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Welcome back Luxembourg! Here's what you've missed...

07 September 2023 at 09:09 CEST
Eleni Foureira came second at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018 EBU / Andres Putting
30 ways in which the Eurovision Song Contest has changed in the 30 years since Luxembourg last participated.
Jedward at the the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

As we prepare to welcome Luxembourg back to the Eurovision Song Contest with open arms, we thought it courteous, too, to prepare the returning participant for exactly what to expect upon its much-celebrated comeback to the competition in 2024.

After all, the Contest as Luxembourg knew it has gone through a fair few alterations in the 30 years since the Grand Duchy last competed in 1993.

Luxembourg, here's a handy guide to get you up to speed on how things work around here now:

01. You can now perform your song in a language other than the official tongue of your country; French or Luxembourgish. Even made-up languages are a thing now - so feel free to get creative.

02. Live audience sizes have come a long way since the 3,500-capacity venue you competed at in Millstreet in 1993. The Contest has since taken place in the 35,000-capacity Düsseldorf Arena in Germany and the 38,000-capacity Parken in Denmark, for example. Louder for those at the back.

03. You'll now be competing alongside Estonia, amongst others. The Baltic nation debuted in 1994 and went on to have their first win in 2001.

04. The Eurovision Song Contest is no longer just a television and radio event. The Contest was live-streamed online for the first time at the turn of the century, with the most recent Contest in 2023 attracting 15.6 million viewers across YouTube and TikTok. 

05. You can leave your conductor at home - live orchestras no longer accompany performances at the Eurovision Song Contest. Do remember to slip the backing track into your luggage, however.

06. Your old participation chums Türkiye, Greece, Finland and Portugal have all gone on to earn their first win at the Eurovision Song Contest. And each one put on a splendid show when they finally got the opportunity to host us.

07. The Eurovision Song Contest is now released annually on DVD - a format which hadn't yet been invented in 1993.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 DVD

08. Latvia started competing in 2000 and didn't take long to claim their first win - two years later in 2002. 

09. The p-p-p-power is no longer in the hands of just a set of juries. Since 1997, viewers at home can vote too; via telephone or now the official Eurovision Song Contest app

10. In 1993, the 25 countries you competed amongst was a record. Now the record number of participants competing in a year is 43, which happened in 2008, 2011 and 2018. That's a lot of new friends you're gonna make every year.

11. Broadcasts of the Contest can now utilise visual effects such as CGI, resulting in some truly astounding 'wow' moments throughout the years since you last competed.

12. Brush up on your English - the points stopped being repeated in French in 2004, and these days even the customary 12 is rarely referred to as "douze points". But you can also look forward to some rich linguistic diversity; in 2023, 18 languages were heard amongst our competing entries.

13. Since 2008, this is what the trophy awarded to every winner looks like. Worth fighting for, right?

Eurovision Song Contest trophy - Liverpool 2023 Corinne Cumming / EBU

14. You'll have a few more eyes on your performance nowadays. The 2023 Contest had a television audience of 162 million viewers across 39 markets. 

15. You can proudly wave that horizontal red, white and blue with even more vigour. At the Grand Final, the Flag Parade is now an annual highlight that kicks off the live show.

16. You'll have 21st-century Contest titans Ukraine to contend with now. Debuting in 2003, the country has gone on to lift the Eurovision trophy three times: in 2004, 2016 and 2022. 

17. More countries means more points! The points tally of a winning song has been bumped up considerably since the 187 achieved by 1993 winner In Your Eyes by Niamh Kavanagh for Ireland. The highest winning score currently stands at 758 - amassed by Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral for Portugal in 2017. 

18. Since 2005, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast in widescreen 16:9. It was filmed in high-definition for the first time in 2006, and broadcast in high-definition for the first time in 2007.

19. Australia were invited to compete in 2015 and have continued to do so every year since. If you have any questions, we're happy to answer them. Again. 

20. The Eurovision Song Contest passed the 1,000 all-time entries mark in 2006. You've got a lot of listening to do.

21. Remember the jubilation surrounding Johnny Logan's iconic double win for Ireland? Well, we've now had another two-time winner join those ranks. Meet Loreen.

22. These days, you'll be competing alongside Serbia, who in 2007 became the first country to win the Eurovision Song Contest on their debut participation since the inaugural Contest in 1956.

23. Good evening Europe! And beyond, too. As of 2023, the Eurovision Song Contest has a Rest of the World vote. The Liverpool Contest in May attracted votes from 144 countries, including the 37 participating nations. 

24. The Eurovision Song Contest recently lent itself as the title and setting of an Oscar-nominated film starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams (as well as some fan-favourite Contest alumni). 

25. Speaking of Contest alumni, your own 1963 participant, Nana Mouskouri, returned to the Eurovision Song Contest when it was held in her native Greece in 2006. Nana opened the voting lines at the Grand Final. 

26. That record you tied with France for most Eurovision wins when you entered the 1993 Contest... It went on to be beaten by Ireland in 1994, extended by the emerald isle in 1996, and equalled by Sweden in 2023. Just two more wins and you're up there again!

27. Azerbaijan started participating at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, and achieved their first win not long after in 2011.

28. Other countries that have started competing at the Eurovision Song Contest since Luxembourg last participated in 1993: Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Serbia & Montenegro, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Montenegro and San Marino. 

29. The Eurovision Song Contest unfortunately had to experience its first cancellation in 2020, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

30. One last thing. We now have Semi-Finals to get through in order to qualify for the Grand Final, with the Eurovision Song Contest taking place over three nights each year, rather than just one. Bonne chance!

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

Don't forget to download our app (for iOSAndroid), sign up to the official Eurovision Song Contest newsletter, and subscribe to the official podcast!