The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea of Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television RAI, and then approved by Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union. The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of television broadcast technology. The first contest took place on 24 May 1956, where seven nations participated, as the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s led to a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete for the first time. This process continued into the 2005 contest, in which both Bulgaria and Moldova made their debut, san Marino took part in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, Serbia, together with Azerbaijan. Australia made their debut in the 2015 contest and became the first country from the Oceania region to participate in the contest, although their participation was originally announced as a one-off event, the country was subsequently invited to participate in the 2016 contest. The earliest period in the Eurovision history is marked by the style of songs which participated, famous musical and film stars would participate without prejudice, with Italian winners of the Sanremo Festival and such British names as Patricia Bredin and Bryan Johnson. With a live orchestra the norm in the years, and simple sing-a-long songs on every radio station. Iconic songs such as Volare and Serge Gainsbourgs Poupée de cire, in the beginning, it was obvious for the participants that they should sing in their countrys national language. However, as the Swedish entry in 1965, Absent Friend was sung in English, national languages had to be used in all lyrics, including Maltese when the island nation made its debut. Songwriters across Europe soon tagged onto the notion that success would come if the judges could understand the content, resulting in such entries as Boom-Bang-A-Bang. The lyrics were allowed to contain phrases in other languages. In 1973, the rules on language use was relaxed, and those freedom of language rules would be soon reversed in 1977, to return with apparent permanent status in the 1999 contest, with the intervening years waning from highlights to dead-weight years. Other than heavily infused pop versions, rap has been next to completely ignored, one result of the attempt to modernise the songs in the Contest was the abolition of the obligatory use of the live orchestra, to which all songs had to perform. This decision was made in 1997 and removed the requirement for songs to be re-composed for playback with a live orchestra. As of 1999, the host country hasnt been obliged to provide a live orchestra, no attempt has been made to return the Contest to the days of live bands and violins. This rule most likely exists because there isnt enough time to wire the instruments during the break between the songs. On the other hand, a tape may have no voices on it
London. Royal Albert Hall, venue of 1968 contest.
Jerusalem. International Convention Centre, venue of 1979 and 1999 contests.
Oslo. Oslo Spektrum, venue of 1996 contest.
Stockholm. Globen Arena, venue of 2000 and 2016 contest.