Eight delegations participating in the first semi-final in Liverpool have written to the EBU to express their dismay over revised press center arrangements at the contest.
In a change from previous editions of the contest, the center will open from Monday 8th May. Previously, accredited media were able to access the center the week before dress rehearsals. In a letter seen by Aftonbladet, the delegations raise concerns that their artists will not be able to conduct interviews or press conferences at the press center prior to their performances.
You can read the full letter below.
”After our meeting today, some Heads of Media have shown their concern about the Media Centre opening only at May 8th.
We feel this decision is not fair for countries performing in the first semi-final.
In the past years, we have all experienced that the larger number of interviews happened in the first week, when the free time between rehearsals is bigger, and the pressure of the Live Shows is still growing.
As you can understand, at May 8th the artists performing in the first semi-final have no free time to spend with media. The schedule is too tight and they have to focus on their performance.
We understand you brought the solution of doing this meetings with media in the Euro Club but we also feel that without a space to work, probably the majority of media members won’t attend to Liverpool earlier than 7 or 8 of May.
We gather our concern in a group email to kindly ask you to reconsider this decision and to review the chance of opening it some days earlier.
We all want the best for the contest, for the Eurovision brand, for the Artists and we all stand for fairness with all participating countries.”
The delegations that signed the letter were Portugal, Malta, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, San Marino, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland. It is understood that the Belgian and Estonian delegations expressed their support, but were not co-signatories as they did so after it had already been sent to the EBU.
Eurovision fan media has previously raised concerns regarding the reduced access. William Lee Adams of Wiwibloggs said the move “works against the spirit of Eurovision” and “[isolates] artists from the very fans and journalists who want to celebrate them and share their stories.”
Responding to Aftonbladet, Dave Goodman, the contest’s Digital and Communications Manager, cited the need to protect artists from criticism during early rehearsals and the high cost of maintaining the press centre, along with alternative venues such as the Euroclub, as reasons and mitigations for the reduced opening time.
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