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The Eurovision Song Contest is the most modern live TV entertainment spectacle in the world, having been running for 62 years!

The first Eurovision contest was held on the 24 May 1956, when only seven nations took part. The Swiss singer Lys Assia, was the first ever winner of Eurovision.

When the contest started, it was expected for participants to sing in their country’s national language. However, as the Swedish entry in 1965, Absent Friend, was sung in English, the EBU set very strict rules on the language in which the songs could be performed. National languages had to be used in all lyrics. Song writers across Europe soon tagged onto the notion that success would only come if the judges could understand the content, resulting in such entries as Boom- Bang-A-Bang and La La La. In 1973, the rules on language use were relaxed, and in the following year ABBA would win with Waterloo. Those freedom of language rules would be soon reversed in 1977, to return with apparent permanent status in the 1999 contest.

At the start, only seven countries participated but by the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, this led to an increase in numbers. This included many former Eastern Bloc countries interested in signing up. To this day, the process has continued with more and more countries signing up. Due to this, in 2004 the Semi-Final format was introduced by the EBU which turned into two Semi-Finals for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. Now all countries, except the ‘Big Five’ – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – together with the host country, must be in a Semi-Final top-10 to qualify for the Final.

This year, will see SuRie representing the United Kingdom with her song ‘Storm’.

The most notable winning Eurovision artists were ABBA, who represented Sweden with their song ‘Waterloo’ in 1974. They went on to win the competition and their career was directly launched into the spotlight, going on to be one of the most successful bands of its time.

In celebration of Eurovision, Blackpool Grand Theatre will host a summer season of Handshakes Touring Production of ABBA Mania.

Featuring a special concert presentation, which celebrates the music in a respectful and enjoyable way, reviving special memories of when the band ruled the airwaves. The show brings fans old and new a night not to be missed. If you’re looking for an excuse to party, reminisce or simply be entertained by the best music ever, then this is for you!

Join in and enjoy all your favourites including: Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper and many more.

ABBA Mania has toured globally in regions as far afield as Hollywood, San Diego, Las Vegas, Venezuela, North America, Tahiti, Mexico, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Australia, New Zealand and many more, making this the world’s most successful touring ABBA show.


ABBA Mania

Tuesday 17 July to Wednesday 8 September

Evenings: £19 to £26

Matinees: £21

Friends of The Grand: £5 off (first week, top price tickets)

Concessions: £3 off (top price tickets)

Under 18s: £12.50

Groups 20+ Evenings: £5 off (top price tickets)

Groups 20+ Matinees: £3 off (top price tickets)

Book your tickets on our website by clicking here, or call our Box Office on 01253 290190.

So, dig out those platforms, dust down those flares, join in and enjoy all of your favourites!

ABBA Mania is part of #ThisIsMusic, bringing to your doorstep, some of the best music shows on offer this year! From Rock to Pop and Motown to Country, there is something for everyone! View more of our Music shows by clicking here.