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Skandal in Sweden as Melodifestivalen songs are released early

Melodifestivalen organisers are in turmoil this afternoon after all of this year’s entries were accidentally released early on a major download retailer.
SVT have always had very strict rules on Melodifestivalen entries whereby songs competing in the contest must not be made publicly available until after the fourth semi final. This is to ensure there is an equal playing field for all of the artists taking part and to make sure no entry in particular is being favoured.
Earlier this afternoon however, a major download retailer accidentally made all of the singles available early for a brief period, meaning those with access were able to download the songs in full. The retailer, based in Australia had been given a publish date of 27 February – but unknowing of the Melodifestivalen rules, published as planned at midnight in Australia and therefore mid-afternoon in Europe. The website in question has since rectified the mistake and taken all of the songs down, until their official release time of 21:30 CET. Unfortunately, fans were quick to spot the error and have since begun sharing the files online.
In an attempt to keep transparency amongst the entries, SVT have now made the full performances of all finalists available early via their website and official YouTube channel. They have also uploaded full 3:00 audio versions of all 28 competing entries.
Christer Bjorkman issued a statement on the situation.

“We have received information that all of Warner Music’s songs which went on to the final, as well as those who have not yet competed, were published during the day, therefore, too early.
The explanation for the mistake lies in the difference in time between different continents. The scheduled release date is 26 February, so when Australia passed midnight, the songs were available.
Since neither the artists or their record labels are at fault in this situation, it has not broken our rules and therefore SVT does not take any action.
In view of the situation, SVT has taken the decision to publish full versions of tonight’s contestants and the video clips of those who have reached the final. “

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