In a Welsh Parliament debate about the Eurovision Song Contest, Plaid Cymru has called upon the Welsh Government to support a bid for Wales to take part in the contest in its own right, separate from the UK entry. The party claims that an entry representing Wales at the contest would further the nation’s “presence on the international stage”.
The party, which is committed to securing Welsh independence, has previously launched a bid for an entry to represent Wales in its own right in their election manifesto for the 2021 Senedd elections. Many Welsh artists have previously represented the United Kingdom at the contest including Mary Hopkin in 1970, Jessica Garlick in 2002 and, most recently, Lucie Jones in 2018.
Wales has “huge talent” that could compete
Following the Welsh Conservatives’ motion to call upon the Welsh Government to consider hosting Eurovision 2023, Plaid Cymru tabled an amendment to support a bid for Wales to compete. The amendment says that:
[Plaid Cymru] further calls on the Welsh Government to also prepare a bid for Wales to take part as a nation in its own right in the Eurovision Song Contest, furthering Wales’s presence on the international stage.Amendment tabled by Plaid Cymru
Introducing the amendment into the Senedd, Plaid Cymru’s Spokesperson for Culture, Heledd Fychan, noted that Wales has “huge talent” that could be showcased by a Welsh entry in the contest. She also added that the Welsh language has never been used in a Eurovision entry. This suggests that a Plaid Cymru-backed Welsh entry would feature the Welsh language.
Given that we have such huge talent, […], why shouldn’t we compete too? Why haven’t we heard the Welsh language ever in Eurovision? That’s one of the things that I enjoy most about Eurovision, hearing all the different languages, seeing all of the different cultures reflected, and I think it’s about time Wales had that opportunity too.– Heledd Fychan MS, Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for Culture
Could Wales take part in the contest?
According to the Eurovision rules, each country can be represented by a participating broadcaster who is a member of the EBU. The BBC currently represents the United Kingdom as the participating broadcaster. Therefore, without a change in the rules, the BBC would have to withdraw before Welsh broadcaster S4C could join.
This isn’t the first time that there has been calls for Wales to take part as an independent nation. In the 1960s, it was proposed for the first time that Wales should enter the Eurovision Song Contest. As a result of this, the music festival Cân i Gymru was launched – which is still held annually in March. The festival would have acted as a national selection for Wales.
Wales has taken part in other events in the Eurovision family, including Junior Eurovision, with a best result of 18th place in 2019. They have also taken part in Eurovision Choir and the EBU event Jeux Sans Frontières.
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