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Eurovision to go big in Estonia

03 November 2015 at 16:50 CET
Stig Rästa and Elina Born represented Estonia in Vienna Andres Putting (EBU)
After a very successful 2015 season, including a #1 hit and a 7th place in the Eurovision Song Contest Final, the Estonian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Eesti Laul grows: more songs than ever before have been submitted for 2016 and the final will move to their main arena, the Saku Suurhall.

Yesterday the submission deadline for Eesti Laul 2016 passed and a record 238 songs were submitted, surpassing last year's number by 19.

"Having 238 songs submitted is truly a sign of recognition for the work we have done in the past years. It's also concrete evidence that we are growing. Without a doubt moving the contest from the Nordea Concert Hall to Saku Suurhall was the only right decision," cheered Eesti Laul 2016 producer Mart Normet.

Participants to be revealed on Thursday

"Elina and Stig have raised the bar greatly in both a local and international level. We are hoping that this year we will also have strong and timeless songs in the selection," added Normet. "Luckily we don't have to wait for long- the 20 semi-finalists will be revealed on Thursday night!"

The songs will be revealed as they have in recent years during the TV-show Ringvaade.

The selection panel consists of 11 music professionals who spend all day listening to music due to their jobs and wouldn't have it any other way. They will gather on Wednesday and Thursday to choose the 20 best songs. The semi-finalists will then be revealed this Thursday the 5th of November. Ringvaade starts at 19:00 local time (18:00 CET).

Elina and Stig are, of course, the 2015 participants for Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest. They placed 7th in the Final in Vienna with Goodbye To Yesterday:

The dates

Next year the final of Eesti Laul will be held in the Saku Suurhall, the same venue as the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. This is the schedule for the Eesti Laul 2016 shows:

  • Semi-final 1 - 13th of February 2016
  • Semi-final 2 - 20th of February 2016
  • Final - 5th of March 2016