[This post is renewed with new entries of Eurovision on stamps – last update 2020]
There have been 64 contests to date under the name of Eurovision Song Contest since its innaugural year 1956. While Eurovision changed format, distribution, aim, number of countries, voting system – Europe did not stand passive either: it grew, it united, new countries declared their independence and subsequently entered the contest, and last but not least, since 2000 it moved from being a mere TV event to being a multimedia and online event. This year in 2020 it was for the first time the event did not take place as it was planned to go live while Europe was almost entirely in lockdown during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eurovision did not go unnoticed in the realm of philately. Although only a small number of countries ever issued Eurovision-related stamps, here is the story of the Eurovision on stamps. Most of the countries – as it will become obvious later, issued the stamps following a win.
Wins: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1969, 1977
Is the stamp related to a win? No.
The first Eurovision-themed stamp can be attributed to France, in 1980. It features the back-then Eurovision logo and the satellite transmission of the event. Given the technical power of the day, it was all that could be done on a stamp.
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes, it was issued in 1990, when Yugoslavia, the winner of the 1989 contest, hosted the event in Zagreb.
Wins: 2004, 2016
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes – the Ukraine issued Eurovision-related stamps each time it hosted the event, after the wins of 2004 and 2015.
Pictured above: the winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, Ruslana (Ukrainian: Руслана Степанівна Лижичко).
Pictured above: the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Jamala (Ukrainian: Суса́на Алі́мівна Джамаладі́нова).
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes, it was issued in 2007, the year Finland got to host the Eurovision contest.
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes, it was issued in 2008, when the event was held in Zagreb.
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes, it was issued in 2012, when the event was held in Baku.
Wins: 1966, 2014
Is the stamp related to a win? Yes, the stamp issued in 2015 refers to Austria’s win in 2014 and includes in addition of the revamped Eurovision logo the event’s slogan “Building Bridges”. It’s one of the rare stamps of Austria not mentioning the country’s name – however the location (Vienna) is mentioned, and the heart-shaped V from Eurovision includes the Austrian flag.
Is this stamp related to a win? No. The sheetlet was issued by Macedonian Post to celebrate the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Vienna, Austria.
Is this stamp related to a win? No, it was issued to celebrate the Junior Eurovision Song Contest held in Yerevan, Armenia in 2011.
Is this stamp related to a win? No, but just like the previous issue of Armenia, it was issued to honor the organization of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk, Belarus in 2010.
Wins: 1978, 1979, 1998, 2018
Is this stamp related to a win? Yes, Israeli Post issued both meter stamps and a personalized stamp sheet following the win in 2018 and the hosting of the event in 2019.
Pictured above, the 2019 meter stamps issued by Israeli Post.
Pictured above the personalized stamp sheet issued by Israeli Post in 2019 under the title ישראל חוגגת אירוויזיון (English: Israel Celebrates Eurovision Song Contest).
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Stamps featured in post: 24; Period: contemporary (1980-2015); Michel Catalog numbers and prices: Armenia: Mi761 – 2.5EUR; Austria: Mi3208 – 1.8EUR; Azerbaijan – Mi938-939 – 4EUR; Belarus: Mi842 – 1EUR; Finland: Mi1843-1846 – 5.6EUR; France: Mi2191 – 1EUR; Israel: no numbers or prices available at the time of publishing the article; Macedonia: Mi732 – 3.7EUR; Serbia: Mi250- 6EUR; Ukraine: Mi717-718 – 2.5EUR; Mi1603 – 2EUR; Yugoslavia: Mi2417-2418 – 3EUR Pricing: low; Availability: scarce – none of the stamps were issued in large printruns.