Australia enters Eurovision

Australia will take part in this year's Eurovision Song Contest to celebrate its 60th anniversary

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Conchita Wurst

Last year's Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst

Australia will take part in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The annual musical competition is normally only open to European countries and members of the European Broadcasting Union, but to celebrate its 60th anniversary, organisers are allowing an entry from Down Under - where it is hugely popular - to "join the party".

Contest supervisor Jon Ola Sand said: "It's a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying let's celebrate this party together!"

Australia will be fast-tracked to the final, which takes place on May 23 in Vienna, Austria, and will be allowed to vote in both semi-finals, as well as the grand final.

The European Broadcasting Union said Australia had been given a wildcard for the final "to not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants and because of the "one-off nature" of its participation.

Though Australia's entry is a one-off, should they win, they will be allowed to return to defend their crown in 2016.

However, the show will still be held in a European city.

While Australia has never been a part of the competition, past UK entrants including Olivia Newton John, Gina G and the New Seekers all hail from Down Under.

Austrian drag artist Conchita Wurst won last year's contest.

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