The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced the introduction of the Wintervision Song Contest.
This story was published on April Fools’ Day 2021. Our thanks go to KEiiNO for playing along with the prank; to Alexandra for recording the video and Tom for providing the quote in this article.
Sadly, there are no plans for a Wintervision Song Contest at present… but let's remember the wise words of Lindsay Dracass: 'There's no dream impossible.'
Sweden will host the inaugural Contest in Jukkasjärvi during December 2022.
Inspired partly by the Winter Olympics, the Wintervision Song Contest will take place once every two years and will be performed entirely on snow and ice.
Local authorities in the Kiruna Municipality will create a spectacular temporary open-air venue for the Contest, the Snow Globen Arena, which will seat up to 2,000 spectators against a backdrop of glistening ice forests, frolicking reindeer and, of course, the aurora borealis.
So far, 15 EBU Members have confirmed their participation with more expected to follow.
As hosts, Sweden automatically qualify for the Grand Final alongside the ‘Frosty 5’ broadcasters from those competing nations with the highest snowfall: Norway, Russia, Iceland, Finland and Switzerland (Alps).
Wintervision Song Contest participants:
🇸🇪 Sweden (hosts)
🇮🇸 Iceland ❄️
🇫🇮 Finland ❄️
🇳🇴 Norway ❄️
🇷🇺 Russia ❄️
🇨🇭 Switzerland ❄️
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
❄️ = member of the 'Frosty 5'
Eligibility to participate in the Contest is limited to EBU Members, and participating countries can either host their own national selection shows or use an internal selection process.
KEiiNO make monumental return
A range of national finals and internal selections will take place in 2022, but Eurovision.tv is excited to announce that broadcaster NRK has already confirmed their act: KEiiNO will represent Norway in Jukkasjärvi.
Eurovision.tv caught up with KEiiNO songwriter and vocalist Tom Hugo:
"We’re so excited to be a part of the first Wintervision Song Contest. It’s like a dream come true. We've been promised a number of snow-machines free to use as part of our performance, and as we already have worked with reindeer for our MONUMENT video, we're crossing our fingers that the "no-animals-on-stage" ban will be lifted for the Wintervision. In any case, we'll do our best to awaken the spirits in the sky and make the Northern Lights dance."
Band member Alexandra Rotan took to twitter to confirm the news in a video message:
With 20 months to prepare their entry, KEiiNO are already hot favourites to win the competition. It is expected that other nations will choose their acts nearer the time of the Contest.
Wintervision Song Contest rules:
The unique staging and set of challenges surrounding Wintervision means the rules will diverge from those of the Eurovision Song Contest but will remain broadly similar.
Entries must be no longer than 3 minutes in length and should be in keeping with the Winter theme (we recommend the use of bells: sleigh bells, handbells, doorbells, etc).
Participants must wear skis, skates or ice grips, and must not be barefoot.
Maximum of 6 performers on stage plus an optional extra 4 skaters for the satellite ice-rink stage.
No animals allowed on stage intentionally, however, if reindeer, brown bears or wolves are particularly entranced by specific entries and wander on to set, Wintervision producers will not intervene with nature.
Should they decide to participate, the Australian delegation will be given special dispensation to submit a Summertime banger.
The Wintervision Reference Group will fine tune the regulations in the coming months.
More details will be revealed on the long, cold Wintervision journey between December 2022 and today… April 1st.