Ukraine’s band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision 2022 on May 14. Traditionally, the winner of the previous Eurovison event hosts the following year’s event. But with Russia’s war against Ukraine showing no sign of abating, Eurovision organizer the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said “the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest” would make it too difficult to host the event in Ukraine next year.
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Instead, the EBU has begun discussions with the BBC, noting that British singer/songwriter Sam Ryder was this year’s Eurovision runner-up.
“Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want,” the BBC said in a statement. “Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
The EBU said even if the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest is held in Britain, Ukraine’s win this year “will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”
The Eurovision Song Contest, a live event broadcast simultaneously across Europe and the world in multiple languages, is an incredibly complex television production. Before deciding against hosting the 2023 contest in Ukraine, the EBU did a full assessment and feasibility study with both Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC and third-party specialists, including on safety and security issues.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
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