Budapest, Hungary – Hungary won’t take part in next year’s Eurovision song contest, Budapest-based Le Courrier d’Europe Centrale reported on Tuesday, citing local sources.
Rumours had started circulating about Hungary’s possible withdrawal from the 2020 Eurovision after the Hungarian national broadcaster (MTVA) published the rules and regulations for next year’s edition of “A Dal”, the traditional domestic selection contest, which made no mention of the Eurovision contest.
The Hungarian national broadcaster eventually issued the following statement: “Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly”.
This support, according to MTVA, includes “numerous promotional opportunities”, “a chance to perform on the stages of the most prestigious Hungarian festivals”, “a special promotion on Petofi Radio” and “support for the development of their musical career”.
The winner of the A Dal 2020 contest will therefore not be able to compete on the European stage next year, in Rotterdam. A number of other countries, including neighbouring Slovakia, Monaco, Luxembourg and Bosnia & Herzegovina have also announced they won’t take part in next year’s competition.
But this isn’t the first time Hungary withdraws from Europe’s most-beloved pop song televised contest. The country failed to qualify to the grand finale in 2008, 2009 and 2019, and withdrew from the competition between 1999 and 2006.
Hungary has to date never won the Eurovision contest after participating a total of 17 times. It achieved its best result the first year of its participation, in 1994, when Friderika Bayer came fourth in Dublin with Kinek mondjam el vetkeimet (see video below).
It placed among the top 10 in four other editions: in 2007 (9th), 2013 (10th), 2014 (5th) and 2017 (8th).