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Riga gears up for Eurovision Choir of the Year

21 July 2017 at 17:03 CEST
Riga, the capital of Latvia Stijn Smulders
This weekend the first ever edition of Eurovision Choir of the Year takes place in Riga, Latvia. The event has been organised by Latvian Television, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), INTERKULTUR and LIVE RIGA.

At first glance, the Eurovision Song Contest may not have much in common with the Eurovision Choir of the Year competition but over the years many choirs have appeared, both as participating acts and during the interval and opening sequences. 

The more the merrier

Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest where there is a limit of six people on stage, there is no such maximum limit at the Eurovision Choir of the Year competition. 

In total nine choirs will participate in Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017. Wales will participate for the first time in a Eurovision Family of Events production. The participants (in alphabetical order):

  • Hardchor Linz (Austria)
  • Les Pastoreaux (Belgium) 
  • Academic Choir of Aarhus (Denmark)  
  • Estonian TV Girls’ Choir (Estonia)
  • Jazzchor Freiburg (Germany)
  • Spīgo (Latvia)
  • Carmen Manet (Slovenia)
  • Bela Bartok Male Choir (Hungary)
  • Côr Merched Sir Gâr (Wales) 

Choirs at the Eurovision Song Contest

Choirs are not uncommon in the Eurovision family. Over the years, some acts have performed at the Eurovision Song Contest using only one instrument: their voices. Belgium's entry in 2011, With Love Baby was performed by vocal group Witloof Bay however the group didn't qualify for the Grand Final in Dusseldorf.

In 2006 Latvia was represented by a cappella band Cosmos with their song I Hear Your Heart. Unfortunately for them, the voters didn't care much for what they heard and the group finished seventeenth in Athens. 

The 2013 Eurovision Song Contest saw two choirs perform as part of the live shows. The First Semi-Final was opened by Loreen who sang Euphoria alongside a childrens' choir and during the opening of the Grand Final a choir performed We Write The Story.

The 1995 interval act also featured a choir, Lumen. One of the singers, Brian Kennedy, went on to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with Every Song Is A Cry For Love. It was the 1000th song to be performed in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Where to watch?

Eurovision Choir of the Year will be broadcast live from the Riga Arena on 22 July at 20:00 CEST and available to watch on the channels of the participating countries. The show will also be streamed worldwide on the official Eurovision Choir channel on YouTube. Specific viewing information is listed below. Live broadcasts:

  • Belgium (La Trois) 20:00 local time
  • Denmark (DRK) 20:00 local time
  • Estonia (ETV 2) 21:00 local time
  • France (Arte Culture) 20:00 local time
  • Hungary (M5) 20:00 local time
  • Latvia (LTV 1) 21:00 local time
  • Slovenia (RTV 1) as live
  • Serbia (RTS 2) 21:00 local time
  • Wales (S4C) 19:00  local time

Delayed broadcasts:

  • Albania (RTSH 1) 22 July, 21:40 local time
  • Austria (ORF 2) 22 July, 22:50 local time
  • Germany (WDR) 30 July, 07:40 local time
  • Germany (SWR) 5 August, 21:20 local time

Follow the action live from Riga!

Eurovision Choir of the year is organised by Latvian Television, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), INTERKULTUR and LIVE RIGA. For the latest updates about Eurovision Choir of the Year follow the official Facebook page and Twitter account and don’t forget to use the hashtags #EurovisionChoir #BreathingTogether and #LatvijasTelevizija