The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 begins this Tuesday in Malmö, Sweden. It starts with the first semi-final in the evening (9 p.m.). The special interest channel One broadcasts the spectacle. The motto of the world’s largest singing competition is “United By Music”.

This year the singer Isaak is competing for Germany with the song “Always On The Run”. Moderator Thorsten Schorn will also be there for the first time, taking over from ESC veteran Peter Urban as a commentator for German television. Around 100,000 visitors are expected at the event.

The ESC, to which Israel is also sending a singer, is overshadowed by the Gaza war. There have recently been demonstrations critical of Israel in Malmö, and more have been announced for the day of the ESC final next Saturday in the southern Swedish city. There have also been several public burnings of the Koran in Sweden recently – most recently last Friday in Malmö.

At the second semi-final on Thursday (May 9th), the last places for the grand final (May 11th) of the Eurovision Song Contest will be awarded. Initially 37 countries take part, eleven of which are eliminated in the semi-finals, leaving 26 remaining in the final on Saturday evening. The ESC’s biggest donors, Great Britain, Spain, France, Italy, Germany – as well as the host country Sweden – are guaranteed to make it to the final.