- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - The organizers of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest say performers from 42 countries will take part, including Russia which missed this year’s event amid a diplomatic spat with host Ukraine.

The contest is being held in the Portuguese capital Lisbon for the first time, after Salvador Sobral’s gentle ballad gave Portugal its first win in 53 years of competing.

Organizers said Tuesday the final will be held on May 12, with the semifinals taking place on the previous Tuesday and Thursday. The venue will be an entertainment complex alongside the River Tagus.

Sweden, which won with ABBA’s “Waterloo” in 1974, will be providing an entry for the 60th time.

The 63rd Eurovision Song Contest is being organized by the European Broadcasting Union and Portuguese public broadcaster Radiotelevisao Portuguesa.

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