Eurovision Alert: Here's When and Where 2024's Song Contest Is Unleashing Its Europop Marvels

Electric Fields are representing Australia with 'One Milkali (One Blood)', which features the language Yankunytjatjara from the Anangu peoples.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 03, 2024

Eurovision might be known for synth, synth and more synth, but Australia isn't one to bust out the usual Europop tunes. When you're a country outside of Europe that competes in the huge song contest, you want to make a splash for something other than geography. 2023 saw Perth synth-metal band Voyager bust out a pop-metal tune, for instance. In 2024, Electric Fields are representing the nation with 'One Milkali (One Blood)', which features the language Yankunytjatjara from the Anangu peoples.

Yes, May is here, which means that Eurovision is here. And, so are the latest batch of earworms that'll get a spin on the Eurovision Song Contest stage in Malmö, Sweden — the host for this year after Loreen's 2023 win for 'Tattoo'.

This is Christmas for pop songs belted out competitively in a glitzy ceremony filled with eye-catching outfits. The 68th Eurovision Song Contest will kick off at 5am AEST on Wednesday, May 8, which is when Electric Fields will take to the stage in the hope of making it through to the grand final on Sunday, May 12 (which is again at 5am AEST).

For newcomers, Eurovision started back in 1956 as a competition between a mere seven nations. Now, almos seven decades later, it's a glitter-strewn and spandex-fuelled global musical phenomenon. Thirty-seven countries not only in Europe but from elsewhere will compete in 2024 — hello Australia — and viewers tune in en masse to watch, sing along and add new pop tunes to their queues.

Australians keen to tune in will be directing their eyeballs to SBS, with the broadcaster's usual annual celebration of all things Europop returning for another round. 2024 marks 41 years of the network showing Eurovision, in fact. When Electric Fields play their track, they'll be up against performers from 14 other countries — including Silia Kapsis, who was born and raised in Sydney, has Greek and Cypriot heritage, and is representing Cyprus with the song 'Liar'.

Other competitors across both the contest actor and singer Olly Alexander (It's a Sin) for the UK; Austria's Kaleen, who has been Eurovision's stage director before and now gets her shot behind the microphone; Aiko, the first Czech artist to feature on Times Square's screens; and 5MIINUST x Puuluup, teaming up pop and zombie-folk for Estonia. There's also the 90s-style Finnish sounds of Windows95man; Germany's ISAAK, who started as a street musician; Hera Björk, who represented Iceland in 2010; and Belgian singer and actor Mustii — and the list goes on.

If Electric Fields makes their way through to the grand final — with only 21 acts making the cut, and France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Sweden automatically guaranteed spots — you'll also want to get up early on Sunday, May 12. Or, even if they don't, that's when this year's winner will be anointed. Of course, for those who can't tear themselves out of bed before it's light and can somehow manage to avoid the internet and social media, both semis and the grand final will also screen in primetime on the same dates.

Electric Fields, aka vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding and keyboardist Michael Ross, are making history in their use of Yankunytjatjara, which will be heard at Eurovision for the first time. The pair are performing with guest vocalists Brendan Maclean, Alyson Joyce and Simi Vuata, and are accompanied by Fred Leone on the yidaki.

When you're watching their performance, as well as the rest of the event, SBS' usual local hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey will once again be leading the Australian coverage. This year, Courtney Act joins in from behind the scenes at Eurovision.

If you can't decide whether to beat the sun or wait and host a party at sensible hour, it's worth remembering that Australians can indeed vote for Eurovision, but only until around 15 minutes after the last song is performed in each live semi-final broadcast and about 25 minutes after the last track ends in the grand final. Voting is open to everyone in all finals — whether you're from a country participating in that final or not — and the artists who get through from the two semi finals to the grand final will be solely chosen by the audience at home.

Still remaining the same: the rule that says Australians can't actually vote for Electric Fields, because no one can vote for the country they represent.

Eurovision 2024 Broadcasts:

Semi final one: 5am AEST on Wednesday, May 8 on SBS and SBS on Demand — featuring Electric Fields
Semi final two: 5am AEST on Friday, May 10 on SBS and SBS on Demand
Grand final: 5am AEST on Sunday, May 12 on SBS and SBS on Demand

Semi final one: from 8.30am AEST on Wednesday, May 8 on SBS on Demand — featuring Electric Fields
Semi final two: from 8.30am AEST on Friday, May 10 on SBS on Demand
Grand final: from 10.30am AEST on Sunday, May 12 on SBS on Demand

Semi final one: 7.30pm AEST on Friday, May 10 on SBS — featuring Electric Fields
Semi final two: 7.30pm AEST on Saturday, May 11 on SBS
Grand final: 7.30pm AEST on Sunday, May 12 on SBS

SBS' Eurovision 2024 coverage runs from Wednesday, May 8–Sunday, May 12. For more information, head to the broadcaster's website — and for more information about Eurovision, head to the event's website.

Images: Alma Bengtsson / Sara Louise Bennett.

Published on May 03, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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