Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final Allocation Dates set!

We’ve got some organisational news today coming in today regarding the Semi-Final Allocation Draw, which determines which nation will perform in which semi-final. The draw will take place in the City Hall of Lisbon on the 29th of January at 13:00 CET.

The event will also feature the Host City Insignia Exchange, which is where the Mayor of the previous year’s Eurovision will hand over the Host City Insignia to the Mayor of the upcoming host city. During this year’s ceremony, Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko will be handing over the key to Fernando Medina, the Mayor of Lisbon. This part of the event is one of the key milestones as part of the preparation for the 2018 contest.

The event will be hosted by half of this year’s hosting team, Sílvia Alberto and Filomena Cautela, and you will be able to watch the event live on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.

What is the Semi-Final Allocation Draw?

If you’re new to Eurovision, this might be a bit of a mystery to you, so we’ll explain the draw in what will hopefully be easy to understand! The semi-final allocation draw helps to determine which nation will participate in which semi-final, either semi-final 1 or 2.

The draw will also determine which semi-final each of the six pre-qualified nations will be required to broadcast and vote in. These nations are France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and host nation Portugal.

The exact running order of the show will be decided by the show’s producers in the coming months, however we do know that there will be 19 participants in the first semi-final, and 18 in the second due to an uneven number of semi-finalists. This was approved by the EBU and RTP as well as the Reference Group.

The 37 semi-finalists have already been allocated into six pots based on the historical voting patterns from past editions of Eurovision. The nations will be drawn from these pots, with the aim of this process to reduce the chance of ‘neighbourly voting.’

Here are the allocation draw pots:

  • Albania, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland

  • Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden

  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine

  • Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Romania

  • Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, Malta, San Marino

  • Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland

There’s also been news about EuroClub and the choice of venue! During the Event Weeks of the contest, Eurovision village will be located at Praça do Comércio, which is the most iconic square in Lisbon. It will feature a large screen for the public to watch the shows, as well as the home for concerts and activities during the event weeks.

EuroClub, which is the place for fans to party during Eurovision, will be located at Lust in Cais do Sodré, which is nearby to Eurovision Village. It will be open from the 4th of May, and the official schedule will be released in the coming months.

The opening ceremony is another important event, and this will take place on Sunday the 6th of May. The 43 participating delegations will walk along the special blue carpet, met by fans and reporters alike. This will be held at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, and the reception will take place in Lisbon’s Electricity Museum.


The next wave of tickets to go on sale will be on Tuesday the 30th of January, after we know which nations are in which semi-finals. You will be able to buy tickets for all shows for both semi-finals, including jury and family shows, and the live semi-finals. Tickets will go on sale at at 11:00 CET.