The winner of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will be representing one of the following 39 countries:
- Czech Republic
- FYR Macedonia
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
With an odd number of participants, the EBU also had to decide how many countries would be taking part in the first and second Semi-Final.
The intensity of the competition will increase along the way, as 16 countries will take part in the first Semi-Final on the 19th of May, and 17 countries will take part in the second Semi-Final on the 21st of May.
On the 26th of January, 2015, a draw will determine which countries will take part in which of the two Semi-Finals. The event, hosted by ORF in Vienna, will be streamed via Eurovision.tv, so you can follow the proceedings live.
From each Semi-Final, ten countries will proceed to the Final on the 23rd of May, joining the so-called ‘Big Five’ – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and of course host nation Austria.
In the lead up to the 2013 and 2014 contests, some raised concern over broadcasters having to pull out of the contest due to the impact of the economic crisis. After a drop from 42 in 2012 to 39 in 2013 and 37 this year, the EBU and Host Broadcaster ORF have managed to bring 39 on board for the 60th edition of the contest.
“Throughout the year, we are in close dialogue with a number of the broadcasters, for example to work with them to strengthen the brand in their country, or to show them the potential in taking part in the contest,” says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of EBU/EUROVISION. “ORF has been a great partner in helping to achieve exactly that,” he adds.
Ukrainian broadcaster NTU has unfortunately decided not to take part this year due to the challenges the country faces. Sand: “We have been in close contact with our colleagues in Kyiv, and we hope to welcome them back in 2016.” And despite high hopes from fans across Europe, Turkey’s broadcaster TRT decided not to return, after their last participation in 2012.