Eurovision 2024: What We Know So Far About Europe’s Biggest Night in Music

As preparations intensify for Eurovision 2024, all attention is focused on Malmö, Sweden, where Europe’s most celebrated musical event is set to unfold. Building on Loreen’s triumphant performance with the captivating song “Tattoo” at the 2023 contest, Sweden has the privilege of hosting the 68th Eurovision Song Contest. Organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in collaboration with host broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT), Eurovision 2024 will take place at the iconic Malmö Arena, steeped in Eurovision history. Anticipation mounts as Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman prepare to host the event, promising viewers worldwide an unparalleled spectacle.

Loreen – Tattoo (LIVE) | EUROVISION WINNER | Sweden ?? | Grand Final | Eurovision 2023

Front-runners for 2024

Recent betting trends indicate Ukraine’s continued dominance as the top contender, with Croatia rapidly rising to claim the second spot following its national selection competition, Dora 2024. With twenty-three out of thirty-seven nations already selected for the competition in Malmö this May, the stage is set for an exhilarating showdown.

Ukraine’s representatives, Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil, remain firm favorites to seize the crown, captivating audiences with their dynamic performances blending pop, hip-hop, and traditional Ukrainian folk influences. While Ukraine has maintained its frontrunner status for the past month, other nations like Israel, the United Kingdom, and Iceland have also experienced periods of favouritism in recent months, reflecting the dynamic nature of the competition.

Baby Lasagna – Rim Tim Tagi Dim | Croatia ?? | National Final Performance | Eurovision 2024

Croatia’s notable rise in the odds chart has captured attention, fueled by the selection of pop-rock artist Baby Lasagne, whose landslide victory over other contestants was attributed to his witty lyrics and incorporation of traditional Croatian folk dancing. This marked a significant shift in the betting landscape. From an initial ranking of 33rd at the start of January, Croatia has now claimed the second spot, highlighting the unpredictable and exciting nature of Eurovision. Belgium and France have also received acclaim for their entries, with Mustii from Belgium securing the 5th position in the favorites’ list, and France’s Slimane impressing audiences with his powerful vocals during the Dora event in Croatia. With the countdown to Eurovision 2024 underway, the stage is set for an unforgettable musical extravaganza, where nations will vie for glory and the chance to etch their names in Eurovision history.

A Journey Through Eurovision’s History

Eurovision 2024
Image: Abba in Eurovision,

The Eurovision Song Contest traces its origins back to the aftermath of World War II, when the need for cultural unity and reconciliation across Europe was keenly felt. Launched in 1956 with just seven participating countries, Eurovision has since evolved into a global phenomenon, captivating audiences with its diverse array of musical performances and fostering cross-cultural exchange. From ABBA’s iconic victory with “Waterloo” in 1974 to Celine Dion’s breakout performance for Switzerland in 1988, Eurovision has served as a launching pad for numerous artists and a showcase of Europe’s rich musical heritage. Over the decades, the contest has embraced new genres, technologies, and formats while remaining true to its core mission of promoting unity and diversity through the universal language of music.

Controversy Surrounding Israel’s Participation

Despite Eurovision’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and cultural exchange, the upcoming contest has been embroiled in controversy due to the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. Since the outbreak of the Israel–Hamas war in October 2023, calls for Israel’s exclusion from the contest have grown louder, with activists and some participating countries citing humanitarian concerns over Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip. This controversy has sparked heated debates within the Eurovision community, prompting soul-searching among broadcasters, organizers, and fans alike. As tensions persist, the question of whether politics should overshadow the celebration of music looms large, highlighting the complex interplay between art, geopolitics, and ethics on the Eurovision stage.

Eurovision 2024
Image: Eurovision Stage in Malmo,

As Eurovision 2024 approaches, the challenges facing the contest underscore the enduring power of music to transcend boundaries and unite people. Despite geopolitical tensions and ethical dilemmas, Eurovision remains a symbol of hope and solidarity, providing a platform for artists to share their stories and voices with the world. Whether confronting controversies or celebrating triumphs, Eurovision continues to captivate hearts and minds, reminding us of the transformative potential of music in fostering understanding and harmony across borders. As Malmö prepares to welcome the world, let us embrace the spirit of Eurovision and revel in the magic of music’s unifying force.

By: Luke Stamps

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Featured Image: | EBU – SVT