It has long been said that music has the power to unite humanity by transcending language and cultural barriers while simultaneously celebrating the breadth of diversity that society has to offer. This statement holds a significant amount of truth given that people everywhere are quite passionate when it comes to music. In fact, before the advent of popular televised singing competitions such as The Voice or The X Factor, there has been one music contest that has reigned supreme above all others and continues to be a globally beloved event that has—in recent times—crossed over to international mainstream appeal. We are, of course, talking about the Eurovision Song Contest.
To the uninitiated, here’s a brief history of the Eurovision Song Contest (referred to in French as Concours Eurovision de la Chanson and often shortened to its acronym ESC or simply Eurovision): the competition was originally created by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as a response to unite the citizens of Europe via a “light entertainment programme” after the devastating effects of World War II during the 1950s and invited several countries who are members of the EBU to compete in a musical contest that was based on the format of the annual Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy. The very first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugarno, Switzerland in 1956 and had seven original participating countries consisting of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the host country of Switzerland.