Daðis’s Eurovision is 20/20 Skip to content

Daðis’s Eurovision is 20/20

Words by
Ragnar Tómas Hallgrímsson

Photography by
Golli

The Eurovision Song Contest traces its origins to the end of the Second World War when the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) established a committee to unite the war-torn countries of Europe around a “light entertainment programme.” At a meeting in 1955, the journalist Sergio Pugliese suggested that the EBU host an international song contest in the vein of the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, likewise established to revitalise the city’s economy and reputation in the wake of the war.

A year later, in 1956, the first Eurovision was held with seven participating countries. Today, it is the longest-running annual international television contest; one of the world’s most enduring television programmes period; and ranks among the most-watched non-sporting events in the world, with an estimated 100 to 600 million viewers annually.

Few people would oppose the noble ideal of peaceably uniting with one’s neighbours to forestall war, unless, of course, the very act of amicable assemblage could prove lethal. In Iceland, it would seem there could be no worse time to bring people together than on February 29, 2020 – the day after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country.

It is a testament to the inevitable and irrational joy of Eurovision that it, despite all caveats, must always go on.
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The Eurovision Song Contest traces its origins to the end of the Second World War when the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) established a committee to unite the war-torn countries of Europe around a “light entertainment programme.” At a meeting in 1955, the journalist Sergio Pugliese suggested that the EBU host an international song contest in the vein of the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, likewise established to revitalise the city’s economy and reputation in the wake of the war.

A year later, in 1956, the first Eurovision was held with seven participating countries. Today, it is the longest-running annual international television contest; one of the world’s most enduring television programmes period; and ranks among the most-watched non-sporting events in the world, with an estimated 100 to 600 million viewers annually.

Few people would oppose the noble ideal of peaceably uniting with one’s neighbours to forestall war, unless, of course, the very act of amicable assemblage could prove lethal. In Iceland, it would seem there could be no worse time to bring people together than on February 29, 2020 – the day after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country.

It is a testament to the inevitable and irrational joy of Eurovision that it, despite all caveats, must always go on.
This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

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