IThey don’t budge. The next Eurovision song contest will take place on Ukrainian soil, insists the winning group Kalush Orchestra in the columns of the Parisian. And for good reason, on June 17, the organization in charge of the competition – the European Radio and Television Union (EBU) – explained that, “under the current circumstances”, the next competition could not take place in Ukraine. “The security and operational guarantees necessary to host, organize and produce Eurovision […] cannot be fulfilled,” he said in a statement.
In an interview with the Ile-de-France daily, the Kalush Orchestra group says it “disagrees” with the decision of the organizers. “We want Ukraine to host the next Eurovision! We just ask to give us some time, and to help us, ”they explain. Only minutes after the group’s victory, the Ukrainian president had declared that he wanted to organize the next competition… in Mariupol. A city that has become a martyr after the siege by the Russians of the port city for long weeks. “In Mariupol, in kyiv, or in another city… what is important is that it is in Ukraine”, indicates the musical group to the Parisian.
European winners who did not digest the EBU’s decision
Since his victory last May, Kalush Orchestra has been talked about several times. Thus, a few days after their coronation, the members of the group sold their trophy at auction to support the action of the Ukrainian army. Thanks to this, they raised 837,000 euros. “I myself created my own association on the third day of the war. We help people find accommodation, transport medicines. More than 40 people work there today,” says Oleh Psiuk, one of the group’s members.
In its press release dated June 17, the EBU claimed to have started “discussions with the BBC, whose competitor came second, to potentially host the Eurovision 2023 contest in the United Kingdom”. Faced with this choice, the Ukrainians quickly cried foul.
“Ukraine does not agree with the nature of the decision taken by the European Broadcasting Union,” Culture Minister Oleksandre Tkatchenko said in a statement. “We are calling for additional negotiations on the hosting of Eurovision 2023 in Ukraine”… A request that has so far remained a dead letter. The EBU has, for the time being, not reacted to the exit of the Ukrainians and their complaint. She had barely foreseen, in part, the controversy by emphasizing that she had “the firm intention that the victory of Ukraine be reflected in the next shows”, had specified the European association.