Calls for Wales to host Eurovision Song Contest
Politicians will call for Wales to host the Eurovision song contest in a Senedd debate today.
The United Kingdom is in line to host, as winners Ukraine are unable to due to Russia’s illegal invasion and the Welsh Conservatives want the contest to be held in Wales.
Hosting the event here would boost the Welsh economy and encourage people to visit our country, further increasing the international profile of Wales.
Eurovision being hosted in Wales will add to the growing list of major events taking place in the country over the years such as sporting events like the Champions League final and the Ryder Cup, concerts by the likes of Ed Sheeran and the Stereophonics, and political summits of organisations like NATO.
To be considered as a host of Eurovision, a city will have to meet requirements on venue capacity, hotel quality and distance, and city-wide facilities.
Cardiff is currently on the long list of possible cities to host the contest with the local council leader calling for “the Principality Stadium with 70,000 partygoers” as a potential site. Other previous host locations from the UK include Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh and Harrogate.
Hosting the contest would also bring a much-needed boost to the hospitality industry which had suffered badly under COVID restrictions and lockdowns.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Tom Giffard MS, said:
“Whilst it’s sad and regrettable that Ukraine can’t host the Eurovision Song Contest this year, this offers a wonderful opportunity for Wales to step up and host Eurovision.
“Given the circumstances surrounding Ukraine’s inability to host the Contest this year, we need to make sure that whichever city is selected honours the Ukrainian victory at the 2022 contest and make sure that it feels as Ukrainian as possible.
“Hosting the competition would bring huge benefits including a big economic boost and an increased awareness and visibility of our country.
“As the land of song, I couldn’t think of anywhere more fitting to host Eurovision – let’s welcome the world to Wales.”
The organisers of Eurovision, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) has said: “Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.”
“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 The Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (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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