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ABU Song Festivals

ABU Song Festivals
ABU TV Song Festival generic logo.svg
ABU Radio Song Festival generic logo.png
Logos used for the ABU TV Song Festival (top) and ABU Radio Song Festival (bottom).
GenreSong Festivals
Created byMarcel Bezençon
Production company(s)Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
DistributorAsia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
Picture format576i (SDTV) (2012–present)
1080i (HDTV) (2012–present)
Original release14 October 2012; 6 years ago (2012-10-14) –
External links
Official website

ABU Song Festivals are annual song competitions based on the Eurovision Song Contest. The format consists of two shows, a Radio Song Festival and TV Song Festival, organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).[1][2]

Participating countries which have full or additional full ABU membership are invited to submit a song to be performed in front of a live audience. The radio festival is a competitive show with a panel of judges determining the top-5 prize winners, and is broadcast via live radio. The television festival which is a non-competitive, musical gala presentation, is live recorded so that each of the national broadcasters may add subtitles in their native languages.[1][2]


Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest

The logo of the previously named "Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest"

In 2008, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) proposed a partnership with ABU on the establishment of an Asiavision Song Contest,[3] however these talks didn't produce any result, and in September 2008 it was announced that the Eurovision Song Contest format for Asian production had been sold to a private company from Singapore, Asiavision Pte. Ltd.[4] The original name intended for that event was Asiavision Song Contest, but it was later changed to Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest following a request from the ABU, who uses the Asiavision name for their news exchange service.[3][5] Initially, the contest (which was supposed to be a two programme live broadcast TV show with public voting) was set to premiere in 2009, but it was later rescheduled for March 2010 in Macao and then for November 2010 in Mumbai, at the end being postponed indefinitely "due to the ongoing issues between the organizers and EBU". As of now, it is still uncertain if there will ever be such a contest.[6]


The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) had already run an international song contest for its members inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 – 1987, called the ABU Popular Song Contest, with 14 countries of the Asia-Pacific region competing.[3] The show had a similar concept to the current radio song festival with winners being chosen by a professional jury. South Korea, New Zealand and Australia celebrated victories in this competition. In 1989 – 1991 ABU co-produced the ABU Golden Kite World Song Festival in Malaysia with participation of Asia-Pacific countries, as well as Yugoslavia and Finland.[3]

Shortly before launching the ABU Song Festival, the ABU had been considering the possibility to organize the ABU ASEAN TV Song Festival in Thailand.[3] Historically, ASEAN song contests had been organized in periods between 1981 and 1997, however since 2011 the ASEAN Festival had been organized between local Radio stations as Bintang Radio ASEAN. The ABU outlined a plan about a "television song festival" based on the style of the Eurovision Song Contest following the cancellation of Our Sound. Kenny Kihyung Bae, chosen to the project manager, attended Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan to learn more about the contest before putting it to work.[7][8]

In November 2011, the ABU announced that they would organize its own TV and Radio Song Festivals to take place in Seoul, the South Korean capital, in time with 49th General Assembly in October 2012.[9] The name Asiavision Song Contest was initially mentioned as a possibility, but they were later officially titled ABU TV Song Festival and ABU Radio Song Festival. According to the ABU, the deadline for participation applications for ABU TV Song Festival 2012 was 18 May 2012.[10][11]


Andreas Gerlach, CEO of Asiavision Pte. Ltd, stated that "the format is highly suited to the Asia region and its people who love popular music and have a strong national pride. Asia today is all about competition, economically and politically. The Song Contest is a friendly competition between cultures. Like in Europe, the universal language of music will help to bring people closer together and nurture mutual understanding in the region."[12]

The contests are divided into two versions, ABU Radio Song Festival and ABU TV Song Festival. Twenty-six songs from sixteen nations competed at the Radio Song Festival, held in the South Korean capital, Seoul on 14 October 2012, while seven nations competed in the ABU TV Song Festival. Countries eligible to participate in both of the ABU Song Festivals must have full or additional full ABU or ASBU membership.[13]

ABU Radio Song Festival

The ABU Radio Song Festival is a competition for musicians, who are not under contract with any label. The ABU recommends its members to introduce participating musicians and their songs on radio.[14] Every participant is chosen by one national radio broadcaster. A jury represented by ABU members chooses 15 finalists from 26 submissions. The finalists perform during the general assembly of the ABU. Another jury awards the best artists.[14][15]

Year Date Host country Host city Venue Participants
2012 11 October 2012  South Korea[1] Seoul KBS Hall 13
2014 23 May 2014  Sri Lanka[16] Colombo Stein Studios 12
2015 29 May 2015  Myanmar[17] Yangon National Theatre of Yangon 10
2016 26 April 2016  China[18] Beijing China National Radio Auditorium 14
2017 Cancelled
2018 11 July 2018  Kazakhstan[19] Astana Kazmedia Centre 10
  • Note 1: Due to the demise of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 2017 ABU Radio Song Festival, initially scheduled to be held on 27 April 2017 as part of the 2017 RadioAsia Conference, will not be held in Thailand.The festival is cancelled [20]

ABU TV Song Festival

The ABU TV Song Festival is a concert performance for professional musicians, who according to the organiser are well known in their country of origin. The event is not meant to be competitive. The festival will be recorded and is meant to be broadcast by participating ABU members first. Non-participating ABU members and non-ABU member broadcasters will be allowed to broadcast the festival for a fee at a later stage.[21][22][23] Every musician will be selected by a national broadcaster being member of the ABU. The participants perform during the general assembly of the ABU.[15][21]

At a press conference held on 18 July 2013 it was announced that Indonesia were submitting a bid to host the ABU TV Song Festival 2015.[24] In recent editions, the TV Festival has been held in the host city of the ABU General Assembly, with Istanbul, Turkey being the host to such assembly in 2015. If the bid were to be successful it would be the first time that the TV Festival would have been taken place away from the host country of the General Assembly.[25]

However, it was announced in August 2014 that Indonesia were making plans to host the ABU TV Song Festival 2016 instead.[26] Turkey's début at the 2014 Festival had led to speculation that they were hosting the 2015 festival alongside the ABU General Assembly, which took place in Istanbul.[27] It was further confirmed in October 2014 that Turkey were indeed the hosts of the 2015 festival, which took place in Istanbul on 28 October 2015.[28] Indonesia's hosting of the festival will take place on 22 October 2016, in Bali.[29]

Year Date Host country Host city Venue Participants
2012 14 October 2012  South Korea[2] Seoul KBS Hall 11
2013 26 October 2013  Vietnam[30] Hanoi Hanoi Opera House 15
2014 25 October 2014  Macau[31] Macau Sands Theatre 12
2015 28 October 2015  Turkey[28] Istanbul Istanbul Congress Center 12
2016 22 October 2016  Indonesia[29] South Kuta, Bali Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre 12
2017 1 November 2017  China[32] Chengdu S1 SRT Studio 14
2018 2 October 2018  Turkmenistan Ashgabat Ashgabat Olympic Stadium 16
2019 19 November 2019  Japan[33] Tokyo

ABU International Dance Festival

The ABU International Dance Festival will be a new event organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, with the début festival scheduled to take place in Hyderabad, India. The date was originally scheduled to take place in November 2016,[34] But was later postponed and is now scheduled to take place on 12 to 15 January 2017.[35] The festival was proposed by Prasar Bharati to be a contest.[18]

Year Date Host country Host city Venue Participants
2017 15 January 2017[35]  India Hyderabad Shilpakala Vedika 17
2019 9 March 2019 New Delhi[36] Hotel Taj Palace[36] 16

ABU TV Song Contest

The ABU TV Song Contest is a competitive televised song contest that was first discussed in 2015 by the ABU, with the first contest having been planned to be held in 2017, which however did not take place that year.[37] In August 2018, it was announced that the ABU has been in discussion with the Chinese national broadcaster to host the first edition. The host city would be Qingdao.[38] The initial name for the contest was ABU TV Cup Song Contest.

Year Date Host country Host city Venue Participants
2019[39] 16–20 October 2019[39]  China Qingdao West Coast Star Island 8


  1. ^ a b c "ABU Radio Song Festival 2012". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "ABU Song Festival 2012". Korean Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Mikheev, Andy (16 August 2012). "Participants - ABU TV and Radio Song Festivals 2012". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest goes to Asia". European Broadcasting Union. 18 September 2008. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Our Sound – The Asia-Pacific Song Contest defies economic slump" (PDF). 4 March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  6. ^ Mikheev, Andy (16 August 2012). "Our Sound - The Asia-Pacific Song Contest". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  7. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'?". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Asiavision contest to begin next year". News.AZ. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  9. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  10. ^ Hamzah, Hanizah. "ABU TV Song Festival". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  11. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  12. ^ Bakker, Sietse (2008-09-18). "Asiavision Song Congtest announced for mid-2009". (EBU). Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  13. ^ Kenny, Luke (7 November 2011). "Korea to host ABU radio and TV song festivals". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b ABU Radio Song Festival Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b Program at a Glance Archived December 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "ABU gets leaders' backing for increased activities". ABU. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  17. ^ "ABU Radio Song Festival 2015". ABU. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  18. ^ a b "China National Radio will be hosting the 2016 RAC & RSF in Beijing". ABU News Q2. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Kazakhstan To Host ABU Radio Song Festival 2018". Eurovoix World. 31 October 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  20. ^ "2017 RadioAsia Conference". ABU News (Vol. 35 - Q4 2016). Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union. December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  21. ^ a b 1st ABU TV Song Festival - General Guidelines (PDF-Datei)
  22. ^ ABU TV Song Festival: About The Festival Archived 2013-01-07 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ ABU TV Song Festival available for broadcast, 14. September 2012
  24. ^ Granger, Anthony (19 July 2013). "Indonesia bid for the 2015 ATSF". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  25. ^ Mikheev, Andy (18 July 2013). "Indonesia bid for ABU TV Song Festival 2015". Retrieved 7 October 2013. At the conference it has been announced that Indonesia is bidding for organization of ABU TV Song Festival in 2015 with "low cost, high impact" motto, while 2014 event will take place in Macau, China. If successful, that will mean that in 2015 event will be separated from ABU General Assembly which will take place in Istanbul.
  26. ^ Granger, Anthony (31 August 2014). "Indonesia: Plans To Host ABU TV Song Festival 2016". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  27. ^ Granger, Anthony (1 September 2014). "ABU TV Song Festival 2014: 12 countries confirmed so far". Eurovoix. Retrieved 1 September 2014. Turkish participation in this years contest also could show that Turkey will be hosting the contest in 2015 alongside the ABU General Meeting.
  28. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (20 October 2014). "ABU TV Song Festival 2015: Turkey To Host". Eurovoix. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  29. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (24 March 2016). "Indonesia ABU TV Song Festival 2016 to be held October 22 in Bali". Eurovoix. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  30. ^ "ABU 50th General Assembly and Associated Meetings". ABU. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  31. ^ "3rd ABU TV Song Festival scheduled to take place in Macao 2014". Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  32. ^ []
  33. ^ []
  34. ^ Granger, Anthony (25 April 2015). "ATSF'15: India & Arab States To Debut". Eurovoix. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  35. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (8 June 2016). "India launches ABU International Dance Festival selection". Eurovoix. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  36. ^ a b "ABU International Dance Festival 2019 to be held in New Delhi". 16 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  37. ^ "ABU Asia-Pacific Song Contest Still Under Discussions". Eurovoix World. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  38. ^ "ABU TV Song Contest to Be Held in China". Eurovoix World. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  39. ^ a b "Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union confirms inaugural edition of ABU Song Contest". 16 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

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