RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster, has began an open submission to find a song to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, in Lisbon.
Following RTÉ’s Eurovision Forum held earlier this year, in which music industry professionals, media figures and Eurovision fans discussed how Ireland could end its poor results in the contest, Michael Kealy, the Head of Delegation for Ireland explained his aims for the selection to RTÉ Entertainment:
“We’re looking for a killer song performed by an act with vast experience of playing live to big crowds.”
After last year’s selection process, in which Brendan Murray was handpicked by entertainment manager Louis Walsh first, after which an open call for songs was held, RTÉ are doing the opposite this year and concentrating on the song first. According to the announcement on RTÉ’s official website, the broadcaster is looking to work with “accomplished songwriters and performers, preferably with a proven track record of success in the music industry”.
All songs entered into the selection process will be considered by a number of expert music industry panels. However, RTÉ also has the right to approach artists and songwriters directly. The announcement states:
“It is important to note that any entries submitted through this process will be considered alongside other compositions and performers which RTÉ may commission or secure independently of this process and RTÉ reserves the absolute right to approach established acts and songwriters and to select a song and/or a performer(s) at its sole discretion from outside this process.”
RTÉ may also change the artist on a submitted entry to a different one if they see fit.
Some other rules of the selection include:
- Songwriters/composers may only submit one song (including co-writes) for consideration.
- If more than one song per composer is submitted only the first song received will be considered.
- Songs must be no longer than 3 minutes.
- Entries will only be accepted by email to Eurovision2018@rte.ie as an MP3 (192kbps) file or Soundcloud link.
- No entries will be accepted in any other format.
- The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Monday 6th of November 2017.
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Ireland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965 and is currently the most successful country to have participated in the contest, winning a total of seven times. During the 1990s Ireland was a powerhouse in the contest becoming the first country to win three years in a row from 1992 to 1994. Since 2000 Ireland has struggled in the contest having qualified from the semi-final into the final just five out of a possible 12 times. Ireland’s last top 10 result came in 2011 when Jedward finished 8th in Dusseldorf.