A total of 216 songs have been submitted for the 2019 edition of Eesti Laul, the Estonian song contest whose winning song becomes the Estonian entry for that year's Eurovision Song Contest. Exactly half of all songs received were Estonian-language songs; the rest were in various foreign languages.
"I wanted as many fully complete songs as possible to be sent in, which is why I couldn't possibly expect so many participants," said Eesti Laul executive producer Tomi Rahula.
108 of the 216 submitted songs are in Estonian, while the remaining 108 are in English, Spanish, Russian and German.
For the first time, a total of 24 songs will qualify for the semifinals, up from the original 20. The names of the songs, writers and performers will be revealed on the 15 November broadcast of ETV's "Ringvaade," while the songs themselves will be aired for the first time on a 1 December special episode of Eesti Laul.
This year, entrants were charged an entry fee for participating in Eesti Laul. Depending on what language the song was in, the entry fee was either €25 or €50. A total of €8,100 was raised in entry fees, which will be directed to the Eurovision stage show fund for the winning Estonian entry.
The semifinals of Eesti Laul 2019 will take place on 31 January and 2 February at the University of Tartu Sports Hall in Tartu. The Eesti Laul finals will take place at Saku Suurhall in Tallinn on 16 February.
"I am positive that the semifinals in Tartu will provide the artists, public and TV audience alike a great experience," Rahula said. "The events at Saku Suurhall have proven themselves repeatedly, and the bar is set nice and high for organisers."
Tickets to the Eesti Laul semifinal and final concerts are on sale now.
Editor: Aili Vahtla