Welcome back to our “Focus 2017” series, where we look at the cities vying to host Eurovision! It’s official guys! Six cities have formally bid to host Eurovision next year, and we’re about to cover our fifth city. As we have covered all but two cities to host the Contest, it’s been decided that we shall cover both Kyiv and Kherson (We’ve said this already in a tweet on Friday, see below), leaving the latter until a suitable arena/venue is revealed from the bidding organisation…Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves – *draw back, Rory! Draw back…*
To those who are joining us now; as we all know, Post-Eurovision Depression and the following “off-season” can be very draining and dull. However, here at ESC Views, we like to analyse the pros and cons of the various cities that are bidding to host Eurovision the following year, as the host city race rages on. In 2017, thanks to Jamala, we’re going to be on our way eastwards to Ukraine for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but where is exactly is yet to be seen. At the time of writing this, at least eight cities throughout Ukraine have thrown their hat into the ring for hosting Europe’s favourite TV show – and who could blame them? Eurovision brings in more than double the (sometimes exacerbated) price tag of around €15 million (see here for numerical amounts in GBP, USD and UAH for the monetary amount of other currencies) in revenue for the city that has the pleasure of hosting such a grand event.
In previous editions, we would cover every city vying to host Eurovision, but this year we’re going to focus on the main cities who have a realistic chance of hosting the Contest. This includes all six cities who have officially applied to host the show. As already mentioned, as we’ve covered four of the six cities that applied – we will cover the final two as well as Lviv, Dnipro, Odessa and Kharkiv.
Kyiv is the capital city of Ukraine and houses a population of just over 2.9 million people – making it the 8th most populous city in the whole of Europe. The city has only been the capital of Ukraine since 1935, but is one of the oldest cities to be established in Eastern Europe. The city stands on the Dnieper River and is the country’s main hub for education, science, technology and politics. The architecture and cityscape reflect its history and blends the old, traditional times within both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union with modernity since Ukraine’s independence in 1991. The city also houses some of the most ornate buildings in Eastern Europe, from parliamentary buildings, to Orthodox churches. You can definitely tell that Kyiv is the capital due to the hustle and bustle and true patriotic feeling of the city.
Even before Eurovision was over, fans and critics stated that if Ukraine won, we’d be off to Kyiv again – or Lviv. The city has the most experience at hosting Eurovision than any other city in contention for the Contest, as Kyiv had the honour of hosting the 50th edition of the Contest in 2005, as well as hosting the Junior edition of the Contest in 2009 and 2013. It was originally thought (and endorsed by Kyiv’s mayor – famous kickboxer Vitaly Klitschko) that if Kyiv was to get the Eurovision, we would go the Olimpiskyy Stadium that hosted the final of the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships. However, it turns out that that idea may just have vanished into thin air, as the Kyiv City Council wishes the Contest to return to the venue most used for Eurovision events – the Palace of Sports. The arena hosted the adult Eurovision in 2005 and the Junior Contest in 2009, and has a capacity for concerts of 10,000 people; the ideal number for NTU’s requirements. Also, Kyiv itself is able to cope with the influx of fans coming to Ukraine to see the show and the country, as it has two large international airports; Boryspil and Zhulyany, both of with flying to destinations all around the world, so delegations will have no trouble getting to Ukraine, should Kyiv win the bid to host.
Speaking of, what do we make of Kyiv’s chances of hosting Eurovision? Well there is absolutely NO doubt whatsoever that the city ticks every box on NTU’s checklist and it seems pretty obvious that Kyiv is going to be one of the final two cities left in the running to host Europe’s favourite TV show. The city is easily accessible; it is a hotbed of Ukrainian culture; has a (generally*) suitable arena and is able to accommodate the thousands of fans and journalists that are to descend on the city. However, it must be said that up until the City Council’s announcement that the Palace of Sports would be considered an outdated venue for the Contest and wasn’t even being considered for hosting the Contest. This leaves us begging the question: if Kyiv gets the hosting honour and it turns out that the Palace of Sports isn’t a suitable venue, what happens now? Of course, that’s something we cannot jump to conclusions to, but we’ll have to wait and see about whether the city is even picked or not. Regardless, it is a strong bid from the capital city and I’d say it would be likely, we’ll see this one stick it out till the end…..or is that just me?
That does it for this, the fifth edition of our “Focus” series! What do you think about Kyiv’s chances of getting the honour to host? Is it definitely Kyiv 2017 for you or are you hoping we go to one of the other cities that are in the race to host Eurovision? Be sure to make your voice heard by commenting below, or by voting in our poll! The poll closes on August 1st at 10:00 GMT, so you’re running out of time, make your vote count!! And be sure to stay tuned to ESC Views, as we get to the FINAL (yes, ACTUAL FINAL) edition in this series – Kherson.
UPDATE: On the 22nd of July, we were left with Odessa, Kyiv and Dnipro in the running to host Eurovision. As a result, we have opened another poll to see what you think of the final three cities. The poll still closes on August 1st at 10:00 GMT, so be sure to make your voice heard in the last phase!!!