For fourteen years now Melodifestivalen is both Sweden's largest entertainment program and a big people's festival in the towns it visits. "The meeting with the audience throughout Sweden is an important part for the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, as a public service company, and therefore it is great that we still, after fourteen years on tour, have the opportunity to visit new places", says Anette Helenius, new project manager for Melodifestivalen.
The 2016 tour kicks off, as last year, in Gothenburg. The remaining three Semi-Finals follow in Malmö, Norrköping and Gävle before it's time for the second chance round in Halmstad. The Final, where the Swedish candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest is decided, will take place at the Friends Arena outside Stockholm, just like in the past three editions of Melodifestivalen.
Here is the full 2016 Melodifestivalen tour (previous hosting in the tour in brackets):
Semi-Final 1: February 6th, Gothenburg, Scandinavium (2003 to 2015)
Semi-Final 2: February 13th, Malmö Arena (2004, 2009-2015 - and 2013 Eurovision Song Contest)
Semi-Final 3: February 20th, Norrköping, Himmelstalundshallen (2002 and 2009)
Semi-Final 4: February 27th, Gävle, Gavlerinken Arena (2007)
Second chance: March 5th, Halmstad Arena (-)
Final: March 12th, Stockholm, (2002-2015) Friends Arena (2013 to 2015 and 2002-2012 at Globen)
28 acts will compete in Melodifestivalen 2016 and one of them is already known. The group Smajling Swedes (Arvid Ångtröm, Dennis Babic and Oscar Juhola) participated in the final line-up of the radio competition Svensktoppen nästa 2016. Even though they didn't win that contest, Smajling Swedes were chosen as the wildcard for next year's Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. They make music in the Tropical House genre which is having a major impact in 2015.
"Smajling Swedes are a young and exciting band who make music with a unique expression. It will be very exciting to follow their development to the next stage, Melodifestivalen 2016, said jury member of Svensktoppen nästa, Christer Björkman.