The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has today revealed all about the inaugural edition of the ABU Song Contest in Qingdao, China.
The ABU has now officially launched the ABU Song Contest 2019, by revealing the rules and confirming the keys dates of the contest. The contest will be held on the West Coast Star Island in Qingdao, China.
The competition will feature both a final and a semi-final. The semi-final will be held on Thursday the 17 of October, with the final taking place on Saturday 19 of October.
The contest is open to both TV and radio members of the ABU. One broadcaster will be allowed to take part per country, if two broadcasters apply to take part from the same country, the ABU will use its discretion to select the eligible broadcaster.
Broadcasters must air the Grand Final of the competition live to viewers. The Semi-Final is encouraged to be broadcast live, however this is not compulsory.
How Participants and Songs will be Selected
Each broadcaster will be encouraged to hold a selection process to determine their participant for the contest. To compete in the contest singers must be;
- Age 16 and above
- May be a solo artist or a group
- Singers may be professional or amateur
- Singers must perform live at the contest
Each performer will be able to compete with just one song, the rules for competing songs are as follows;
- There are no rules on the genre or language that songs should be performed in
- Both original and popular songs are allowed to compete
- Songs that describe sensitive issues will not be allowed
- Songs cannot exceed three minutes in length
How will the Winner be Selected?
All of the nations taking part in the contest will have to compete in the Semi-Final. The qualifiers and the winner in the Grand Final will be selected in the same way.
There is no televote from the public in each of the competing nations. Instead broadcasters will have to organise their own ‘Audience jury’. This jury is formed of 100 people and will decide half of the vote at the contest.
The remainder of the vote will be determined by an International Professional Jury. The ABU has not yet revealed if this one jury, or multiple juries from each country.
The ABU has revealed the deadline for broadcasters for apply to take part and for them to select a participant. The dates are:
- Submission of Application Form – March 20
- Select participant – June 30
The Journey of the Contest So Far
The contest which has been in discussions under a number of different working titles including the ABU Asia-Pacific Song Contest, was previously being developed by Hunan Television. Hunan Television is a Chinese broadcaster that in recent years has broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest live to audiences in the country via its online platform. The contest was also discussed at the 2015 ABU General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey. The event was set to be held for the first time in 2017, following an agreement by the ABU to hold the contest on a one year trial basis.
In June the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union sent a delegation to Qingdao, China discuss the competition. The delegation formed of Dr Javad Mottaghi, the ABU Secretary-General, Mr Koichi Okumura, Director of Programming, and Mr Cai Yanjiang, Director of ABU Sports met with local officials to discuss the contest. At the meeting between the Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Press and Publication and the ABU, it was agreed that preparations for the competition could continue forwards.
ABU and Song Festivals
The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has experience in organising song festivals across the region. Since 2012 the ABU has held both the ABU TV Song Festival and the ABU Radio Song Festival. Both events are currently non-competitive and are used to showcase the cultures of the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2012 the following nations and broadcasters have taken part in either the radio or TV festivals:
- Afghanistan – Radio (2018), Television (2012-2013, 2015 to date)
- Australia – Radio (2012-2014), Television (2012-2014)
- Benin – Television (2018) – African Broadcasting Union
- Bhutan – Radio (2012)
- Brunei – Radio (2012-2015), Television (2013-2014)
- China – Radio (2016), Television (2012-2014, 2016-2017)
- Hong Kong – Television (2012 to date)
- India – Radio (2012, 2014 to date), Television (2015, 2017
- Indonesia – Radio (2012, 2015 to date), Television (2012 to date)
- Iran – Radio (2012 to 2014), Television (2013)
- Japan – Television (2012 to date)
- Kazakhstan – Radio (2018), Television (2015 to date)
- Kyrgyzstan – Radio (2012), Television (2013, 2018)
- Macau – Radio (2016 to date), Television (2014 to date)
- Malaysia – Radio (2012 to 2015), Television (2012-2013, 2015, 2017)
- Maldives – Radio (2015 to date), Television (2014 to date)
- Myanmar – Radio (2015)
- Nepal – Radio (2016 to date)
- Pakistan – Radio (2012 to 2014)
- Romania – Radio (2016)
- Singapore – Radio (2012 to 2016), Television (2012-2013,
- South Korea – Radio (2012 to date), Television (2012 to date)
- Sri Lanka – Radio (2014), Television (2012, 2016)
- Sudan – Radio (2012)
- Thailand – Radio (2014 to 2016), Television (2013-2014)
- Tunisia – Television (2016) – Arab States Broadcasting Union
- Turkey – Radio (2018), Television (2014-2015, 2018)
- Turkmenistan – Radio (2016 to date), Television (2017 to date)
- Uzbekistan – Television (2018)
- Vanuatu – Radio (2012)
- Vietnam – Radio (2012, 2015 to date), Television (2012 to date)
- Zambia – Television (2017) – African Broadcasting Union