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Backstage at Melodifestivalen, Sweden's selection for Eurovision

13 March 2017 at 16:00 CET
Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the Eurovision fan community. And that's for a good reason, as it is also the biggest TV of the year in Sweden. went backstage to find out why.

Melodifestivalen is the biggest national selection format for the Eurovision Song Contest and has been held nearly every year since 1959. In 2002, the show was revamped grew from one live competition to six! Under the current system four semi-finals are broadcast on consecutive Saturday nights, followed by a second chance contest, leading to the grand finale. 28 entries usually compete for the title and the chance to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Late November last year the line-up for Melodifestivalen 2017 was released, which included two Eurovision winners Charlotte Perrelli and Loreen. Names from last year’s edition like Lisa Ajax, Wiktoria or Robin Bengtsson also took part alongside artists such as Sara Varga and Roger Pontare. Newcomers in the competition included Benjamin Ingrosso and The Fooo Conspiracy known. Robin Bengtsson was the eventual winner after a thrilling voting sequence.

Melodifestivalen by the numbers

  • 2,478 songs submitted in 2017
  • 27,000 in the audience for the final
  • 30 tonnes of lighting equipment
  • 1,650 cables with a length of 15 kilometres 
  • 12 cameras
  • Over 300 journalists and photographers
  • More than 120 full-time staff consuming more than 9,000 meals during the course of the series 

A fan's view - by Oskar Riddare

"I have been a Eurovision fan for half of my life and listened to hundreds of songs from many different languages and cultures each year. When someone asks me why Sweden is so successful in the Eurovision Song Contest, I always answer that SVT's Melodifestivalen is the reason. It has the biggest and best acts in Sweden and nearly every finalist becomes a hit regardless of whether they go to Eurovision or not," dedicated fan Oskar Riddare tells

Oscar attended Melodifestivalen for the 8th time: "It makes me feel part of something special. The atmosphere at the Friends Arena is amazing, it's a night of glamour and fun and I am one hundred percent sure that, as they say in Sweden, rät låt van - the correct song won! Thank you SVT for yet another wonderful TV series!"