Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV has sweetened the deal for entrants to Söngvakeppnin, its annual selection program for the Eurovision Song Contest, by tripling the winning song’s prize from 1 million to 3 million kroná (approx. 23600€).
The submission portal opened at noon local time on September 6 and will accept entries until October 20, from which RÚV will choose 12 songs to perform for the chance to represent Iceland on the Eurovision stage in Lisbon in May. All types of music are welcome, according to RÚV, which stresses that the competition is about celebrating diversity.
Songwriters must have Icelandic citizenship or permanent resident status in Iceland, but foreign co-authors are allowed as long as 2/3 of the song and 1/2 of the lyrics are by Icelandic composers and lyricists. Songs must be submitted in the Icelandic language and performed in Icelandic at the Söngvakeppnin Semi-Finals. However, the language used for the performance in the Söngvakeppnin Grand Final will be the one intended for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The submission form, together with the rules of the contest, is available on the RÚV website.
As previously reported, Söngvakeppnin will have two Semi-Finals with six songs each, to be held on February 10 and February 17 at the Háskólabíó conference hall. Three songs from each Semi-Final, along with a seventh wildcard chosen by a special jury, will advance to the Grand Final, to be held on March 3 at Laugardalshöll arena. Ticket sales will be announced at a future date.
Söngvakeppnin, previously known as Söngvakeppni Sjónvjarpsins (“Television Singing Contest”), began in 1986 and has been the Icelandic national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year since 2006.
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Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and, aside from 2 years of relegation in 1998 and 2002, has participated every year since. The contest is incredibly popular in Iceland, regularly being one of the most watched programmes of the year. Iceland has yet to win the contest, but has finished in 2nd on two occasions. In 1999, Selma missed out on victory in Jerusalem by 17 points, and in 2009 Yohanna became the most successful Icelandic entrant ever finishing 2nd in the final with the song “Is it True?”. She scored 218 points, yet still finished 169 points behind the runaway winner Norway.