This was the third time the contest had taken place in Stockholm, after 19.The contest was held at the Ericsson Globe and consisted of two semi-finals on 10 and 12 May and the final on , with all three live shows hosted by Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede.Friends Arena is the biggest football stadium and indoor venue in Sweden and the Nordic countries.
Portugal withdrew, largely due to their national broadcaster's insufficient promotion of their music-based media, while Romania had originally planned to participate, but was forced to withdraw due to repeated non-payment of debts by their national broadcaster to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The contest was also the first to implement a voting system change since 1975: each country's professional jury points were announced largely as before, while the results of each national televote were combined and announced in reverse order.
The results of countries finishing between 11th and 26th in the public vote are automatically added to the scoreboard, with only the results of the top ten countries being announced by the hosts.
The new voting system is also used to determine the qualifiers from each semi-final, but as before the qualifiers are announced in a random order.
The three live shows were directed by Sven Stojanović and the contest was produced by Christer Björkman.
The EBU announced on 18 February 2016 that a new voting system would be implemented at the contest for the first time since 1975.
Discussions were held in 2014 between the EBU and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) regarding the inclusion of a guest performance from the ABU TV Song Festival at the contest.