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Intervision Song Contest

Intervision Song Contest
One of several on-screen logos used by the Intervision Network between 1977–1980.
Genre Song contest
No. of episodes 5 contests
Production company(s) Intervision
Distributor Intervision
Original release 24 August 1977 (1977-08-24) – 23 August 1980 (1980-08-23)
28 August 2008 (2008-08-28) – 31 August 2008 (2008-08-31)
2015 (2015)
Preceded by Sopot International Song Festival
Related shows Eurovision Song Contest (1956–)

The Intervision Song Contest (ISC) is an international song contest consisting of both Intervision, the network of Eastern Europe television stations. It took place mostly in the Forest Opera in Sopot, Poland.

The ISC was organised between 1977 and 1980. It replaced the Sopot International Song Festival (Sopot ISF) that had been held in Sopot since 1961. In 1981 the ISC/Sopot ISF was cancelled because of the rise of the independent trade union movement, Solidarity, which was judged by other Eastern-bloc countries to be counter-revolutionary. Because many citizens did not own private telephones, instead of a phone vote viewers would turn on lights if they liked the song and turned them off if they did not. According to load experienced on the electrical network, points were granted accordingly to each contestant.[1]

In May 2014, it was announced that the contest will return in October featuring both ex-Soviet states and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.[2]


  • History 1
    • Revival 1.1
  • Participation 2
  • Winners 3
  • Winners by country 4
  • Winners by language 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The first Władysław Szpilman, assisted by Szymon Zakrzewski from Polish Artists Management (PAGART).[3] The first three editions were held in the Gdańsk Shipyard hall (1961–1963), after which the festival moved to the Forest Opera (Opera Lesna). The main prize has been Amber Nightingale through most of its history.

Between 1977 and 1980 it was replaced by the Intervision Song Contest, which was still held in Sopot. Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, the Sopot International Music Festival often changed its formulas to pick a winner and offered many different contests for its participants. For example, at the 4th Intervision Song Festival (held in Sopot 20–23 August 1980) two competitions were effective: one for artists representing television companies, the other for those representing record companies. In the first the jury considered the artistic merits of the songs entered; while in the second, it judged the performers' interpretation."[4] The festival has always been open to non-European acts, and countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa and many others have been represented in this event.

The contest lost popularity in Poland and abroad in the 1980s, declining further during the 1990s, and the rather unconvincing organisations by TVP made the authorities of Sopot give the organization of the 2005 Sopot International Song Festival to a private TV channel, TVN. Since 1999, there was no contest. TVP chose to invite well-known artists instead, featuring the likes of Whitney Houston or The Corrs. In 2005, TVN was expected to bring the competition back. In 2006 TVN invited Elton John. The Sopot International Song Festival is usually considered bigger than the Benidorm International Song Festival because of its ability to attract star performers. In 2010 and 2011, the festival did not take place due to renovation of the Forest Opera. Since 2012, it is called Sopot Top Of The Top Festival and is broadcast annually by Polsat. The festival also provided opportunity to listen to international stars. In the past, it featured Charles Aznavour, Boney M, Johnny Cash, and more recently: Chuck Berry, Vanessa Mae, Annie Lennox, Vaya Con Dios, Chris Rea, Tanita Tikaram, La Toya Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kajagoogoo, and Goran Bregovic.


In 2009, Russian prime minister

  • BBC Magazine: The Cold War rival to Eurovision, Steve Rosenberg, 13 May 2012

External links

  1. ^ The Secret History of the Eurovision Song ContestClip from the movie
  2. ^ a b c Granger, Anthony (23 May 2014). "Russia: Intervision To Return This October". Eurovoix. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Szpilman, Wladyslaw (1 December 2005). "Songs composed by Wladyslaw Szpilman". Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Waschko, Roman (1980-09-06). "Finn Singer Triumphant At Sopot Contest".  
  5. ^ Intervision: The Russian proposed song contest with China, Central Asia (Shanghaiist: Shanghai News, Food, Arts & Events)
  6. ^ Putin mulls Intervision Song Contest (BBC World Service)
  7. ^ Vladimir Putin proposes rival to Eurovision Song Contest between Russia and central Asian countries (Daily Mail)
  8. ^ Adams, William Lee (29 July 2014). "Post-Soviet Nostalia: Why Putin is Reviving Intervision". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Granger, Anthony (1 September 2014). "Intervision: 2014 Contest Is Cancelled". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Bartlett, Paul (23 May 2014). "Bearded Lady Spurs Russia to Revive Soviet-Era Song Contest". Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Olga, Elenskiy. Россия нашла замену "Евровидению" (in Russian). Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d Rosenberg, Steve (14 May 2012). "The Cold War rival to Eurovision". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2014. Intervision winners 
  1. ^ VRT and RTBF alternate responsibilities for the contest.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Five Stars Intervision to open in Sochi". UzReport. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 


See also

Wins Language Years
1 English 2008
Finnish 1980
Polish 1979
Russian 1978
Czech 1977

Winners by language

Wins Country Years
1  Tajikistan 2008
 Finland 1980
 Poland 1979
 Soviet Union 1978
 Czechoslovakia 1977

Winners by country

Year Date Host City Winner[12] Performer[12] Song[12] Language English translation[12]
1977 24–27 August Sopot Czechoslovakia Helena Vondráčková "Malovaný džbánku" Czechoslovak Little painted jug
1978 23–26 August Sopot Soviet Union Alla Pugacheva "Vsyo mogut koroli" (Всё могут короли) Russian Kings can do everything
1979 22–25 August Sopot Poland Czesław Niemen "Nim przyjdzie wiosna" Polish Spring will come
1980 20–23 August Sopot Finland Marion Rung "Hyvästi yö" ("Where Is the Night") Finnish Where is the love
No contests held from 1981 to 2007
2008 28–31 August Sochi Tajikistan Tahmina Niyazova "Hero" English
No contests held from 2009 to 2014
2015 Sochi


Participation since 1977:
  Entered at least once
  Never entered, although eligible to do so
Table key
     Withdrawn – Countries who have participated in the past but have withdrawn.
Country Debuting year Withdrawing year Returning year Number of entries Wins Broadcaster(s)
 Armenia 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 AMPTV
 Azerbaijan 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 İTV
 Belarus 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 BTRC
 Belgium 1979 1980 1 0 VRT (Dutch)
RTBF (French)[a]
 Bulgaria 1977 2008 4 0 BNT
 Canada 1978 1979 1 0 CBC
 China 2015 1 CCTV
 Cuba 1977 1978, 2008 1979 3 0 ICRT
 Czechoslovakia 1977 2008 4 1 CST
 German Democratic Republic 1977 2008 4 0 DFF
 Finland 1977 2008 4 1 YLE (Finnish)
 Hungary 1977 2008 4 0 MTV
 Kazakhstan 2008[note 1] 2 ATV
 Kyrgyzstan 2008[note 1] 2 KTR
 Latvia 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 LTV
 Moldova 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 TRM
 Morocco 1979 1980 1 0 SNRT
 Netherlands 1980 2008 1 0 NOS (1956–2009)
 Poland 1977 2008 4 1 TVP
 Portugal 1979 1980 1 0 RTP
 Romania 1977 2008 4 0 TVR
 Russia 2008[note 1] 2 C1R
 Soviet Union 1977 2008 4 1 CT USSR
 Spain 1977 2008 4 0 TVE
  Switzerland 1980 2008 1 0 SRG SSR
 Tajikistan 2008[note 1] 2 1
 Turkmenistan 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 TTV
 Ukraine 2008 Inactive[note 1] 1 0 NTU
 Uzbekistan 2008[note 1] 2 NTRC
 Yugoslavia 1977 1978, 2008 1979 3 0 JRT

The contest is open to members of the former Soviet Republics (including the Baltic states).[2][10][11]


Pundits have interpreted Putin's push to revive the contest as part of his geopolitical posturing. It's thought he wants to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a cultural counterweight to NATO and the European Union.[8] The contest was postponed to 2015 due to political reasons.[9]


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