There are now only 200 days to go until the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal and preparations are heating up.
Following Salvador Sobral’s win in Kyiv, the responsibility of hosting Eurovision has fallen to the Portuguese national broadcaster, RTP. We have already heard that RTP are hoping to organise a cheaper contest than in previous years and aim to convey an image of contemporary Portugal to Europe.
Next week the EBU’s reference group will have a meeting in the Portuguese capital with RTP’s organisation team. Various issues will be on the agenda including the slogan, logo and design theme of Eurovision 2018. Practical matters such as ticket sales, accommodation and transport of the delegations and the allocation draws for the semi-finals will also be discussed.
Thus far, the EBU has expressed satisfaction about the organisation of RTP. 2018 will be the first time that Portugal hosts the Eurovision Song Contest. Lisbon fought off competition from various other cities in the country for the honour to host the event.
Earlier this week RTP confirmed that a total of 43 countries have confirmed their participation in the next contest. This matches a previous record set in 2008 and 2011.
For the host country, 2018 will also mark their 50th participation in Eurovision. The home entry will be chosen in the 2018 edition of the Portuguese national final, Festival da Canção which will take place at the Pavilhão Multiusos in Guimarães on 4 March 2018. Two semi finals will be held on 18 and 25 February 2018. Guimarães was one of those cities which bid to host Eurovision 2018, ultimately losing out to the capital, Lisbon.
The Semi-Finals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on the 8th and 10th May with the Grand Final due to be held on Saturday 12th May in Lisbon at the newly renamed Altice Arena.