Following on from Salvador Sobral's monumental win in Kiev this year, and giving Portugal their first ever Eurovision win, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Portuguese broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) have announced that the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place in Lisbon, Portugal's capital.
Since their debut in 1964, this is the first time that Portugal will host the contest. The cities of Gondomar, Santa Maria de Feira and Braga all put in a bid to host next year's contest, but ultimately lost out to the capital city.
The semi-finals will take place on 8th and 10th of May with the Grand Final on Saturday 12th May 2018.
The venue that has been chosen to host Eurovision 2018 is the MEO Arena. Situated in the Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations), it has a capacity of up to 20,000 and is the biggest arena in Portugal! With it's central location, good transport links and great infastructure, it makes the MEO Arena the perfect choice for hosting Eurovision. It has previously hosted sports events, conferences and big music concerts for many Portuguese and international stars such as Justin Beiber, Madonna and One Direction.
Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest had this to say about next years contest:
"We are very pleased to announce that RTP will be hosting the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. Both the City and the venue have presented exemplary proposals, and we look forward to working together to make Portugal’s first ever Eurovision the most exciting one yet. We would like to congratulate RTP on their professional and detailed assessments of all the bids."
Gonçalo Reis, the CEO of RTP, had this to say:
"Hosting Eurovision 2018 is a great opportunity for Portugal, Lisbon, the entertainment industry, and RTP. We look forward to organising an event that will show our creative capabilities."
During the press conference, the representatives of RTP welcomed press and fans to Lisbon with this statement:
"Europe has always been plural, yet it’s legacy represents the wish for a brighter future, with one another. Portugal is a country in one of the far reaches of Europe, and strongly connected to it, but always wide opened to the sea. And the oceans can give us a hint into this idea of being intertwined. All things flow. And through them we too are connected. That has been the main key in Portugal’s history, bridging not only with the rest of Europe, but also with Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. By sea. Five hundred years ago Lisbon was the place where these sea routes departed from and arrived. And today, the city of diversity, respect and tolerance, with a society of all colours and creeds that shares the values Eurovision stands for, invites everyone to celebrate this willingness to come closer and stand united."
Check out the official promo video for Eurovision 2018:
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