It has a long tradition: the winning country of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) hosts the music competition in the following year. Now the rule is being broken for the first time since 1980 as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in a statement announced in mid-June. Now the explanation expanded in a new statement.

    The reason for this is and remains Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with its song “Stefania”, meaning that the next ESC should actually take place in the war-torn country. However, given the current situation, according to the European Broadcasting Union, this is not possible. According to the statement, the ESC is “one of the most complex TV productions in the world, involving thousands of people and requiring 12 months of preparation”.

    After the EBU exchanged views with both the Ukrainian authorities and independent specialists, it had to “with regret“ state that hosting the ESC in Ukraine next year will not be possible. In the statement, the EBU thanks the Ukrainian broadcaster for the cooperation and emphasized that the “Sadness and Disappointment” that the competition cannot take place in Ukraine.

    The new statement also states, among other things, that an event of this type and size would entail too much risk. The venue could be seen as a possible target for Russian warfare. More than 10,000 employees and 30,000 fans are involved in the ESC final every year, and their safety is the greatest concern of those responsible. Unfortunately, countries bordering Ukraine did not meet the requirements for the production of such an event. In addition, it was not without reason that all major tour organizers canceled concerts of their acts in Ukraine in 2023.

    Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in the UK?

    The European Broadcasting Union will now engage in discussions with the UK to explore the possibility of hosting in the UK. British singer Sam Ryder came second at this year’s ESC in Turin. But even if the show takes place in the UK next year, the Ukrainian victory in the 2023 shows should definitely be “reflected” will. This is a focus of discussions with each potential host country.

    The Kalush Orchestra had 631 votes at the ESC 2022, and won mainly because of the many audience votes for Ukraine. Sam Ryder was previously in the lead in the jury’s vote. The Kalush singer Oleh Psiuk later auctioned off the ESC victory trophy, the glass microphone probably brought in a total of 900,000 dollars, with which the band wanted to support the Ukrainian army in the fight against the Russian invasion.

    The German singer Malik Harris finished last at this year’s ESC. Although it ranked the same as the German contribution in the previous year, a positive trend was nevertheless discernible. Harris was able to double the points from last year – from 3 to 6.

    In the past, the Eurovision Song Contest was often not satisfied with the winning country of the previous year. Most recently in 1980, when Israel had won for the second time in a row and did not want to host the lavish show again. At that time, the Netherlands stepped in, so the competition took place in The Hague.

    +++ This news first appeared on +++