Sweden’s Melfest: Why a national Eurovision show won global fans

To represent Sweden at the song contest he first had to win Melodifestivalen – a six-week long competition.

Celebrating its 60th year, Melodifestivalen – or Melfest to fans – has been Sweden’s most-watched TV show since 2000.

It’s developed a global interest, with fans flying to Stockholm from across Europe for Saturday’s final.

“This is my second time going to Melfest,” explains 20-year-old Luke Hardwick.

“I love all the tension, it’s like a mini-Eurovision before the main event and it’s great to meet other fans from around the world counting down to May.”

It took time to convince his friends to try Melfest, but now they’re avid fans too and he’s travelled to the Swedish capital this year with four others.

Luke watches other national selection shows but says “nothing beats” the Swedish version.

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