The UK will likely host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) concluded that it will be impossible for the show to take place in Ukraine.
A statement from the EBU said “given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest,” the event taking place in Ukraine in 2023 would be too difficult.
Discussions have begun with the UK’s BBC over hosting instead, with the nation finishing runner-up to Ukraine in last month’s contest.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won on May 14 and the convention is for the winners to host the following year’s event, but war has been raging for months in the nation, since Russia’s February 23 invasion. Ukraine’s UA: PBC has hosted twice before, in 2005 and 2017.
The EBU said “it is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”
It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.
Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.
The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.
The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.
As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.
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