Only about 15 kilometers away from last year’s event in Malmö, 2014 brings us to Copenhagen, Denmark’s tourist-friendly and history-filled capital city. Chosen over Herning (a city with a great potential venue, but little tourist infrastructure) and Horsens (where the venue would have been a converted state penal colony), Copenhagen is relatively easy to get to and around, rife with options for lodging, and full of opportunities for fun outside of the “Eurovision Bubble”.
Despite the presence of the 50,000-sear Parken Arena (host venue of the 2001 contest) and the nearby 10,000-seat Ballerup Super Arena (home of the 2011 DMGP), this year’s venue will be the B&W Hallerne, a former industrial complex located on Refshaleøen, just north of the Christianshavn district. While concerts have been held at the site before, this will call for a complete overhaul of the area, turning the disused shipyard into “Eurovision Island”. A 10,000-person concert venue, press center, restaurants, and other facilities will be built between now and the end of April, when rehearsals start.
Beyond Refshaleøen, it has been announced that the Euroclub will be hosted at VEGA nightclub (located just southwest of Tivoli and Central Station, in Vesterbro), and a “Eurovision Fan Mile” hosting musical performances, community activities, and screenings of the shows will extend down Strøget (the main pedestrian street in the center of the city), from City Hall to Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square).
From the magic of Tivoli to free-spirited Christiania to the stately grounds at Amalienborg, anyone who claims to be bored here simply isn’t trying. Copenhagen’s also a fantastic city for culinary travelers. Whether you’re just in the mood for a rød pølse (hot dog) with remoulade and crispy onions from a street vendor, traditional smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), or a luxurious dinner at Noma, consistently rated one of the world’s finest restaurants, there’s a bite for every appetite and budget. As this year’s official motto says, #JoinUs!
After the single-host format that Malmö gave us last year, DR has decided to return to the three-host setup that we saw in Oslo, Düsseldorf, and Baku. Lise Rønne, Nikolaj Koppel, and Pilou Asbæk will take the reins of the show. Lise and Nikolaj are both popular hosts and presenters, while Pilou is best known for his role as Kasper Juul in the hit television show Borgen.
As of January 9th, 36 countries have confirmed their presence in Copenhagen, although financial penalty-free withdrawals are possible until January 7th. Poland and Portugal have each signaled their return, while we see bow-outs from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Serbia. Greece will be performing in 2014, despite the dissolution of broadcaster (and EBU member) ERT. Newly-created network NERIT will need to be fast-tracked into EBU membership so that we can see a Greek delegation in Copenhagen.
At this point, the only nation currently on the fence is Slovenia, which is still trying to determine the financial viability of their participation. It is presumed that the network is looking for sponsors for their delegation. RTV Slovenija has until January 17th to decide whether they’re in or out.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which withdrew after the 2012 ESC, had earlier announced their return, but later confirmed their continued absence. Turkey continues their absence from the Contest, focusing their efforts on their own pan-regional song festival, Türkviziyon.
The Songs and Artists
- Albania: “Zemërimi i një nate (One night’s anger)” by Herciana Matmuja won the Festivali i Këngës on December 28th.
- Armenia: Aram MP3 was internally selected, and announced on New Year’s Eve. Song will be revealed at a later date.
- Austria: Conchita Wurst has been internally selected by broadcaster ORF. Her song will be revealed at a later date.
- Estonia: Eesti Laul 2014 was highly competitive, but in the end, Tanja’s “Amazing” won the ticket to Copenahgen.
- Finland: This year’s UMK resulted in a win for “Something Better” by Softengine.
- Georgia: Ethno-fusion artists The Shin will be representing Georgia in a collaboration with jazz singer Mariko Ebralidze.
- Hungary: American-born András Kállay-Saunders will perform “Running” on behalf of Hungary.
- Iceland: Pollapönk, known mostly for their children’s music, won Söngvakeppnin with their song “Enga fordóma (No Prejudice)”.
- Ireland: In an emotionally-charged National Final, Can-Linn featuring Kasey Smith were selected to represent the country with “Heartbeat“.
- Israel: Mei Feingold has been internally selected to represent Israel in Denmark. We shall know her song on March 5.
- Italy: Rather than using the pool of artists from the Sanremo Festival to select a representative, RAI has internally selected Emma Marrone to perform “La mia città (My City)“.
- Latvia: Aarzemnieki’s cute, quirky “Cake To Bake” won Dziesma 2014.
- Lithuania: After a 12-week-long National Final process, Vilija Matačiūnaitė will take “Attention” to Denmark.
- (FYR) Macedonia: Tijana Dapčević will represent the country with the song “To the Sky“.
- Malta: Pop-folk band Firelight will perform “Coming Home” on behalf of the island nation.
- Montenegro: Balladeer Sergej Ćetković will try to take Montenegro to their first Eurovision Final.
- The Netherlands: Singers Ilse deLange and Waylon will combine forces and perform as The Common Linnets.
- Poland: Absent since 2011, Poland returns to Eurovision with a bilingual version of Cleo & Donatan’s “My Słowianie“.
- Romania: Returning to attempt to top their 2010 Bronze, Paula Seling and Ovi will perform “Miracle“.
- San Marino: For a third consecutive year, Valentina Monetta will represent her country in the hopes of finally making it to a Saturday night. We’ll hear her song in March.
- Spain: After a super-close National Final, “X-Factor” alum Ruth Lorenzo will perform the bilingual “Dancing in the Rain”.
- Switzerland: Sebalter‘s folksy “Hunter of Stars” took the win in Die Große Entscheidungsshow.
- Ukraine: Mariya Yaremchuk’s “Tick-Tock” was chosen on December 21.