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How the Netherlands hosts the Eurovision Song Contest

06 September 2019 at 17:00 CEST
Teach-In celebrating their 1975 win for the Netherlands at Schiphol Airport. Rob Mieremet/Anefo (Nationaal Archief)
2020 marks the fifth time the Netherlands will host the world's largest live music event. While preparations kick off in for the next 65th Contest Rotterdam, we look back on the previous Contests held on Dutch soil.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will take place in Rotterdam, and it will be the fifth time the Netherlands will host the event.


The first time the Netherlands hosted the Contest was in 1958. The third edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Hilversum, a city that remains the media capital of the country. That year, France won the contest with the song Dors Mon Amour, but the most famous song from that year was Italy's Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu, also known as Volare, by Domenico Modugno. The song reached the top spot on the US-American Billboard Charts and won 3 Grammy Awards.


The Netherlands' next chance to host was in 1970, after they, along with the United Kingdom, France and Spain, won in a four-way tie in 1969. The city of Amsterdam was chosen to host the 15th Eurovision Song Contest. That year, Ireland won with Dana's All Kinds Of Everything. The song, once again, went on to become a major international hit.


Five years later, the Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest again with Teach-In's Ding-A-Dong. In 1976, the Dutch city of The Hague got the third chance to play host to the world's largest live music event at 'Het Nederlands Congresgebouw’. Just as the Netherlands did the previous year, the United Kingdom succeeded in winning after Brotherhood of Man performed Save Your Kisses For Me first in the running order.


After Israel won in Paris in 1978 and again in Jerusalem in 1979, they declined to host the Contest for a second time in a row. Their refusal led to the 4th Dutch-hosted Eurovision Song Contest in 1980, once again held in The Hague. For the second time on Dutch soil, Ireland received their second victory with Johnny Logan's What’s Another Year. The Australian-born singer became an Irish citizen after he sang for Ireland.


After decades of losing out, Duncan Laurence won the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, bringing the contest back to the Netherlands for the fifth time. His song Arcade scored 498 points in the Grand Final.


After a tight Host City race, the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will be held in Rotterdam, a multicultural hub in South Holland.

The 65th Contest will call Rotterdam Ahoy home for the Semi-Finals on Tuesday 12 May and Thursday 14 May, and the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May 2020.