Will Eurovision 2023 be held in Ukraine? Questions if war torn country able to host
Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest cheered Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra to victory on Saturday night – with the band streaking to the top of the leader board following votes from the viewing public.
Attention now turns to the 2023 contest – with the winning nation each year traditionally hosting the event the year that follows.
While fans and voters were excited to see Ukraine crowned winners following their rousing performance of their single, Stefania, the question has arisen whether Ukraine will be able to host the event next year.
The country has been locked in warfare since February this year after Russia launched an illegal invasion on the democratic country.
And there are concerns that the war could still be raging on – making it highly unlikely the contest can be held there.
Winning band Kalush Orchestra, however, have already declared their country would be ready to welcome music fans from all over the world next year as they were asked about hosting the contest in the event of winning.
They said during an interview before they were crowned winners: “If we win, the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place in Ukraine. It will be a new, integrated, well-developed and flourishing Ukraine.”
And they backed up this theory after winning, saying in a post contest conference: "Next year we hope Ukraine will be happy to host Eurovision in a new happy and reunited Ukraine"
This may still be the case should the war in Ukraine be concluded by then – however, some forecasters fear the battle could rage on for five to 10 years to come.
Martin Österdahl, the EBU's Executive Supervisor of the ESC, has also discussed the possibility of Ukraine hosting the 2023 event.
He said in a statement: "The Eurovision Song Contest is the only cultural event that truly unites Europe. This year it’s been more important than ever to bring millions together through our common values and love of music.
“The world’s largest live music event is also the most ambitious live TV show in the world and we couldn’t be happier with, and more grateful for, the incredible work Rai has done here in Turin.
“On a fantastic stage in front of hundreds of millions watching across the world, every artist and songwriter has brought something unique to the Contest and embodied what this competition is about - diversity, universality and uniting Europe on one stage.”
He continued: “We congratulate Ukraine and Kalush Orchestra on their win and superb performance. Now we will begin planning for 2023 with winning broadcaster UA:PBC. Obviously, there are unique challenges involved in hosting next year’s competition.
"However, as in any other year, we look forward to discussing all the requirements and responsibilities involved in hosting the competition with UA:PBC and all other stakeholders to ensure we have the most suitable setup for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.”
Some Eurovision experts predict Ukraine will be able to host the contest from a neighbouring country next year if war is still ongoing.
Germany and the UK have been tipped as possible alternative locations for the Ukrainian contest – but it will likely be weeks or moths before plans are finalised.
Australia has competed in Eurovision since being allowed to enter back in 2015 – and it is expected a European nation would host the event in their honour if they were to win rather than contestants flying Down Under the following year.
And there have been five instances where Eurovision has been held in a different country to that of the winning nation – usually because the winners’ broadcaster could not afford to host the event.
In 1956, Switzerland won and they hosted the event in Frankfurt, Germany, the year after – while the Netherlands won in 1959 but the 1960 event was hosted in London, UK in their honour.
France won the contest in 1962, but the following year the event was again held in London – while Monaco won in 1971 with the 1972 contest being held in Edinburgh, UK.
The 1973 contest was won by Luxembourg – but the 1974 contest was held in Brighton, UK.
And when Israel won in 1979, it was The Hague in the Netherland where the 1980 contest was held.
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