The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be the 63rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It will take place for the first time in Portugal following the country’s first victory at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine with the song “Amar pelos dois“, performed by Salvador Sobral. The contest will be held at the Altice Arena in Lisbon and will consist of two semi-finals on 8 and 10 May and a final on 12 May 2018. The three live shows will be hosted by Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado.
Forty-three countries will participate in the contest, equalling the record of the 2008 and 2011 editions. Russia will return after their absence from the previous edition, and for the first time since 2011, no country will be withdrawing from the contest.
Bidding phase and host city selection
On the day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 final, it was reported that Portuguese broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) would accept the challenge of organising the 2018 contest in case of a victory. Following Sobral’s triumph, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, issued the hosting invitation to RTP during the winner’s press conference. The following day, the director-general of RTP, Nuno Artur Silva, confirmed that the broadcaster would organise the contest in 2018 and mentioned MEO Arena (later renamed Altice Arena) in Lisbon as a likely venue to host the contest. On 15 May 2017, RTP appeared to have confirmed Lisbon as the host city, but clarified the following day that no final decision had been taken regarding both the host city and venue.
The basic requirements to select a host city were set out in a document presented by the EBU to RTP following their win in Kiev:
- A suitable venue that can accommodate around 10,000 spectators.
- An international press centre for 1,500 journalists with adequate facilities for all the delegates.
- A good distribution of hotel rooms, at different price categories, able to accommodate at least 2,000 delegates, accredited journalists and spectators.
- An efficient transport infrastructure, including a nearby international airport with readily available connections with the city, venue and hotels.
Besides Lisbon, other cities signalled their interest in bidding to host the 2018 contest: Braga, Espinho, Faro, Gondomar, Guimarães, and Santa Maria da Feira. The mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, declared he would not be interested in “spending millions of euros” to host the contest, but he would support a bid from the Metropolitan Area of Porto (Espinho, Gondomar and Santa Maria da Feira).
On 13 June 2017, RTP representatives met with the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group at the EBU headquarters in Geneva. During the meeting, RTP officials attended a workshop covering several topics related with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and learned from the experience of the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. They also had the opportunity to present their first plans for the 2018 contest, including multiple proposals for host city and venue.
On 25 July 2017, the EBU and RTP announced that Lisbon had been selected as the host city, overcoming confirmed bids from Braga, Gondomar, Guimarães and Santa Maria da Feira. In addition, RTP indicated the Parque das Nações, where Altice Arena is located, as the site for the shows.
Taken From Wikipedia