Melodifestivalen 2022 is only a little over a month away but new Covid-19 restrictions in Sweden has some wondering how this could affect the arena shows.
In response to rising Covid-19 cases, the Swedish Health Agency introduced new restrictions that came into force on 23 December. For events with more than 500 people, vaccination certificates would be required, with social distancing between groups of a maximum of 8.
Sweden’s Aftonbladet reports that several industry sources are claiming the Melodifestivalen tour would not be economically viable with the new restrictions. In an example, Linköping’s Saab Arena would normally accept an audience of 5900 for Melodifestivalen. However, under the new restrictions that would be reduced to around 1400 people.
Whilst Swedish broadcaster SVT are responsible for the TV production of the contest, concert organisers Live Nation and Blixten & Co handle the arena events and ticket sales. Tickets for the six arena shows have already been on sale since early November. Industry experts estimate a Melodifestivalen tour could sell approximately 130,000 tickets. Of course without arenas at full capacity, a lot of money would be lost in ticket sales – vital income for the organisation of the arena shows.
Organisers deny cancellation
However, there is no sign of cancellation from the organisers. On potential cancellation Melodifestivalen project manager Anette Brattström told Aftonbladet:
“That’s not true. As long as the restrictions do not prevent us from going out into the country, the tour will be on.”
Live Nation project manager Emilie Olsson Lignelllso also commented:
We are reviewing different scenarios for the implementation of the Melodifestivalen tour, but we are working towards it happening as planned. In addition, it is still too early to know what will happen with restrictions after January.
For Melodifestivalen 2021, all six shows were produced without an audience at Annex in Stockholm. Though not officially presented as a backup option, this is again the possible scenario if the tour were to be cancelled.
The Melodifestivalen 2022 broadcast schedule
Earlier this year it was announced that the Melodifestivalen tour is back to normal for 2022. Together with six shows spread across five Swedish cities. As well as this, SVT also revealed that former participant, Oscar Zia, who competed in both 2014 and 2016, will take on hosting duties this year. More details about further hosts and guest acts will be revealed in due course. Meanwhile, eager fans can still purchase tickets to the shows here. Below are the dates and venues for each show:
- 05 February: Malmö – Malmö Arena (Semi-Final 1)
- 12 February: Göteborg – Scandinavium (Semi-Final 2)
- 19 February: Linköping – Saab Arena (Semi-Final 3)
- 26 February: Lidköping – Sparbanken Arena (Semi- Final 4)
- 05 March: Örnsköldsvik – Hägglunds Arena (Andra Chansen)
- 12 March: Stockholm – Friends Arena (Grand Final)
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
Beginning their Eurovision history in 1958, Sweden have always maintained an excellent record of results. Yet it was not until 1966 that Sweden reached the top three for the first time. The Swedish entry, ‘Nygammal vals‘ finished in second place at the contest in Luxembourg City, still the only time Sweden have finished second. Later it was 1974 when Sweden truly began their legacy in the contest. After earning their first win with, ‘Waterloo‘. Of course, launching ABBA into global success.
Consequently Sweden have won a further five times – Herreys (1984), Carola (1991), Charlotte Nilsson (1999), Loreen (2012) and Måns Zelmerlöw (2015). As well as finishing in third place six times second place finish in 1966, they have never finished as runner-up again. Therefore Sweden are the second most successful Eurovision nation behind leaders, Ireland seven wins.
Back in March, Tusse was selected to represent Sweden in Rotterdam with his song ‘Voices’. Not to mention that he prevailed against strong competition from 2011 podium finisher, Eric Saade and 2020 entrants, The Mamas. During the contest in Rotterdam, Tusse qualified from the first Semi-Final, in 7th place and in the Grand Final, Sweden finished in 14th place with 109 points.
What do you think will happen with Melodifestivalen 2022? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 contest in Turin!