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Created on: 27 March 2012
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The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be the 57th annual Eurovision Song Contest. It will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, following Azerbaijan's win in the 2011 Contest with Eldar & Nigar's song "Running Scared". The two semi-finals will be held on 22 May and 24 May 2012, and the final on 26 May 2012.Ten countries from each semi-final will qualify for the final and will be joined by Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Forty-two countries have announced their participation in the contest, with Montenegro returning, having last taken part in 2009, with Poland and Armenia withdrawing
On 16 May 2011, it was announced that a special concert complex with 23,000 seats for the 2012 Contest was to be built near National Flag Square in Baku.Three days later, organisers announced that they may use the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium which contains 37,000 seats, or the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex. On 4 August 2011, it was confirmed that the laying of foundations for the Baku Crystal Hall had started near the National Flag Square,but did not confirm that this was the location. The foundations were completed on 14 October 2011,but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest, did still not confirm the location.
On 8 September 2011, Azad Azerbaijan TV (ATV) reported that Baku Crystal Hall will be the venue of Eurovision 2012, despite not being the host broadcaster of the contest. No formal confirmation was made at the time by the EBU.On 31 Oct. 2011, Mr. Ismayil Omarov, the director general of Azerbaijani national broadcaster İctimai Television announced that a decision on the venue choice would be taken by the steering committee in January 2012. On 25 January 2011, it was confirmed that the Baku Crystal Hall will be the venue of the Eurovision 2012. Even though the venue has an extended capacity of 23,000, only 16,000 people will be able to attend each show.
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