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The ABU Radio Song Festival is a biennial song competition, organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), and is based on the Eurovision Song Contest.[1] The format consists of a non-televised semi-final and grand final which is broadcast.[2]

ABU Radio Song Festival
ABU Radio Song Festival generic logo.png
Generic logo used for the ABU Radio Song Festivals.
GenreSong festival
Created byMarcel Bezençon
No. of episodes2 festivals
Production company(s)Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
DistributorAsia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
Picture format576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release11 October 2012; 6 years ago (2012-10-11) –
External links
Official website

Participating countries which have full or additional full ABU membership are invited to submit a song from an act that is unsigned to any record label. These entries are listened to by a panel of jury members, who select fifteen to proceed towards the radio festival final, were another panel of judges determining the top-5 prize winners.[2] The grand final may be broadcast live via radio and television, or as a delayed live recorded broadcast for national broadcasters who may wish to add subtitles in their native languages.[1]


Participation since 2012:
  Entered at least once
  Never entered, although eligible to do so
  Entry intended, but later withdrew

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.[4][5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8]


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.[9] 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.[9][10]


Table key
  Withdrawn – Countries who have participated in the past but have withdrawn.
Country[11] Débutante year Withdrawing year Returning year Number of entries Wins Broadcaster(s)
  Australia 2012 2015 2019 2 Commercial Radio Australia
  Bhutan 2012 2014 1 Bhutan Broadcasting Service
Centennial Radio
  Brunei 2012 3 Radio Televisyen Brunei
  China 2016 0 China National Radio
  India 2012 3 All India Radio
  Indonesia 2012 2014 2015 2 Radio Republik Indonesia
  Iran 2012 2015 2 Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Soroush Multimedia Corp.
  Kyrgyzstan 2012 2014 1 Kyrgyz Public Broadcasting
  Macau 2016 0
  Malaysia 2012 2015 2 Radio Televisyen Malaysia
Astro All Asian Network
  Maldives 2015 2 Public Service Media
  Myanmar 2015 1 Myanmar Radio and Television
    Nepal 2016 0
  Pakistan 2012 2015 2 Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
  Singapore 2012 3 Media Corporation of Singapore
  South Korea 2012 3 1 KBS 2FM
KBS Radio 2
  Sri Lanka 2014 2015 2 MBC Networks
  Sudan 2012 2014 1 Sudanese Radio and Television Corporation
  Thailand 2014 2 National Broadcasting Services of Thailand
  Vanuatu 2012 2014 1 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation
  Vietnam 2012 2014 2015 2 Voice of Vietnam

Other ABU membersEdit

The following list of ABU members are eligible to participate in the ABU Radio Song Festival, but have yet to make their début appearance.


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[12] Colombo Stein Studios 12
2015 29 May 2015   Myanmar[13] Yangon National Theatre of Yangon 10
2016 26 April 2016   China[14] Beijing China National Radio Auditorium 14
2017   Cancelled[Note 1]
2018 11 July 2018   Kazakhstan[15] Astana Kazmedia Centre 10
2019 31 October 2019   Bangladesh[16] Dhaka
  • 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, was not held in Thailand. The festival is cancelled.[17]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ Fiji had initially selected Sevanaia Yacalevu to represent the Pacific nation with the song "Time For A Change", but later withdrew from competition.


  1. ^ a b c "ABU Radio Song Festival 2012". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b Granger, Anthony. "ABU Radio Song Festival: All you need to know". Eurovoix. Archived from the original on 2014-09-09. Retrieved 22 October 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Mikheev, Andy (16 August 2012). "Participants - ABU TV and Radio Song Festivals 2012". Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  4. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'?". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "Asiavision contest to begin next year". News.AZ. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  6. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  7. ^ Hamzah, Hanizah. "ABU TV Song Festival". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "ABU to launch 'Asiavision Song Contest'". EBU. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b ABU Radio Song Festival Archived September 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Program at a Glance Archived December 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Granger, Anthony (27 October 2014). "All you need to know about the ABU Radio Song Festival". Eurovoix. Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 27 October 2014. Who could debut at this years contest? Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ "ABU gets leaders' backing for increased activities". ABU Radio Song Festival 2015. ABU. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  13. ^ "ABU Radio Song Festival 2015". ABU. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "China National Radio will be hosting the 2016 RAC & RSF in Beijing". ABU News Q2. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. p. 29. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Kazakhstan To Host ABU Radio Song Festival 2018". Eurovoix World. 31 October 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ Granger, Anthony (28 June 2019). "Bangladesh to Host the ABU Radio Song Festival 2019". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  17. ^ "2017 RadioAsia Conference". ABU News (Vol. 35 - Q4 2016). Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union. December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.

External linksEdit