Geneva, 17 June 2022

One month ago, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, fans have speculated whether Ukraine’s broadcaster would be able to host the 2023 contest safely on Ukrainian soil. Ukraine’s government certainly intended to, in Mariupol no less.

Folk/Rap group Kalush Orchestra won the contest during Ukraine’s heavily mediatized armed conflict with Russia.

Behind the scenes however, the European Broadcasting Union, the organization that produces the annual singing contest, have been negotiating terms with Ukraine’s orchestra UA:PBC (also known informally as Suspilne).

The chief concern for the EBU has always been the safety of the staff and delegations that would be attending the contest in person.

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.

However due to Ukraine’s armed conflict with Russia, Russia’s continued military attacks against Ukraine, and the lack of clear peace negotiations at this moment, safety protocols could not be guaranteed by Suspilne. As such, the EBU decided to not hold the 2023 contest on Ukrainian soil.

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.

As to where the contest will be held remains to be officially decided. However, despite bids from Poland and Sweden, the EBU stated a preference for 2022’s Runners-Up, the United Kingdom as the replacement host country, in a contest organized by the BBC.

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.

As defending champions however, the EBU will aim to incorporate Ukraine and Suspilne into the hosting:

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.

Earlier this month, UK’s broadcaster BBC expressed interest to host the contest in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Whether the contest shall be held inside the UK will be confirmed later this summer. Once more information has been revealed, we’ll get back at you.

The FULL official statement by the EBU can be read HERE:

Do #YOU think this was the correct decision to make? Let us known in the comments, on social media or on our Forum HERE

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