BREAKING: Iceland’s participation in Eurovision 2024 uncertain

January 23, 2024


The Icelandic broadcaster has confirmed that it is unclear if Iceland will participate in Eurovision 2024.

Iceland broadcaster RÚV have confirmed that Iceland’s participation in Eurovision 2024 has not been decided definitevely, due to the conflict going on in Israel and Gaza, and due to criticism from within Iceland about Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2024, some of which includes The Icelandic Association of Composers and Lyricists (FTT),who have urged the broadcaster not to participate.

Despite current uncertainty about Iceland’s participation in Eurovision 2024, the broadcaster will still go ahead with Söngvakeppnin, that is due to take place between February and March. However, the winning artist of Söngvakeppnin 2024 will decide together with the broadcaster whether they want to go to Eurovision 2024 or not.

Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, chairman of FTT is happy to see Söngvakeppnin going ahead as normal: “Perhaps it’s time to remember that Söngvakeppnin is one thing, but Eurovision is another, although of course these are connected.”

Bragi goes on to say that this is a huge decision that the Icelandic broadcaster has to make: “One is quite a bit worried about what the pressure will be like and what the situation will be like then. This is a huge decision to make and hopefully RÚV will take good care of the winner. Whoever it will be, and support the person in making a decision. This is a hugely complex issue.”

Stefán Eiríksson, Radio Director and Director-General of RÚV has spoken on Síðdegisútvárp on Rás 2, saying that the Söngvakeppnin 2024 participants are understandably concerned about the situation in Israel and Gaza, and that these concerns have been communicated to the European Broadcasting Union.

“They [the contestants] apply with the goal of becoming Iceland’s contribution to Eurovision. They are concerned about the state of affairs just like we are. This has been our preparation for Eurovision and we have announced that we intend to participate in Eurovision without any changes, but we do not know what the future holds.”

On December 9th, just four days after the EBU released the list of the 37 countries that will be participating in Eurovision 2024, they released a statement on Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2024:

The Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for public broadcasters from all over Europe and the Middle East. It is a contest for broadcasters – not for governments – and the Israeli public broadcaster has been participating in the contest for 50 years.

The EBU is a member-led organisation. The EBU’s governing bodies – led by the Board of Directors – represent the members. These bodies assessed the list of participants and decided that the Israeli public broadcaster complies with all competition rules. Together with 36 other broadcasters, it will be able to participate in the competition next year.

At the moment, there is an inclusive attitude towards Israeli participants in major competitions. The Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event, uniting audiences worldwide through music.

In 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine, the EBU’s governing bodies decided to exclude Russia from the Eurovision Song Contest, where they were to compete alongside Ukraine. As said before, the Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for broadcasters. After repeated violations of membership obligations and violation of the values of the public media, Russia was suspended.

Söngvakeppnin 2024 will be comprised of two semi finals on February 17th and 24th, with the final on the 2nd of March. The artists and songs competing in this years edition will be revealed on Saturday the 27th of January at 20:50 CET.

The two semi finals will be broadcast live from Truenorth Studios in Fossaleyni, Reykjavík, and will be hosted by Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir, Sigurður Þorri Gunnarsson and Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson. 100% televoting will decide the two qualifiers from each semi final who will go on to compete in the final Laugardalshöll, Reykjavík.

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