Europa Song Contest
ESC Logo
Logo used since the first edition.
Genre Song contest
Created by George Rospier
Presented by Various
Country of origin Bulgaria
Original language(s) English and French
Location(s) Various
Running time Various (about two months)
Production company(s) EBU
Original run 15 January 2017 – present
Related shows Junior Europa Song Contest
External links
Official channel

The Europa Song Contest, often shortened to ESC, is a song contest on Youtube held among the members of the European Broadcasting Union since January 2017. The competition was based upon the existing Eurovision Song Contest held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The current and official executive supervisor is George Rospier.

Each country's head of delegation gets to select an entry for each edition either by internal or national selection. Then the countries get to vote for each show (pre-qualifying round, semi-final or final) to determine the qualifiers and the winner of the edition. The contest has also been broadcast outside Europe to several countries that do not compete.

So far, 3 countries have won the competition and therefore hosted the contest. Apart from Bulgaria, who hosted due to being the organizer of the contest.

History Edit

On 15th January 2017, George Rospier, former executive supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union decided to open an international music contest, in th

at every full member of the EBU can take part by sending artists representing their countries with songs. It was called Europa Song Contest.

The first ever Europa Song Contest started on 10th April 2017. It was held in the capital city of Bulgaria which also was the first ever country to host the Europa Song Contest and also the first ever direct qualifier for the final. Thirty-three nations took part in the first edition each submitting one entry to the contest. Each country awarded 12 points to their favorite, 10 points to their second favourite and then 8 points to 1 point for the rest.

Germany was the first ever country to win the contest. The winner is traditionally set to be the host of the following Europa edition.

Currently, the EBU Council has the control over the contest, and its members work in different terms of the contest, like recaps, staging, results videos and websites.


Since the first edition already, slogans were used for the contest. In each edition, the host broadcaster was in charge to decide the slogan of the edition and based on it, develope the contest's theme and visual design.

Edn. Host city Slogan
#01 Flag of Bulgaria Sofia "The Sensation of Love"
#02 Flag of Germany Oldenburg "Save The World"
#03 Flag of Sweden Malmö "Leaving Traces"
#04 Flag of Greece Thessaloniki "Power of Music"

Participation Edit

Any full member of the EBU is allowed to send a song for the Europa Song Contest. Countries that are not full members can apply for becoming one.

Each full member has got a certain broadcaster that is responsible for the choice of the artists and songs the country is sending for each edition. Forty-five countries have participated at least once. These are listed here alongside the edition in which they made their debut:

Edn. Country making its debut
#02 Flag of Austria Austria, Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan, Flag of FYR Macedonia FYR Macedonia, Flag of Iceland Iceland, Flag of Latvia Latvia, Flag of Lebanon Lebanon, Flag of Malta Malta, Flag of Poland Poland, Flag of San Marino San Marino, Flag of Slovakia Slovakia, Flag of Slovenia Slovenia
#03 Flag of Andorra Andorra, Flag of Morocco Morocco, Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg, Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
#04 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia-Herzegovina, Flag of Georgia Georgia, Flag of Montenegro Montenegro

Format Edit

The contest's format was the same during the first editions; two semi-finals and a final were held. The top ten scored countries from each semi-final advanced to the final. In the first edition, there was a big 1 that were the sponsors for the start of the contest and was automatic qualifier; Bulgaria. However, for the next editions, the big 1 would change to big 6 and the top 6 from each edition will be a part of the big 6.

Since the very first edition the winning country of each edition is automatically chosen to be the host of the next edition. As the host broadcaster, the heads of delegation can decide how and when they want to host the competition, present the logo, make a theme song and other things. However if a broadcaster cannot afford to host the competition, the runner-up or the EBU council will help out. The show would still be hosted in the winning country.

The "Big 6"Edit

ESC big 6

Map showing the "participation" of a country in the Big 6 up to the second edition.

In the first edition, it was already decided that certain countries would be members of the "group" called "Big 1". The Bulgarian broadcaster, the organizers of the first edition, announced that ,Bulgaria would be the member of the first Big 1. However, as with this statement most of the broadcasters complained, the organizers decided that the Big 1, later renamed to Big 6, would be chosen according the public which led them to change the Big 6 members to the top 6 placed countries of the previous edition indicating a different Big 6 in each edition.


There are several rules of the contest in order to enter. Main rule of the contest is that the country has to officially join the EBU with a certain broadcaster before applying to enter the contest. Regarding the broadcaster, any broadcaster can be accepted by the EBU if it consists the qualifications of it. The head of delegation of the certain country must be at the position for at least three editions. If the head of delegation is not satisfied with the country, one can swap the countries with other users. There are also rules regarding the entries, such as that Eurovision Song Contest songs and cover songs are not allowed to compete in the contest or that the singer must be over the age of 16.

Rehearsals and press conferencesEdit

Kerli rehearsal

Kerli (Estonia, #01) during a rehearsal.

Each country has two rehearsals before the contest. The rehearsals start with the semi-final countries nine days before the first semi-final. During the first two days, the rehersals for the first semi-final countries take place while during the next two days the rehearsals for the second semi-final countries take place. The second rehearsals for each country take place on the fifth and sixth days. On the seventh day, the big 6 countries have their first rehearsal taken. On the ninth day, the big 6 have their second rehearsal taken. Apart from the regular rehearsals, there are also three dress rehearsals for each show where the full show is rehearsed. The dress rehearsals for the semi-finals and the final take place in two days: twice on the day before the show (one in the afternoon and the other in the evening) and once on the day of the show. The third dress rehearsal, the one before the contest, is the show that is taken place for the jury, which means that the 50% of the result is decided before the live contest. The table below shows the schedule that is used for every edition with some adjustments made for each edition.

 First rehearsal  Second rehearsal  Dress rehearsal  Show
Semi-final and final rehearsal schedule
Show Days
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th
Semi-final 1
Semi-final 2
Sergey Lazarev press

Sergey Lazarev (Russia, #02) during a press conference.

After the rehearsals, the delegations of each country meets with the artistic director of the edition to preview the performance of the country. They watch the footage of the country's rehearsal, discussing about possible changes in stuff such as camera angles, lighting and choreography. Also, the Head of Delegation is able to know what special effects the performance would require and requests them from the host broadcaster. Right after this meeting, the delegation has a press conference held where members of the accredited press ask them question. The conferences are held at the same time with the rehearsals and while the first country is in the press room, the second country is already rehearsing. A printed summary of the questions and answers which emerge from the press conferences is produced by the host press office, and distributed to journalists' pigeon-holes.

Sneak peeks and betting oddsEdit

Aproximately two weeks before the semi-finals, the host broadcaster uploads six or seven sneak peeks. The countries used to be divided according their geographical place like the pots for the semi-final allocation draw. However, they are now divided by the order of announcing their entries. Most of the participating nations open a poll on the broadcaster's site and let people vote for their favorite in each sneak peek.

The betting odds are mostly based on the nations' average result for each sneak peek. The betting odds were introduced in the first edition..

Europa AwardsEdit

The Europa Awards are music awards of the contest that honor songs or singers of the edition on certain categories. They were first introduced as the After-show awards officially in the third edition.


The first voting system was in use between the first edition.
Edition Points Voting system


One set of 12, 10 and 8-1 points All countries used televoting and/or SMS-voting (50%) and juries (50%) which were then combined to get the country's top ten. In the event of a tie, the televote score takes precedence.

Since the first edition the voting has been presided over by the EBU scrutineer, who is responsible for ensuring that all points are allocated correctly and in turn. The following are the scrutineers and Executive Supervisors of the Europa Song Contest appointed by the EBU;

  • George Rospier (01–present)

Winners Edit

The contest has so far one winning country. Most of the winners have so far been female artists.
Edn. Country Performer Song Points
#01 Flag of Germany Germany Oonagh "Aulë und Yavanna" 156
#02 Flag of Sweden Sweden Mariette "A Million Years" 141
#03 Flag Of Greece Greece Eleni Foureira "Mono Gia Sena" 277

External linksEdit