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Melodifestivalen 2018

Who wins Melodifestivalen 2018?

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Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, is one of the biggest programmes of the year in Sweden. Planning for the 2018 competition is well underway and today broadcaster SVT revealed the cities and dates for each of the live shows.

As usual, the grand final will be held at Friends Arena in Stockholm, the home of the Melfest final since 2012. This year’s final will be held on March 10. But before that, there are five weeks of semi-finals and the andra chansen round. This time the competition will kick off in Karlstad, where the Löfbergs Arena will host the first semi-final on February 3. Karlstad last hosted a Melfest show in 2013, when it was home to the second chance round. The second semi-final moves south to regular location in Gothenburg  (Göteborg). It will be held at the Scandinavium on February 10. This makes a change from the past three years when Gothenburg hosted the first semi-final. Next the third semi-final moves even further south to Eurovision 2013 host city Malmö. The show will take place at the usual venue Malmö Arena on February 17. The fourth and final deltävling takes place in the small northern city of Örnsköldsvik. It last hosted a Melfest show in 2014. It will host the show at the Fjällräven Center on February 24. And eight semi-finalists will be heading back down south for the andra chansen round in Kristianstad. It’s the first time Kristianstad will host a Melodifestivalen show. The show will be held at Kristianstad Arena on March 3. Speaking of the brand new host city, Melodifestivalen project manager Anette Helenius revealed: “It’s amazingly fun that after over fifteenth years of tour, we are still able to visit new cities like this year with Kristianstad. We are looking forward to meeting our viewers in arenas from Scania to Ångermanland, and it will be nice with the premiere in Karlstad, where we have received a very good reception.”

In total 2771 songs have been submitted for Melodifestivalen 2018, the highest number of songs since 2012. Producer Christer Björkman said: "We are very keen to start working with the selection process and are delighted that the interest from both the public and the music industry is still high." One of the artists for 2018 has already been chosen. Stiko Per Larsson won a place in Melodifestivalen after competiing in the radion contest P4 Nästa.

Melodifestivalen Producer Christer Björkman said. “We are very keen to start working with the selection process and delighted that the interest of both the public and the music industry is still high”. The next step is for the song selection process to begin, which involves a jury lead by Karin Gunnarsson, the Vice-Contest Producer of Melodifestivalen. The jury will select 14 songs, and SVT will select a further 13 songs, to make the complete line-up.

Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and has finished in the top five in six out of the last seven Grand Finals.