Interested in learning about Swedish culture? There's no way you will not come across Melodifestivalen, an annual song competition organised by Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR), and also Sweden's selection event for the Eurovision song contest.
This is a BIG DEAL in Sweden. In 2012, the semi-finals averaged 3.3 million viewers, and over an estimated four million people in Sweden watched the final, almost half of the Swedish population. Psst - ABBA performed the song 'Waterloo' at Melodifestivalen 1974 in February, singing it in Swedish. The song won, and therefore advanced to Eurovision, winning the Eurovision title as well.
The selection process which goes on for months culminates in televised Melodifestivalen semi-finals held across the country, and a grand finale in Stockholm. This year, however, things are different. Due to the pandemic, there is no audience in front of the stage this year. But of course, you can watch the contest on TV, SVT Play or even listen to the radio channel; But you can watch via TV, SVT Play or listen to the radio channel P4.
But there's also something else which is different this year - For the first time ever, the Melodifestivalen finale will include English commentary for its international audience, to be aired on Saturday, 13 March. The show's official Twitter account had already switched its language from Swedish to English in 2018 for its fans abroad. As per The Local, #Melfest was a top trend in the UK and Spain during the 2017 broadcasts.
“Words cannot describe just how excited we are to be bringing Melodifestivalen to the many non-Swedish speaking fans out there,” tweeted journalists Bella Qvist and Olivia Le Poidevin, who will be in charge of the English commentary.
LISTEN TO THE SONGS COMPETING IN THE FINALE IN THIS SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
Danny Saucedo – Dandi dansa
Klara Hammarström – Beat of Broken Hearts
Anton Ewald – New Religion
The Mamas – In The Middle
Paul Rey – The Missing Piece
Charlotte Perrelli – Still Young
Tusse – Voices
Alvaro Estrella – Baila Baila
Clara Klingenström – Behöver inte dig idag
Eric Saade – Every Minute
Dotter – Little Tot
Arvingarna – Tänker inte alls gå hem
Tonight, 13 March is the BIG FINALE. 12 artists and groups will compete against each other and the winner will go on to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. Want to hop on the Melodifestivalen train? Here are a few links -
You can watch the Melodifestivalen grand final at 20:00 CET tonight on TV, SVT or online. Good luck to all the participants!