Eurovision For Beginners – Rules of Eurovision

The rules of Eurovision are dynamic – they constantly change as technology changes, and as ideas of how to best showcase Eurovision change. There are many rules to ensure that the contest is fair and runs smoothly, and although rules constantly change, there are many which remain throughout the years.

Music

  • One nation can only send one song
  • The final can only have 26 performances (10 from semi-finals 1 and 2, plus the Big 5 + Host country) – and of course, the exception to this was 2015, where Australia acted as a guest performer.
  • The songs entered must not exceed 3 minutes
  • The song must not have been published before the 1st of September of the previous year
  • The song cannot sample any other song, and must be completely original
  • The song cannot reference commercial messages or swearing
  • The song cannot be political – e.g. cannot politically attack other country (See Georgia 2011)

Performers and Performances

  • There must not be more than 6 people on stage per performance
  • The performers must all be over 16 years of age
  • All vocals have to be live, and no voices or voice like sounds can be on the backing track
  • No live animals are allowed on stage
  • An artist can only compete for one country in one year, but the artists do not necessarily have to be from that specific country – it is up to the broadcaster to set their own rules regarding the nationality of the participant/s

Languages

  • Currently, there are no restrictions on the languages used in a participating song
  • This also means that languages can be created just for Eurovision songs (see Belgium 2003 and 2008)

Voting and Broadcasting

  • No country can vote for themselves
  • Each participating country must broadcast the show entirely, including recaps, voting and reprise, only allowing the interval acts to be skipped for advertisement breaks
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