Iceland RÚV

Uncertain if Iceland will participate in Eurovision 2024

Due to the Israel-Hamas war and Israel's participation in Eurovision 2024, the Icelandic broadcaster has opened up the idea of withdrawing from the contest. The decision will be made jointly by the broadcaster and the winner of Söngvakeppnin 2024

It's uncertain whether Iceland will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö. This has been announced by the Icelandic broadcaster RÚV.

The uncertainty is due to the Israel-Hamas war. From several sides, criticism has been raised about Israel's participation in the contest.

RÚV will still hold their national selection contest, Söngvakeppnin 2024, in February and March. The winning artist of Söngvakeppnin will then decide, together with the broadcaster (RÚV), whether they want to participate in Eurovision 2024 or not.

Stefán Eiríksson, Director-General of RÚV, said today that the contestants competing in Söngvakeppnin are understandably concerned about the situation in Gaza. These concerns have been communicated to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

– They [the contestants] apply with the goal of becoming Iceland's contribution to Eurovision, [but] they are concerned about the state of affairs just like we are. Söngvakeppnin is our preparation for Eurovision and we have [previously] announced that we intend to participate in Eurovision without any changes, but we do not know what the future holds, said Stefán Eiríksson.

The Icelandic Association of Composers and Lyricists (FTT) has urged RÚV not to participate in Eurovision 2024 unless Israel is excluded.

Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, chairman of FTT, says that it's good that Söngvakeppnin will be held as normal:

– Perhaps it's time to remember that Söngvakeppnin is one thing, but Eurovision is another, although of course they are connected.

Back in December the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) released a statement giving Israel the green light to participate in Eurovision 2024:

EBU's statement on Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2024

9 December 2023

The Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for public broadcasters from all over Europe and the Middle East. It is a contest for broadcasters – not for governments – and the Israeli public broadcaster has been participating in the contest for 50 years.

The EBU is a member-led organisation. The EBU’s governing bodies – led by the Board of Directors – represent the members. These bodies assessed the list of participants and decided that the Israeli public broadcaster complies with all competition rules. Together with 36 other broadcasters, it will be able to participate in the competition next year.

At the moment, there is an inclusive attitude towards Israeli participants in major competitions. The Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event, uniting audiences worldwide through music.

In 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine, the EBU’s governing bodies decided to exclude Russia from the Eurovision Song Contest, where they were to compete alongside Ukraine. As said before, the Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for broadcasters. After repeated violations of membership obligations and violation of the values of the public media, Russia was suspended.

Söngvakeppnin 2024

Söngvakeppnin is Iceland's national selection process for Eurovision. It consists of three shows: two semi-finals, and one final.

The three shows take place on these dates:

  • Semi-final 1: 17 February 2024
  • Semi-final 2: 24 February 2024
  • Final: 2 March 2024

In the Semi-finals, all songs must be performed in Icelandic. In the Final, the artists can perform their songs in the language they intend to perform the song in should they be selected for Eurovision.

Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest

Iceland 2021: Daði & Gagnamagnið - "10 Years"

Iceland's debut in the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 1986, and they've participated 35 times since.

Their best results are two second-place finishes with Yohanna in 2009, and Selma in 1999.

Iceland 2021: Daði & Gagnamagnið - "10 Years"

Since the introduction of the Semi-finals in 2004, Iceland has qualified for the Grand Final 11 out of 19 times.

Iceland is the only Northern European country that has yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision News