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Junior Eurovision 2022: 16 countries will take part in the contest in Yerevan!

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) alongside the Armenian public broadcaster (AMPTV), announced that 16 countries are going to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022, which is scheduled to take place in Yerevan, on Sunday, December 11.

https://youtu.be/NvgeXx_BUV4

The 16 countries that will travel to Yerevan in December are:

  • 🇦🇱 Albania (RTSH)
  • 🇦🇲 Armenia (AMPTV)
  • 🇫🇷 France (France TV)
  • 🇬🇪 Georgia (GPB)
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland (TG4)
  • 🇮🇹 Italy (Rai)
  • 🇰🇿 Kazakhstan (Khabar Agency)
  • 🇲🇹 Malta (PBS)
  • 🇳🇱 Netherlands (AVROTROS)
  • 🇲🇰 North Macedonia (MKRTV)
  • 🇵🇱 Poland (TVP)
  • 🇵🇹 Portugal (RTP)
  • 🇷🇸 Serbia (RTS)
  • 🇪🇸 Spain (TVE)
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine (UA:PBC)
  • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom (BBC)

The number of countries that will take part in this year’s contest is reduced, compared to last year, since Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany and Russia will not return to the contest, while the United Kingdom returns after a 16 years of absence.

What is more, alongside the final list of competitions, the Armenian public broadcaster announced the slogan of this year’s contest which is: “Spin the Magic”.

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, is excited about the show’s return:

“We’re delighted to be welcoming talented young artists from 16 countries this year to Yerevan for the 20th Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It’s exciting to be returning to the Armenian capital for the first time in over a decade to “Spin The Magic” on this special anniversary – and welcoming back the United Kingdom to the competition, our host country for Eurovision 2023. There’s so much energy, passion and creativity from our colleagues at AMPTV and we can’t wait to see a spectacular show in December.”

Armenia will host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 after Maléna’s win with the song “Qami Qami”:

Stay tuned in Eurovisionfun for everything new regarding the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022!

Source:

Eurovision 2023: New Information revealed about the Host City bid race!

We have already reported that the decision about the Host City Eurovision 2023 will be announced in the Fall. What we didn’t know is how lengthy and elaborative BBC’s process really is. A recent discussion, however, between Liverpool Echo and Cllr Harry Doyle (a Liverpool city official) has shed some light into the procedure and give us a full picture of the BBC’s roadmap.

According to Liverpool Echo, the seven shortlisted cities must now provide BBC with their complete bids until September the 8th.

After an initial examination of the submitted bids, BBC will pay a visit to all the aspirant host cities (during September), in order to inspect the arenas and cities’ infrastructure.

Following the local inspection, BBC will once again deliberate, together with EBU, having this time all the necessary information to make the best choice. As a Liverpool city official maintains the final decision concerning the Eurovision 2023 Host City will be made public in late September or early October.

Stay tuned for all the updates regarding Eurovision 2023 and the Host City bid race!

Eurovision 2023: Glasgow is bookies’ heavy favourite to host the Contest!

Following the BBC’s announcement of the shortlist of cities on 12th August, one aspirant organising city has become bookies’ absolute favourite to host ESC. Glasgow, albeit being ahead of competition from the very beginning, has now managed to crystallise its position, according to the betting odds, securing an overwhelming 52% chance of holding the event!

Interestingly, Glasgow has more than doubled its chances to host ESC since August the 11th, a day before the official announcement of the shortlisted cities. Birmingham and Manchester are the bookies’ second and third favourite, with 17% and 11% chance of hosting ESC respectively, having no considerable fluctuations in the betting odds over the last three weeks.

However, the Host City bid race is far from over. The seven shortlisted cities have now entered the first stage of the two stage bidding process. In the second stage, the cities will be narrowed down to two, and one will prevail and take over hosting duties from Turin, ESC 2022 Host City.

Have the bookies correctly predicted the Eurovision 2023 Host City? Which other city could possibly intercept Glasgow’s victorious course? 

Eurovision 2023: Liverpool and Belfast enter the Host City bid race!

We have previously highlighted the great interest shown by cities across UK to host the ESC. And while we await BBC’s announcement of the shortlist, on August 12, we still have two cities that enter the Host City bid race, Liverpool and Belfast. Liverpool  submitted an official bid to host ESC, and the city of Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, seems to be planning to submit an official bid soon. 

Liverpool

Liverpool City Council announced today that it has submitted its bid to host the ESC 2023, ahead of the BBC’s share of the shortlist this Friday. Liverpool was among the first cities to express interest in hosting the event, when it was first announced that the EBU and the BBC were discussing the scenario of hosting Eurovision in the UK.

The city is world famous as the birthplace of the Beatles, as well as for its international music events such as “Africa Oyé”, “Liverpool International Music Festival” and “Sound City”. The city has a population of around half a million, and it is known for its iconic music venues and cultural events. It is also well connected to the world with its international airport (Liverpool John Lennon Airport).

Assistant Mayor and Councilor for Culture and Economy, Harry Doyle, said (translated):

We are excited to have submitted a bid for Liverpool to host Eurovision 2023.

Making a major event like this possible in such a short timeframe is complicated and is going to need some careful and creative planning, but we think Liverpool would be the perfect stage to celebrate this unique Eurovision.

We look forward to finding out if we have been successful in getting through to the next stage of the process.

Belfast

We have already reported the interest in organizing the Competition in the capital of N. Ireland, and the support of this initiative by previous Eurovision winners. Belfast City Council has confirmed that the city is indeed interested in hosting the event, with the final decision expected to be made tomorrow, August 10.

The announcement of the Municipal Council is as follows:

An initial expression of interest for Belfast to host the Eurovision event has been submitted and is now being considered by event organisers.

If shortlisted, the next step would be to submit a full event proposal, outlining how Belfast would meet the detailed requirements to become a host city.

This will be a decision for elected members and will be considered by the council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee at its next meeting on Wednesday 10 August.

What’s your take on the Host City bid race? Could Liverpool or Belfast host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest? 

Eurovision 2023: Newcastle is “in” and Derry is “out” of Host City bid race!

We have already reported the flurry of excitement across UK, and among cities willing to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest. And while we await the announcement of the shortlist on August 12, the developments on this front are still coming through, with Newcastle confirming the submission of an official bid, and Derry clarifying that it is no longer interested in hosting the event.

Withdrawal of interest by Derry (N. Ireland)

According to a recent article, Derry, the second most populous city in N. Ireland, appears to have changed its mind and will not proceed with an official bid to host the Competition in the city, despite its initial interest. A spokesperson for Derry City Council said:

Following the resolution at June’s Council meeting “that Council Officers investigate the feasibility of submitting a bid to host the 2023 Eurovision Final”, Council has advised its elected members that the hosting criteria has been reviewed.

The Council area is unable to fulfill a number of the essential minimum criteria in relation to the provision of a suitable venue and supporting accommodation infrastructure. On that basis, it was recommended that a Stage 1 bid is not submitted.

Official bid by Newcastle (NE England)

The formal bid was submitted by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Confirming the Council’s plans, NGI Director, Ian Thomas, said:

This is a once in a generation opportunity to welcome a huge number of international visitors, performers and media to the North East of England and to showcase our world- class culture, rich heritage and vibrant region to the world.

Our bid is a region-wide effort with support from our local authorities, and public and private sector partners from across the North East as we recognise the enormity of this opportunity.

The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.

Addressing the city’s success at hosting other large scale events, he added:

We’ve seen other large events such as the European Professional Rugby Club finals attract 95,000 fans to the region which contributed £24m to our visitor economy in 2019, and World Transplant Games also in 2019 brought in attendees from over 50 countries which pushed hotel occupancy rates up by 13%, supporting the hospitality supply chain and helping to sustain jobs within the industry.

Eurovision will be on an even bigger scale, and we welcome this fantastic opportunity to bring this to the region.

Councillor Alex Hay of the Newcastle City Council, said:

“We are delighted to be bidding to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with its people. We are collaborating with partners across the region to help make this a reality for Newcastle, to do Ukraine proud and to embody everything that Eurovision stands for.

We’re committed to making Newcastle a better place for our residents and visitors, and hosting Eurovision will be a crucial tool in achieving that.

It will not only showcase the city and its incredible people on a global stage, but it will have a tangible social and economic impact in bringing financial investment into the city, helping change perceptions of the North East, and build a lasting legacy for our city.

We are a certified City of Sanctuary, which strengthens our message that everyone is welcome here. Music is a big part of our heritage and it’s time for us to write a new verse in that history.

We are Newcastle, we are a safe city, famous for our Geordie welcome, we stand united with Ukraine – and we are the perfect host for Eurovision 2023.

Would Newcastle be a good host for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest? Stay tuned for any updates!

Eurovision 2023: Irish Eurovision winners support Belfast as Host City

Amidst the increasing interest by cities within UK to host the ESC, Northern Ireland’s local press reports that seven past winners from across the island of Ireland, together with three Belfast City Councillors, are putting forward a strong case for Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast.

As we have previously reported, the Eurovision 2023 host city will be decided upon by the BBC and the EBU, with the final decision expected in early Fall ahead of the May 2023 contest.

A number of UK cities have already submitted bids, but to date Belfast City Council has not yet had a formal meeting about a potential proposal.

The aspirant bid

Belfast City Council’s idleness regarding a possible proposal propelled past Eurovision winners to join forces in order to trigger interest about the event’s multiple benefits for the local economy.

In the same context, three Belfast City Councillors are exerting their efforts in preparing for a bid as a matter of urgency.

One of the Councillors, Mr. Seamas de Faoite, commented that Belfast “is the best city to host the Ukrainian victors”, because people in Belfast “understand the promise and importance of peace more than any other host”.

According to the local press, Belfast ticks all of the EBU’s boxes and more:

  • The SSE Arena can seat 11,000 with the iconic Titanic Exhibition Centre next door
  • Belfast has a minimum of 9,600 hotel rooms, twice the number the EBU believes would be needed
  • Belfast International Airport, Belfast City Airport, along with the proximity of Dublin Airport and even City of Derry Airport

The winners

Dana Brown 

Rosemary Dana Brown won Eurovision back in 1970 when she was only 18 years old. She said about the prospect of Belfast hosting the Contest:

People in Northern Ireland have experienced the devastation of years of unrest and have successfully come through it. We understand and empathise with so much of the pain suffered by Ukraine’s people.

And like them, the people of Northern Ireland are steeped in music, culture, the arts, creativity and in particular, Eurovision success. An all-inclusive Northern Ireland bid for Eurovision 2023 should be held in the capital city Belfast, I believe it’s the very best place to represent the people of Ukraine.

Linda Martin is from Belfast, Niamh Cavanagh is now living near Belfast, myself and Johnny Logan’s father are from Derry Londonderry so that adds up to five Eurovision wins. Add Phil Coulter, the composer of UK’s first ever Eurovision win, Puppet on a String.

Belfast also has the full support of Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan who won Eurovision with “Rock and Roll Kids” so that takes us to seven winners.

Is it not fitting that Belfast could be the Eurovision host for Ukraine? We have the huge capacity SSE venue right next door to the globally recognised Titanic centre. We have very talented people at BBC NI and TV production companies as well as excellent logistics to facilitate.

Northern Ireland and Belfast can do justice to the people of Ukraine in hosting Eurovision 2023, not only because of our logistical abilities but because of our big-hearted and community-driven people.

Johnny Logan

Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the Eurovision Song Contest twice, first in 1980 with ‘What’s Another Year’, written by Shay Healy and then in 1987 with ‘Hold Me Now’ which he composed and performed himself. Johnny said:

Belfast should host Ukraine for Eurovision 2023 – and why not Belfast? Northern Ireland has produced so many great musicians and singers, my father Patrick O’Hagan among them, and hosting Eurovision 2023 would be a wonderful opportunity to highlight the positive side of the north of Ireland and its people.

So yes, I fully support the Belfast bid, it’s a great musical city with great people and I believe it can deliver.

Linda Martin 

Linda performed at the Eurovision Song Contest contest twice and won in 1992 with “Why Me?”. She said:

Belfast is perfect for Eurovision 2023. It’s a beautiful city with an 11,000 seater arena, thousands of hotel rooms and two airports, one of them right beside the world renowned Titanic experience.

Niamh Kavanagh 

Niamh won the competition in 1993 with the song “In your Eyes”. Niamh said:

Belfast would be an amazing choice to host the Eurovision on behalf of the Ukraine, it’s a thriving city with a great heart that understands surviving conflict.

Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan

They won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”. Paul said:

I think it’s a brilliant idea. I lived and worked in Belfast for some years and it’s a sparkling place and the people are creative and talented. Music can unite and triumph. So yes, I fully support Belfast for Eurovision 2023.

Brendan Graham

Brendan is the writer of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids” in 1994, and Eimear Quinn’s winning song, “The Voice”, in 1996. Brendan said:

Belfast would be a super city to host Eurovision 2023, in partnership with Ukraine. The amenities are all there, not to mention the history and the surrounding beauty of Northern Ireland.

In some elemental and visceral way Belfast and its people might have a more natural empatico with the cities and people of Ukraine than perhaps other cities might have. Belfast is a city of hope and belief in the future…and would be a city of huge welcome and embrace for Ukraine.

What do you think? Is Belfast a suitable host city for Eurovision 2023? 

Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra’s first reaction to the United Kingdom hosting Eurovision 2023!

They offered us one of the most anticipated  TV moments of the year, winning Eurovision Song Contest 2022 and giving their fellow Ukrainians a moment of joy and hope in the middle of a war. And while Kalush Orchestra would have loved for Eurovision 2023 to be held in Ukraine, after EBU’s latest decision, they say they are “grateful” the United Kingdom will host on their behalf.

Speaking to the Press Association, lead singer of Kalush, Oleh Psiuk said:

“Of course, we are very sad that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine next year. But we are grateful to the UK for their solidarity and for agreeing to hold the event in support of our country. We hope Eurovision 2023 will have a Ukrainian flavour and celebrate our beautiful, unique culture.

The singer of Kalush then went on to say that they will try to win once again!

“We, in turn, will make all efforts to help Ukraine win next year as well, so that Eurovision 2024 can take place in a peaceful country. We will work closely with our colleagues at the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA:PBC and will showcase Ukrainian culture and music as a key part of the event.”

The BBC’s chief content officer has already made it clear that the show will honour Ukraine’s win and contain many Ukrainian elements. In an e-mail sent to BBC staff members, Charlotte Moore said:

“We will work closely with our colleagues at the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA:PBC and will showcase Ukrainian culture and music as a key part of the event.”

Kalush Orchestra represented Ukraine in Eurovision 2022 with the song “Stefania”  and won with 631 points and a record breaking 439 televote points.

https://youtu.be/F1fl60ypdLs

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the  Eurovision Song Contest 2023!

Source: wiwiblogs

“BoJo Goodbye” and Eurovision: The new scenarios for the Host City Bid Race

Political upheaval emerges in the United Kingdom after the resignation of the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, from the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party. The latter, succumbing to the pressures caused by the resignations of leading government officials in the previous days, declared that despite his resignation from the leadership of the party, he will remain in the prime minister’s position, until the upcoming elections within the Conservative Party.

Could this new development affect the host city bid race for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest? Could it also possibly affect the UK and Ukraine cooperation in co-hosting the Competition?

The history of a predetermined course

As it was previously reported, according to an announcement issued by the EBU, the latter is in negotiations with the BBC, so that the Competition can be (co)organised (jointly with Ukraine) within the UK. Despite the disapproval that have been officially expressed by the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, the decision appears to be final, with the debate now turning to the choice of the city, within the UK, which will host the event.

As we noted in our previous article, so far at least 15 cities have expressed their interest in hosting the Competition (in alphabetical order):

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Prudhoe
  • Sheffield
  • Sunderland
  • Wolverhampton

A lot of digital ink has been spilled in relation to which of them is the most suitable to undertake this great challenge, always in view of the requirements established (!) by the EBU, which include inter alia:

  • a suitable (closed) space that can accommodate at least 10,000 spectators,
  • a suitable space for over 1,500 journalists and delegates,
  • suitable accommodation located in close proximity to the venue where the Competition is to be hosted,
  • international airport nearby or within the city.

The video below, in which Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of ESC until 2020, breaks down the process and the factors that are considered in the host city bid.

Glasgow as the preferred choice

Out of the cities that have expressed interest, several of them meet the aforementioned criteria, with the participation of Glasgow, however, being rumoured, as the prevalent choice. Glasgow, the most populous city in Scotland and the third most populous in the entire United Kingdom, seems like an ideal choice. The 14,300-capacity OVO Hydro Arena (which the Scottish First Minister seems to suggest as the best choice in her tweet) is in a great location, being just an eight-minute walk from BBC Scotland (the BBC’s Scottish branch). In addition, a conference center is located just near the OVO Hydro Arena, which could be utilised as a press center. More information on the scenario of Glasgow’s selection as a host city can be found here.

Right to Left: the OVO Hydro Arena, and the SEC Armadillo (auditorium). A third venue known as SEC Centre (not shown on the picture), together with OVO Hydro Arena and SEC Armadillo make up the Scottish Event Campus.

The resounding message of the Welsh Parliament

In a recent development, beyond Scotland, Wales (with Cardiff being the leading candidate host city), appears to also be a strong competitor. Specifically, on July 29, the Plenary Session of the Welsh Assembly (Senedd), after expressing its regret for Ukraine’s inability to organise the Competition, officially called on the Welsh Government to take the matter of the organisation of ESC on Welsh soil more seriously, and to engage EBU and BBC in discussions towards this direction.

During the session, the minutes of which can be found here, it was pointed out that Wales has never hosted the Contest, and the possibility of Eurovision being held in Wales would bring a large amount of tourism to boost the country’s economy. Surprisingly, another matter that was raised during the session, is the Conservative party’s 2021 call for Wales to participate in the contest separate from the UK, which cannot happen as long as the BBC holds broadcasting rights or Wales remains as part of the UK.

Although the prospect of hosting the ESC at the 74,500-seat Cardiff Principality Venue sounds extremely interesting, as this would result in the largest on-site audience to date, significant concerns have also been expressed as to whether Cardiff (or any other city in the Wales) could meet the conditions set by the EBU, and more specifically whether it could accommodate such a number of visitors, given the insufficient availability of accommodation within the city.

Political factors that will potentially influence the choice

It can be assumed that the 67th ESC will not be hosted on English soil, and the political instability that has emerged in the country, in light of the resignation of Boris Johnson, plays a certain role in this outcome (although impossible to assess the exact degree). Despite the fact that the resignation of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom inevitably affects all the constituent countries of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), the local governments in the latter three tend de facto to significantly facilitate the absorption of any political shocks caused therein.

Furthermore, with Northern Ireland currently being a hot potato for United Kingdom, the Scottish and Welsh bids seem to be the most likely host cities. Of course, one should not fail to take into account another factor, which rather tilts the tide towards Glasgow’s bid, namely the pro-European approach adopted by the Scottish Government in recent years. The latter’s outlook, coupled with its repeated attempts to differentiate itself from the government of Boris Johnson, especially in everything that has to do with Brexit and the relevant agreement signed between the European Union and the United Kingdom, has led Scotland to be portrayed in very good light within Europe.

UK-Ukraine relationship with a view to a joint event

A final parameter worth talking about is the close relationship between the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Admittedly, UK is one of the most important allies of Ukraine today, with Boris Johnson having, in fact, expressed a few weeks ago his opinion that EBU should reconsider organising the Competition in Ukraine, despite EBU’s relevant decision. Obviously, such a thing is not possible given the current circumstances.

What seems to be the most plausible scenario, according to a Downing Street representative, is for the ESC to be held in UK, in an event which will highlight the rich culture, tradition and creativity of Ukraine and in which, at the same time, emphasis will be given to the strong ties between the two countries.

It therefore follows that some degree of co-operation between Ukrainian and UK broadcasters will be required. In this context, Boris Johnson’s approach would certainly have ensured the two broadcasters’ harmonious cooperation (in the run-up to the event). Besides, in a poll conducted in Ukraine, Boris Johnson was found to be by far the most popular among foreign leaders, being only three percentage points below the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Nevertheless, and despite the removal of the Ukrainians’ second favourite out of the picture, it doesn’t look like the parties will have to go back to the drawing board.

And this is because the change in the leadership of the Conservatives, with the consequent change in prime ministership, does not seem to affect the relations between the United Kingdom and Ukraine, nor the support of the former for the latter. As a recent poll has shown, the pro-Ukraine mandate is not a peculiar characteristic of Boris Johnson, but a commonplace in UK politics, spanning throughout the full spectrum of the British politics.

United Kingdom: The first Delegation meeting for Eurovision 2023 took place today!

The delegation of the United Kingdom for Eurovision surprised their fans today, announcing that the first meeting for 2023 took place, prompting speculation about what the meeting entailed.

Instead of the meeting being a 2022 report, Lee Smithurst, a producer of BBC and a member of the UK delegation, posted on his personal Instagram account that it was also the first meeting for Eurovision 2023.

These news has created a lot of speculation among the British fans of Eurovision, regarding the content of the meeting, including the next artist, but also the submission of the interest of hosting for 2023. Although the preparations in Ukraine started a while ago, there is a feeling that the competition will end up being organized in cooperation with another European country, due to the ongoing invasion of Russia in Ukraine.

In any case, it is unusually early for the United Kingdom to host a meeting, so it seems the BBC is not resting after the second place in Turin last month!

The United Kingdom earned their best result since 1998 with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man”, finishing second behind Ukraine and earning 466 points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ0hqX_92zI&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJVTOMa-ZEmF0y7Iwkg11e2&index=4

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the participation of the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023!

Source: escunited.com

United Kingdom: Aj Odudu will be revealing the country’s 12 points for Eurovision 2022!

The BBC has revealed that AJ Odudu will announce the British jury votes for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

AJ is best known for presenting TV shows she has done on the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. In 2021 she completed in the most recent series of Strictly Come Dancing before being forced to withdraw shortly before the final due to injury.

AJ will be the first UK spokesperson to announce the results of the judges’ vote from Manchester. Previously the BBC announced the results of the UK’s jury vote or televote from a studio in London.

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Stay tuned at Eurovisionfun for all the updates regarding the British entry in Eurovision 2022!