The first Eurovision Song contest took place on 24 May 1956, where seven nations participated. As the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends.
The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s led to a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete for the first time. This process continued into the 2005 contest, in which both Bulgaria and Moldova made their debut.
Australia made their debut in the 2015 contest and became the first country from the Oceania region (and the second country outside of Eurasia overall after Morocco in 1980) to participate in the contest. Although their participation was originally announced as a one-off event, the country was subsequently invited to participate in the 2016 contest.
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