Austria – After taking a break for 3 years, Austria seems to be taking its participation in the Eurovision Song Contest seriously this time. National broadcaster ORF will organize the national selection in cooperation with the biggest pop music radio “Ö3”. From now on Ö3 will ask its listeners to determine “Who will represent Austria in Germany and rock the biggest music stage in Europe?” The project will culminate in a voting show to be broadcast by the ORF in February. Ö3 plans a “longterm initiative for “indigenous” pop music” The entire country is supposed to discuss and talk about music from Austria. To reach the biggest amount of the Austrian population all channels of the ORF and Ö3 will include the topic frequently in their programming. “The trimedial approach concerning the Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest basis ever!. We are convinced that this very democratic model offers the biggest international chances to Austrian talents” , said the programming director of the ORF Wolfgang Lorenz. ” We have taken the decision to use a completely new form to find the Austrian candidate. With Ö3 we have found a competent and experience partner in the matter of pop music. Thanks to this mutual organization we can guarantee an exciting Austrian preselection” added Edger Böhm, director of programming. “From now on, we invite everyone to the biggest Eurovision-Party ever and we hope that as many people as possible will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest adventure” excults Georg Spatt, director of Ö3.
From the end of october on, institutions, fan clubs, communities or just simply circles of friends, will be able to nominate their favourites on 023.orf.at. All propositions with more than 33 supporters will then go to the second round, where all Austrians will be able to vote for the 5 best songs. These 5 will then perform in the national final, to be broadcast on ORF.
It seems like Germany’s victory made Austria rethink their stance on the Eurovision Song Contest. I can just say ‘kudos’ to the officials and hope that more countries will follow the Austrian example.