Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, seen during the 2022 edition. Photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming

Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, seen during the 2022 edition. Photo: EBU/Corinne Cumming

It has been a long time coming, but 30 years after leaving the Eurovision Song Contest, it was announced Friday that Luxembourg will return next year. The news was welcomed enthusiastically at this year’s contest in Liverpool and is sure to cause a stir within the fan community.

“The fans will be delighted about Luxembourg coming back. It is like the best Christmas present ever!” Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, is aware that Friday’s announcement about Luxembourg’s comeback is major news. It has taken some time to get there, but there were clear signs that 2024 could be ‘the’ year. A team had been assigned to the Eurovision project in Luxembourg, video meetings had taken place between them and the EBU. And, as corroborated Friday, the Luxembourg government had approved the financial support necessary for the participation of a Luxembourg delegation.

Earlier this week in Liverpool, Österdahl confirmed that everything had been “worked through and discussed, and all the necessary requirements were in place for Luxembourg to come back”. He said: “There have been a lot of advocates over the years from within Luxembourg for the return.... Luxembourg is one of the originals, one of the founding members and has one of the most successful records in the contest. We are thrilled about this comeback.”

Luxembourg notoriously won the Eurovision Song Contest five times (1961, 1965, 1972, 1973 and 1983), which still puts the grand duchy at an envious shared third position for the number of wins a country has achieved--despite not having participated for three decades. “Luxembourg has always remained a member of the Eurovision family,” said Jean-Philip De Tender, deputy director-general of the European Broadcasting Union, the organisation behind Eurovision. “It is a country that has had such a huge impact on the contest and brought big artists to it. We can’t wait to have Luxembourg back!”

In Luxembourg’s official it was noted that the government “believes a comeback to the most important song contest ever taken place presents an excellent opportunity to reaffirm the grand duchy’s European and international spirit in the media and musical field. In addition to the positive impact expected both at the cultural level and in the context of the development of the creative industry and the economic benefits, a Luxembourgish participation at the Eurovision will also contribute to the promotion of Luxembourg as a destination, its values, and its brand image.”

“Luxembourg rejoining one of the most thrilling music events in the world is fantastic,” exclaimed the legendary German Eurovision commentator, Peter Urban. “The country has such a superb history in the contest and has always come up with brilliant artists, among them one of my all-time favourites France Gall, winning for Luxembourg in 1965. The contest will benefit from this comeback, and I am sure, there is a lot of creativity and potential to become very successful again.”

‘Different Eurovision’

As Paul Jordan, aka Dr Eurovision, pointed out: “The contest Luxembourg is returning to will be very different from the one they left, so they will have to base their strategy on that. It doesn’t matter if they decide to use Luxembourgish artists and to launch their careers instead of choosing artists from other countries as was often the case in the past. It’s more about the song.”

“I think everyone has always felt it was a shame that Luxembourg withdrew from Eurovision and fans have been waiting for a comeback for such a long time,” Jordan commented. “They will be overjoyed by the news! It’s going to add new excitement to the contest, and it will be a reminder of the past too. Even though many current fans have never seen Luxembourg in Eurovision, they know the songs and the artists, the history, and the wins.”

Read also

“For Luxembourg, coming back after being gone for so long is publicity in itself!” reacted Claudette Buttigieg (Pace), a Maltese member of parliament, who also represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. “Luxembourg could not afford to stay away any longer from Eurovision. If you stay away from one of the biggest global events you are left behind. And they shouldn’t be worried about not doing well straight away. Even when Malta is eliminated, like was the case in this year’s semi-finals, the artists have still had an incredible experience, they have been put forward and supported. We don’t have a large music industry in Malta, so we look to the Eurovision Song Contest as a platform.”

“Luxembourg isn’t controversial,” added Dean Vuletic, academic historian specialised in the Eurovision Song Contest. “Anyone you ask will tell you they would be happy if Luxembourg came back. The challenge today will be for Luxembourg to make their entry ‘Luxembourgish’, but if other small nations like Malta and Iceland can do it, then so can Luxembourg!”

RTL Luxembourg will be the official broadcaster of the live shows in 2024. Further information on the Luxembourg candidate selection process and application procedure will be announced in July 2023.