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by Mick the Ram
The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have released a cryptic post that has hinted at possible Caribbean participation in the 2024 event; in what capacity however is very much unclear.
The message on the official Instagram page simply states: “The Caribbean is coming to this year’s competition”. They then followed that up with a teasing sentence: “Stay tuned, we can’t wait to tell you more.”
The 2024 version will be the 68th Eurovision and those in charge of managing the contest have announced that there are 37 countries with confirmed entry, with apparently discussions under way with one further nation.
That could be Romania, but the latest tantalizing notification has prompted speculation about the possibility of a Caribbean country, or one of the European territories in the region, being invited along.
Other suggestions are that maybe a Caribbean artist is representing a European country, or maybe the competition will have a Caribbean-themed sponsor.
The famous annual event will take place in Malmö, Sweden, with the Grand Final due to be held on Saturday, 11 May.
Liverpool stepped up
Last year’s Eurovision was held in Liverpool, who stepped forward as the representative UK city, acting as a replacement for Ukraine, who should have hosted the show having won the 2022 contest, but were unable to because of the on-going war in the area.
Malmö this time
Sweden’s Loreen emerged as the victorious act with the song Tattoo, hence why the competition is taking place in the Scandinavian country’s southern city of Malmö. It was chosen as the location ahead of Stockholm and Gothenburg after a selection committee evaluated venue facilities and accommodation availability, with thousands expected to attend the spectacular event.
Caribbean is coming!
The post that the organisers released which has got everybody speculating, also contained a video clip of palm trees and clear beaches. The accompanying caption to this read: “New Year! New News! We’re thrilled to confirm that the Caribbean is coming to the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. Stay tuned, we can’t wait to tell you more.”
Not the first non-European
It is clear from this that the Caribbean will be involved in the musical extravaganza in some form or another. Were they to have a country invited it would not be the first non-European participant.
Israel have been involved for many years and Australia came to the party in 2015, initially in what was supposed to be a one off invitation to commemorate Eurovision’s 60th anniversary.
However, they have continued their involvement ever since, even finishing runners-up in one of the subsequent years.
Cyprus, Armenia and Morocco have all had entries over time, so although there would probably be some opposing voices from the traditionalists, the vast majority would be very welcoming.
The Eurovision Song Contest began as a technical experiment in television broadcasting, with the first competition being held in Switzerland in 1956, consisting of just seven participating nations.
It’s central geographical position made it the ideal choice for an experiment for the terrestrial transmitters required for an experiment in live, simultaneous, transnational broadcasting.
As the years and decades came and went, so the format has evolved into what is now a week-long, boundary pushing, multi-show spectacular, attracting a global audience of tens of millions.
Country involvement growing
The 67 previous contests has seen representation from 52 different countries and it would be no surprise to see that number increase further over the coming years.
With that in mind, there is no reason why at least one of that number could not come from the Caribbean.