And we have the sports to thank for!
Yes, you heard that right. Croatia is dusting off the cobwebs from Dora, its long-running televised pop festival which used to select the artist and song for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The pop festival has been Croatia‘s go to mechanism in selecting their Eurovision entrant from 1993 until 2011. In the mid-nineties, the format gave the country six top ten finishes, though proving to be less successful in the noughties and introduction of the Eurovision semi-finals.
A declining interest, poor results, and internal spending cuts meant HRT shelved its national round in 2012, opting to select an artist internally from 2012 to 2018, again with mixed results. In 2014 and 2015, the country withdrew, to rethink its tactics with success. In 2016 and 2017, both Croatian artists, internally selected, made the final.
And while this year’s entrant Franka, didn’t advance to the final, why change the format?
Director General of HRT, Kazimir Bačić explained in Croatian newspaper Jutarnji today, the board’s decision to go back to the selection format; And it’s sports we have to thank for.
After a year of programming cuts, due to large sporting events, HRT are now able to invest heavily in new entertainment shows for the upcoming year. Ready to mark their return are two talent shows who proved to be popular within the country; The Voice and Dora.
Further details on Dora are yet to be unveiled, but looking at the format in the past, prospects of the festival featuring a semi-final and final are pretty high. At this stage, HRT hasn’t confirmed whether they’ll invite singers and songwriters or whether a submission period will be announced.
The return of the festival will be fantastic news to Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS) and its Office for the Protection of Music Copyright (ZAMP). The organization and its body openly called HRT to revive the festival last year, as it deemed the festival to be the perfect platform to showcase new talent.