third time that it has taken place in Stockholm. Let's take a look back at the previous contests held in the Swedish capital. 

Following ABBA's famous victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, the 20th Eurovision Song Contest was held in Stockholm the following year. The 1975 event is notable since it marked Turkey's debut in the Contest and saw the introduction of a new scoring system, which remains in place today. It wasn't all fun and games though, some groups in Sweden objected to Stockholm hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, viewing the show as a reflection of the commercialisation of the music scene in Sweden. The Netherlands won with the song Ding-a-Dong, performed by Teach-In, which went on to become a Eurovision Song Contest classic. 

The contest did not return to Stockholm until 2000 since the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, decided to stage the 1985 and 1992 contests in Gothenburg and Malmö respectively. Staged in Stockholm's Globe Arena, the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 was a breakthrough in many ways. It was the first year that a CD featuring all participating songs was released and the contest was broadcast on the internet for the first time. The Globe Arena was, until that point, the largest venue ever used for the Eurovision Song Contest, until Denmark staged the Contest in Copenhagen's Parken Stadium in 2001 following the victory by The Olsen Brothers with Fly on the Wings of Love. In 2003 a dance version of that song was released by XTM and became a hit across Europe.

The 2000 Eurovision Song Contest was a slick, modern show for the new millennium. Preparations for the 2016 Contest are now underway in Stockholm and it won't be long before SVT unveils its plans for the coming Eurovision Song Contest season!