Eurovision Down Under: The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest Embracing Diversity
Eurovision Down Under:
The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest Embracing Diversity
15-17 April 2020, The University of Sydney
The Eurovision Song Contest has had a growing following in Australia since national multicultural broadcaster SBS began broadcasting the contest in 1983. Its 65th anniversary in 2020 is testament to its success, both as light entertainment and as an expression of European cultures, societies and politics. Since it was first broadcast in 1956, the ESC has been a platform for national cultural branding and as such, a site of both celebration and controversy. From the outset, it has provided an often surprisingly controversial window onto Europe and its neighbourhood, reflecting shifting values and current debates. It has also been much discussed—whether lauded or panned—for its ‘Europop’ style, complete with its own unique production values, staging styles and indeed array of languages.
It is thus timely to celebrate Eurovision at 65 and Eurovision Down Under through the international academic conference on the ESC to be held in Australia, at one of its leading research universities. The theme of Eurovision Down Under 2020 is ‘The World’s Longest-Running Song Contest: Embracing Diversity’.
Image: Kate Miller-Heidke performing the Australian entry ‘Zero Gravity’ at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. Photo by Martin Fjellanger, Eurovision Norway, EuroVisionary.