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Eurovision Song Contest 2016

eurovision-2016-logo

From ABBA to Bucks Fizz to Celine Dion, Eurovision Song Contest has produced some of the biggest names in musical showbiz. Even our own Olivia Newton John performed at Eurovision once, representing the UK in 1974 before her screen debut in ‘Grease’.

Eurovision is more than just smoke machines, bad choreography and garish costumes; it’s the biggest song contest in the World, and it’s becoming as popular here in Australia as it is across Europe.

Launched back in 1956, Eurovision began as a contest for members of the European Broadcasting Union [EBU]. Eligibility is not determined geographically, as the “Euro” in the name suggests. Many countries outside the EU boarder have competed. A relaxing of the rules means that even some non-members of the EBU have been allowed to participate, including Australia, which made its debut in 2015.

Annually in May, the finals are broadcast live on TV, radio and Internet as they take place at a different location in Europe. Competing countries perform an original song and score the other songs. The most popular song in the competition wins.

Winning the song contest provides artists with a career boost, their song played on radio stations internationally, plus their country gets to host next year’s competition.

Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest-running television programmes in the World and one of the most watched non-sporting events in the World with an audience of around ½ billion people internationally.

Thousands of die hard fans travel to the host country to wave their nation’s flag at the finals, which has a huge party atmosphere. This year they’ll be descending on Stockholm, Sweden anticipating the excitement of Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

photo credit: sbs.com.au

photo: sbs.com.au

Travel Highlights, Sweden 2016

Last year, Sweden’s Mans Zalmerlow took out Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with his song Heroes. It was Sweden’ sixth win, and secured the country’s chance to host the 2016 finals in Stockholm.

Stockholm

The capital of Sweden, Stockholm is built on a 14 island archipelago at the mouth of Lake Malaren. The city is often called “The Venice of the North”.

Sight seeing is made easy in Stockholm by its safe, punctual and efficient public transport system, which includes ferries and trains. It is also a compact city connected by 57 bridges, making it walkable.

Globe Arena

Eurovision 2016 will be held at Globe Arena, the largest hemispherical building in the World with a diameter of 110 metres and an inner height of 85 metres. Shaped like a large white ball it represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System, which is the largest permanent scale model of the Solar System on Earth.

Globe Arena

Sweden Solar System

Started by Nils Brenning and Gösta Gahm in 1998, the Sweden Solar System has 21 installations on the scale of 1:20 million dotted northward throughout Sweden. These include the inner planets, outer planets, dwarf planets and other bodies.

ABBA, The Museum

An interactive exhibition that celebrates the World-famous pop band ABBA opened in Stockholm in 2013. The permanent museum features everything from the band’s costumes to concert footage and interviews. The story of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid gives a historical context to Sweden’s most famous pop export.

ABBA

photo: visitstockholm.com

The Royal Palace

ABBA isn’t the only royalty of Sweden, as proven by ‘Kungliga Slottet’ in Stockholm city centre, a palace with 600 rooms on 7 floors and the official residence of the Swedish Royal Family.

Designed by Baroque architect Nicodemus Tessin, the palace is a daily place of work for The King and Queen as well as for the various departments that make up the Royal Court.

It has a spectacular ‘Changing of the Guards’ ceremony at 12.15 weekdays and Saturday, and 1.15 pm on Sundays, which happens to be a popular tourist attraction.

Stockholm City Hall

Built between 1911 and 1923, Stockholm City Hall is considered an architectural masterpiece and is one of Sweden’s most famous landmarks. Located on the eastern tip of Kungsholmen Island, it offers spectacular views. The venue also hosts ‘The Annual Nobel Prize Ceremony’.

 

For those lucky enough to travel to Stockholm, there will be plenty to see and do beyond the festivities of Eurovision Song Contest. However, for those home watching the spectacle on their TV, there’s no doubt their spotlight on Sweden’ll amaze us.

Stockholm night sky

Melbourne Airport Park, Stay & Go

Don’t rush. Take your time with Park Stay & Go package at Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport. With up to 7 days onsite parking included with your overnight hotel accommodation, it’s the most relaxed way to start a holiday.

Drive to Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport the night before your flight, have a relaxing dinner and a good night sleep. You’ll wake feeling refreshed and ready for our airport transfer.

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