Focus 2016: Örnsköldsvik

Hi guys! So, Eurovision 2016 is on its way and while there is a lot of rumours flying about the place that City A or Arena B will be the favourite to get the chance to host Europe’s favourite TV show, we here at ESC Views prefer not to get bogged down in those said rumours – others though do peak our interest! So, instead – like with previous years, we’re going to take you through each candidate city that is in the running to win SVT’s approval to host the 61st edition of Eurovision. And who better off to start with than the northernmost city in the running – Örnsköldsvik!

I’m assuming that you guys have literally no idea where this city with an unfathomable and unpronounceable name is – and yes, I’m just like one of you; I am learning while I write this, so it’s a win-win situation! Örnsköldsvik is relatively small city located in the West-Norrland region of Sweden, with a population of just under 29,000 people as of 2010. The city is rather quaint, as it designed as a small market town that has just managed to flourish into the rather small business center it is today. If you want to have a look at where Örnsköldsvik is, here is its location on the map!

Here's where Örnsköldsvik is on the map - rather high, no?
Here’s where Örnsköldsvik is on the map – rather high, no?

So…Örnsköldsvik was pretty much the last city to come into the Eurovision 2016 race, and at least initial reactions from fans were quite along the lines of “…….wait, where?”, so in a way this can only be a good thing for the city, as they can win us fans over in all its….snowy charm! Örnsköldsvik’s Eurovision 2016 venue would be the Fjällräven Center, which has a capacity of 9,800 people for concerts. Now, you might think that this arena is the smallest venue on offer from all of the potential cities, but you’d be pleasantly surprised that it’s not – just wait till we get to Stockholm, käre! The arena – formerly known as the Swedbank Arena (just like the Friends Arena!) – is home to Örnsköldsvik’s local ice hockey team, which is a part of the Swedish Hockey League. If this arena is selected to host Eurovision, it’s almost certain that there’ll have to be a separate area for the journalists completely, as there are definitely not enough resources for the organisers to hold so many people at the one time – perhaps, they might be able to do what Malmö did in 2013 i.e. have all the journalists in a cinema-esque area where they can document the rehearsals while not causing a fuss. However, the chances of Örnsköldsvik actually getting the Eurovision is – to put it lightly – going to be an uphill battle.

Örnsköldsvik is quite off the beaten track when it comes to transportation, but at the same time it’s also kind of easily accessible…if you have a car. The city has an airport roughly about 24 kilometers northeast of the city centre; however, it only really is for domestic and small international flights – but one of the very few routes it offers is to Stockholm, so Eurofans can make their way to Örnsköldsvik through a flight change..if they want to fork out an extra couple of hundred or so SEK. If you would rather drive to Örnsköldsvik from Stockholm, which is the best form on transport for getting up to the High Coast Area, the city is located on the European route E4, which means that if you’re travelling there from either Helsingborg in south Sweden or Tornio in Northern Finland, you’re already set!!

As for recreational activities and sightseeing, Örnsköldsvik is really unfortunate to have Lady Luck frowning upon the city. Hiking is a very popular hobby in the city and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see people walking about in their hiking boots. Nordic skiing is also really popular and there are several places that will rent skis out for you to use, so we here at ESC Views recommend you give that a go! There really aren’t any other sights that have been recommended to see in Örnsköldsvik. SVT have their work cut out for them!

In conclusion, while the city has some pros and many cons, Örnsköldsvik has sent in a very valid and modest bid to host Eurovision 2016! However, seeming as the Fjällräven Center and its facilities are rather…shall we say…”few and far between”, it’s a city that does offer a lot of charm and to see Eurovision finally go to a place where it’s not a major city for the second time in its history. SVT have a lot of offers to consider and while it would be foolish of me to rule it out entirely, the chances of SVT deciding that Örnsköldsvik should host Eurovision 2016 are rather small…But best of luck Örnsköldsvik! We’re keeping our fingers crossed for you!!

So guys, what do you think? Should Örnsköldsvik host Eurovision 2016? Do you think Europe’s favourite TV show should be going u-u-u-up faster than Loreen can shake a stick? Or do you think that the city is an outsider and would never get the chance to get the Contest? Keep us in your loop by commenting below and stay tuned to ESC Views, as we take on the other cities in the running to host Eurovision 2016!!

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