The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting has confirmed that the first edition of the ABU Song Contest will be held in Qingdao, China in October 2019.
The first ABU Song Contest will take place between October 16 and 20 in the Chinese city of Qingdao. The event has now been formally confirmed by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union following years of discussions among the organisation and prospective broadcasters.
The competition was discussed at the recent ABU General Assembly in Turkmenistan, with the event now being signed off for its inaugural event. The contest will be hosted by the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, with the backing of the Chinese Government and the ABU.
The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union is yet to reveal anymore details regarding the competition. The event will also be competing with the Eurovision Asia Song Contest which is also due to be held for the first time in 2019.
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