Focus 2017: Kherson

Well, we’ve FINALLY done it! Here is the last edition in our “Focus 2017” series! We do hope you’ve enjoyed reading the articles just as much as we have had writing them. We’re going to look at the final city that’s wanting to host Eurovision next year and, suffice to say, I may have to update some previous articles in this series as proposals are generally being trickled out (thanks a lot Dnipro… tut tut). Aaaanyway….

To those who are joining us now (where have you been!?); 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 inGBPUSD 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’ve looked at all the cities vying to host Eurovision. However, this time we’ve looked at the cities that have a realistic chance of hosting the show (If we didn’t, cities like Irpin, Vinnytsia, Cherkassy and Uzhhorrod would have been included). In the last editions, we’ve looked at Dnipro, Odessa, Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv, and now we’re looking at the smallest city to throw their hat in the ring – Kherson.

Ukraine_location_map.svg
Kherson is at the estuary of the Dnieper that flows into the Black Sea

Kherson is the smallest city to bid to host Eurovision, being the sixteenth largest city in Ukraine, with a population of just over 330,000 people. The city is situated at the estuary of the Dnieper River which gradually flows outward into the Black Sea. Kherson is 547 kilometres from the capital Kyiv and a mere 116 kilometres from the Crimean peninsula. Kherson is also currently the home of the Ukrainian Presidential representative in Crimea, as a result of the current tensions in the region. Regardless, Kherson – although rather small – is beginning to flourish, and is home to a strong and thriving shipbuilding industry, as seen in the memorials and statues commemorating the history of the trade in the city, the most famous of which is situated on the riverbank which depicts the first ship to be built in the city. The city was established in 1778 and the architecture reflects this with a blend of old, Gothic-style churches and houses with more contemporary and modern buildings that make up things like the town hall and marine schools.

Kherson was one of the first cities that threw their hat into the ring after Jamala’s win in Stockholm, although their bid has been considered ill-thought by some fans. The city seems determined to host the Contest, as it would put the south of Ukraine back on the map for more positive reasons than what we’ve unfortunately become used to. Should Kherson get to host Eurovision, their bid is based on the use of the Krystal Stadium, which has a capacity of 6,000 people. The arena would need to go under substantial reworking, including the building of a roof over the arena to accommodate the lights and other elements of the stage. The city is also connected by an international airport, that has daily flights to only Istanbul-Atatürk airport, so delegations will need to get a connecting flight to reach the venue, should Kherson win the Eurovision bid.

So what are Kherson’s chances of hosting Eurovision? Well, first it must be said that this is a very valiant effort from Kherson and they’ve shown that they’re going to go to great lengths to host Eurovision – already revealing the logo of the Contest if they win the rights to host. Here is the logo; you be the judge – is it a suitable logo? Let us know in the comments:

ggg

Anyway, we have to say that although we do commend Kherson for trying their damnedest to get the hosting rights for Eurovision next year, it seems highly unlikely that Kherson are going to get the Contest. The stadium requires extensive work and there aren’t many rooms to accommodate the thousands of fans, journalists, delegations and artists set to descend on the city for two weeks. And when it comes to something as big as Eurovision, you HAVE to be able to tick every box, which Kherson doesn’t do, unfortunately. But we commend them for trying. Keep going, Kherson – we should all be taking a leaf out of your book!

So! That’s it! Our “Focus 2017” series is done! We’ve looked at all six cities that have formally bid to host Eurovision and now it’s up to NTU and the EBU to settle on a suitable city looking to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine. Remember to watch the “Battle of the Cities” debate that is due to take place on Wednesday (July 20th, 2016) at 16:30 GMT/17:30 CET/ 18:30 EET, where each city will reveal all its details for hosting the Contest. The show will be hosted by Timur Miroshnychenko (JESC 2009 & 2013 presenter and the Ukrainian commentator) and will be shown on UA:Pershyy’s official Youtube channel – be sure to check it out!

And also be sure to vote in our poll for where you think Eurovision should be hosted next year! The poll closes on August 1st at 10:00 GMT/11:00 CET, and once the host city has been chosen, we’ll compare how right (or wrong) you were.Also, be sure to leave a comment if you enjoyed the series or if you think we missed something in the articles regarding the various cities. We’d love to hear your feedback!

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