Well guys, this is going to be the last edition in the ‘Focus 2015’ series, where we go through the different potential cities in the running to host Eurovision next year! ORF has shortlisted the three potential cities that Eurovision will be held in – Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna, which we’re gonna focus on today. I also drew up an article on Klagenfurt, who didn’t get shortlisted – but if you want to read it, click the highlighted link! So what venues does Vienna have to offer to make it appealing to ORF to give it the hosting rights?
Vienna is the capital of Austria and is famed for many things – a waltz was named after it (the Viennese Waltz). The city was the home of the acclaimed Habsburg court and has been conquered – like Graz – by many empires and the city still bears the imperial marks it had from centuries ago. Its inner city is also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well, so Vienna is also mixing its history with its modernity. Vienna is so important in Austria, that it’s been given its own state! If you don’t know where Vienna is, have a look below!
When Conchita Wurst won for Austria in Copenhagen, it was already revealed at the winner’s press conference that Vienna would be seriously considered to host the next Eurovision, along with Salzburg. Salzburg withdrew its bid a few days afterwards, but Vienna stayed in and is now the front-runner to host next year’s show. Vienna is offering four venues to host the show – the main one being the Wiener Stadthalle, with the Marx Halle, Heldenplatz and the Trabennbahn Kireau being used as back-up venues in case the selected venue becomes unsuitable for the Contest. Without a doubt, the Wiener Stadthalle would be the most suitable arena for the Contest, with the ability to host around 11,000 people, while the others are only able to hold around 5,000 people each. The Stadthalle is home to the Erste Open Bank tennis tournament and is a cultural hub with many exhibitions etc running throughout the year. The Trabennbahn Kireau is an open-air horse racing area and is host to the Austrian version of Royal Ascot (with the lack of a Queen!), but because ORF had said there’s not going to be any outdoor arenas, this rules out their chances of hosting the Contest. This also rules out Heldenplatz, which is a large open space in front of Hofburg Palace, which is one of Vienna’s busiest recreational spaces. This leaves the Marx Halle left in the running..the halls are often used for cultural events, such as large exhibitions etc, so possibly it could be another B&W Hallerne situation once again? I’ll get to that later on..
Vienna, as the capital city, is easily accessible through the international airport, which is 18 kilometers away from the city centre, but it’s easy to get to the city via the S-Bahn, which costs only a few euro. The airport has destinations all over the world, and you can find your nearest airport that flies to Vienna here. Due to its close proximity to many countries, those who live in Bratislava (Slovakia’s capital – who won’t be taking part this year 😥 ) and the Czech Republic are able to even drive to Vienna! Getting around Vienna is so easy as well, as Vienna has the most tram stops in Europe, so you can get to the venue in no time whatsoever! As I mentioned above, Vienna has a good mixture of modernity and history from its past and this is great when it comes to things to see and do. Stephansdom is a definite ‘must-see’ church in Vienna, as its one of the city’s largest historical buildings and is still used today, after renovations a few years ago. Another thing to see would be the Kunsthistorisches Museum which is the Museum of Fine Arts, so if you want to be a bit cultured, why not stop there and take a gawp at some rather nice paintings! If you’re ever in Vienna during the Carnival season (which is normally around May-June), be sure to go to a ball, which are around everywhere around that time of the year – one of the places we’d recommend going to a ball would be at the Rathaus (City Hall), where everyone is putting on a show! It’s definitely a lot of fun and if you want to do something while waiting for Eurovision, we’d definitely recommend that!
Getting back to the point, would Vienna be the best city in the running to host the Contest? It most likely would be, as it has the most amount of venues in the running. The Wiener Stadthalle would be the most obvious choice for ORF to make, as the hall is large and easy to reach. The city itself would be the best city of all three candidate cities to cope with the influx of fans and journalists that Eurovision would bring and the city is very much friendly to all sorts of people! If it was to go to Vienna, it would definitely go to the Stadthalle, as even though the other venues have different features that would make it unique – the venues just wouldn’t be able to make a great show, like the Wiener Stadthalle would. The Marx Halle would provide a very B&W Hallerne-esque show, but continuing the same trend of holding the Contest in an ex-factory – I think that that idea should move away from the whole shipyard idea for now..WIENER STADTHALLE 2015, I’m thinking!
So…what are your thoughts on Vienna possibly being the host of next year’s Contest? Do you think it would be the best city to do the job?
Daniel Cobbett from the United Kingdom: Without knowing all the details, I think it is only fitting and right that ESC60 is held in a capital city that has the infrastructure to be able to handle a big show!
Seppe Aesseloos from Belgium: Of course in Vienna it’s the capital city!
Padraic Devlin from the Ireland: I honestly don’t care where it’s held…. It’s not a major issue for me!
Ilias Kozantinos from Cyprus: The city would be best to have Eurovision in – it’s the capital and people can get there easily..and it’s very gay-friendly!
Well it’s very obvious that Vienna is the fan favourite to host next year’s Contest – mostly due to flights and accessibility. But whether Vienna gets selected or not, we’ll have to see! The host city and venue won’t be selected until around August, so we have time to speculate some more, but for now – this brings the ‘Focus 2015’ series to an end! So what do you think? Is Vienna your personal favourite – or is Innsbruck or Graz the city you want to see Eurovision 2015 in? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!