If you’re a fan of weird and wonderful music festivals and contests, then there’s one that you may not have heard of - Melodifestivalen. It’s a big deal in Sweden and if you aren’t native to the country then you’ve probably never even heard of it. 


We’re going to take a look at this interesting Swedish song contest and everything about it. From how it works and each of the rounds to what it means to the lovely people of Sweden.

What Is The Melodifestivalen?

The Meldoifestivalen is a national contest in Sweden that chooses the representative of the nation in the annual Eurovision song contest. As you may know, the Eurovision Song Contest is a huge deal in Sweden and is held in as high regard as the national sport, football.


The competition dates back to 1959 and ever since then, the country comes together to find some hidden talent for the competition. Many people see it as one of the big reasons why Sweden is so good at picking Eurovision winners - they’ve had 6 winners over the year, with Ireland being the only country to beat this so far!


Why is it so good?


With Sweden holding the Eurovision Song Contest close to their hearts, they like to take their entries seriously. The Melodifestivalen gets some of the biggest musical stars of Sweden entering the competition - many of them come back year after year to take their shot at becoming the nation's next hero.


The competition also hosts various singers from other countries, with former Eurovision winners often making an appearance and singing.


The competition is a massive deal in Sweden and is usually the most-watched TV show of the year. To give you some perspective, in the 2019 contest there were over 19 million votes for the contestants - That’s more than the actual population of Sweden itself.


Thanks to the amazing show that is put on, the festival come contest has started to attract international attention and people can now watch the contest from almost anywhere in the world.


Where and when is the contest?


The contest itself is broadcast over 6 weeks - there are 4 semi-finals, a second chance round and the big grand final.


Each broadcast is filmed in a different city in Sweden, so hosting varies. There’s usually a show in the bigger cities each year though, with places such as Malmo and Gothenburg appearing frequently and the final usually taking place in the capital, Stockholm.


The competition itself takes place between January and March, setting the winner up for their appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.


Visiting Sweden for the Meldofestivalen


Thanks to the scale of the event and the fact it’s the biggest event of the year, many people schedule trips to Sweden to visit one of the live shows. This is almost a must if you’re a big Eurovision fan - the shows themselves really mimic the atmosphere and style of the Eurovision itself.


There will also be a tonne on in each city if you visit, making it a really good time to get a quick holiday in when you visit. If you have the money and time, you could even do a tour of Sweden for the whole of the Melodifestivalen, going to each show and taking a trip around each city as you do.


Many of the runners-up become huge musical stars in their own right, so just going to one of the semifinals will enable you to listen to some great musical entertainment and enjoy the culture of Sweden when you aren’t.


The main event of course is the final in Stockholm. It’s a huge show and tickets often sell out fast. Only the best acts will have gotten through to this stage, so you're going to be hearing some of the best music in Sweden at that point. Emotions are high and the arena will be bouncing.


The final is usually on a Saturday, so you can get away for a little weekend break whilst getting to enjoy some of the best music Sweden has to offer.