When is Eurovision 2021? Final and semi-final dates, how to watch Song Contest on TV and full list of songs

It is almost that time of year, when Eurovision Song Contest provides us with the best in pop music entertainment.

And after the past year, and a cancellation in 2020, it may be just what the doctor ordered. But who will be representing the UK, and how can you tune in?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is it taking place?

This year’s Eurovision will take place at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam. The show will be opened by the last winner Duncan Lawrence, who came top in 2019.

The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th at 8pm BST. The Grand Final will be on Saturday 22nd at 8pm BST.

Audiences will take part at the events after the organisers got permission from the Netherlands government.

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy on Saturday 22 May (Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty)

There will be social distancing at Eurovision, with up to 80 per cent of the audience size, and as many contenders as possible performing on stage in Rotterdam.

Eurovision organisers said: “Ongoing developments with the coronavirus pandemic of course are playing a major part in planning for the event. We will remain agile, always keeping in mind that there will be opportunities later to downscale should it be necessary.

“The safety of our artists, employees and performers is paramount at all times. We will do everything in our power to organise an unforgettable Eurovision Song Contest.”

Who will take part?

Some 39 countries will be taking part, and 10 acts from each semi-final will make it through to the big night.

The United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy gain automatic entry into the final as they are the ‘Big Five’ countries.

What is the UK entry?

Multi-platinum selling, BRIT Award-winning and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter James Newman is representing the UK with his single ‘Embers’.

After the cancellation of Eurovision due to the pandemic in 2020, he has gotten a second chance, and decided to change his song.

He was selected at last year’s competition, and he told the broadcaster he was proud of the previous selection ‘My Last Breath’ but that he wanted to write “something more positive”.

“Embers is about those sparks that don’t die out,” he told Radio 1 Newsbeat. “When we were writing this, it felt like I wanted to show everyone that we were coming back together.

“It’s about having that connection and something reigniting. It’s about us emerging from this rubbish time we’ve been having. It fits with the idea that Eurovision is coming back.”

What are the other entries?

Albina – “Tick-Tock” (Croatia)

Ana Soklič – “Amen” (Slovenia)

Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma” (Albania)

Barbara Pravi – “Voilà” (France)

Benny Cristo – “omaga” (Czech Republic)

Blas Cantó – “Voy A Quedarme” (Spain)

Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (Finland)

Daði og Gagnamagnið – “10 Years” (Iceland)

Destiny – “Je Me Casse” (Malta)

Eden Alene – “Set Me Free” (Israel)

Efendi – “Mata Hari” (Azerbaijan)

Elena Tsagrinou – “El Diablo” (Cyprus)

Fyr Og Flamme – “Øve Os På Hinanden” (Denmark)

Gjon’s Tears – “Tout l’Univers” (Switzerland)

Go_A – “Shum” (Ukraine)

Hooverphonic – “The Wrong Place” (Belgium)

Hurricane – “Loco Loco” (Serbia)

James Newman – “Embers” (United Kingdom)

Jeangu Macrooy – “Birth of a New Age” (The Netherlands)

Jendrik – “I Don’t Feel Hate” (Germany)

Lesley Roy – “Maps” (Ireland)

Måneskin – “Zitti E Buoni” (Italy)

Manizha – “Russian Woman” (Russia)

Montaigne – “Technicolour” (Australia)

Natalia Gordienko – “Sugar” (Moldova)

Rafał – “The Ride” (Poland)

Roxen – “Amnesia” (Romania)

Samanta Tīna – ”The Moon is Rising” (Latvia)

Senhit – “Adrenalina” (San Marino)

Stefania – “Last Dance” (Greece)

The Black Mamba – “Love is On My Side” (Portugal)

The Roop – “Discoteque” (Lithuania)

Tix – “Fallen Angel” (Norwary

Tornike Kipiani – “You” (Georgia)

Tusse – “Voices” (Sweden)

Uku Suviste – “Uku Suviste” (Estonia)

Vasil – “Here I Stand” (North Macedonia)

Victoria – “Growing Up is Getting Old” (Bulgaria)

Vincent Bueno – “Amen” (Austria)

How can I watch it?

Graham Norton is to return to cover the BBC’s coverage in the UK, and you can tune in on BBC One on Saturday 22nd at 8pm.

The semi-finals will also be broadcast live on BBC Four at 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and it will be available on the BBC iPlayer.

They are to be hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills and presenter Ryan Clark-Neal.

Describing the show, Scott Mills said: “It is essentially the Olympics meets The X Factor. The scale of Eurovision is ridiculous! It is World Cup level, and that’s no exaggeration!”


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