Slavianski Bazaar Director, Aleksandr Sidorenko has stated that the contest aims to have every participating nation holding national selections.

Within the next couple of years Slavianski Bazaar is aiming to have all of its participants selected through national selections. Currently a number of countries competing in the contest hold selections for the competition, however still a significant number of participants are just applicants from one country.

At a press conference Mr Sidorenko said that:

Every year in different countries held more national qualifying rounds. It’s nice. And we will strive to ensure that in the competition are performers from national selection. Already, we give such a preference. I am sure that in 2-3 years, each participant will go through a competition in their country apart from exotic countries, which compete for the first time at our festival.

This year fourteen countries have held selection processes for Slavianski Bazaar. In Belarus for the first time the selection process has been filmed by the national broadcaster BTRC, who are broadcasting the selection on Belarus 3. Furthermore for the first time ever Italy has opted to hold a selection process for the competition.

The deadline for singers from countries not holding national selections to submit their application to compete is April 1. After this point the organisers of the contest will go over the submissions to select the remaining singers who will take the contest to 21 countries. The following countries competed last year in the International Pop Song Perfomers Contest but have yet to state whether they will be competing; Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Georgia, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia. In the Children’s Contest the following countries have yet to state whether they will compete; Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Germany, Montenegro, Serbia and Uzbekistan.

To date the following countries have confirmed their participation in this years contest:

  • Belarus
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Source: BELTA

Slavianski Bazaar has been held annually in Vibetsk, Belarus since 1992. The event consists of two competitive contests, the International Pop Song Performers Contest for singers age 18 to 31, and the Children’s Contest for those age between 7 and 12. The competition is popular in the former Soviet Union, Baltic States and the Balkans. Winners include Ruslana, Zeljko Joksimovic, Donny Montell and Alyona Lanskaya. The Children’s Contest has been held since 2003 and former winners include singers who have gone on to compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This includes former winner Ksenia Sitnik who won for Belarus in 2005.