Tag Archives: melodifestivalen

How I Became a Fan of the Eurovision Song Contest

The first time I heard about the Eurovision Song Contest was in the late 1970’s when I read an article about my favourite musical group, ABBA. The article credited ABBA’s meteoric rise to international stardom to the Eurovision Song Contest and their 1974 win with the song “Waterloo”.

For this young Canadian, even though I had no idea what Eurovision was, it sounded like a big event! I knew just enough about world geography to know that if a music competition involved a whole continent, it must have been something special.

In the years that followed, and the many hours spent listening to MuchMusic, Eurovision came up a few times, whether in the “Rock News” reports or when the VJ’s (“Video Jockeys”) were presenting a video and providing some background into the song and the artist. I remained intrigued.

In 2002, I was finding myself a little bored with mainstream radio here in North America and found myself searching for other musical options. At the same time, I had changed cable packages and was introduced to “BPM TV”, a new music video channel focused on dance tunes from around the globe.

Over the course of BPM’s programming, I was introduced to the Swedish pop band Alcazar. With their very catchy pop-dance tunes, bright upbeat tempo, and amazing sense of style, glamour and showmanship, they quickly became my favourite band! They still are today!

In the process of getting to know Alcazar better through online research, the theme of Eurovision popped up again. Alcazar competed in 2003 with a song called “Not a Sinner nor a Saint”, in a competition called Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s national competition to pick a song to represent the country at Eurovision. This was where the journey began! Continue reading

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My Melodifestivalen Journey

It’s that time of year for my favourite musical hobby… Melodifestivalen! For my North American friends, let me explain: Melodifestivalen is a song contest that takes place in Sweden every February and March, in order to pick the country’s best new song to compete against the rest of Europe in the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

While we don’t hear a lot about Eurovision here in North America, there are definitely some artists you know who have competed in the competition over the years, including Céline Dion, France Gall, Nana Mouskouri and this Swedish band you might have heard of.. ABBA!

I have been following Melodifestivalen thanks to the ongoing improvements in the Internet! The first year I tuned in was 2005, listening over the Internet, thanks to the Swedish national radio network (sr.se), and even then, my connection wasn’t entirely continuous… I think those were my last days of dial-up connections. It was like I imagine it would have been before TV’s were invented! But it was still very enjoyable and very exciting nonetheless. But as the years went on, connection speeds and technology improved, to the point that now instead of radio, I can watch it from the Swedish TV network (svt.se), in HD, with only the occasional little swirly thing in the middle of the screen. It still blows my mind that I am able to watch a European musical program, LIVE, as it is happening overseas! Continue reading

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