Kalush Orchestra won in May (Picture: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
The Eurovision Broadcasting Union has announced that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine after Kalush Orchestra’s win last month.
In a statement this morning, the EBU said: ‘Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.
‘It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.’
It went on to address the ongoing war in Ukraine, with the organisation having taken time to work out whether it would be ‘feasible’ to host in the winning country.
‘The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
‘Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC,’ the statement continued.
The EBU went on to thank Ukraine’s public broadcaster for their ‘wholehearted operation’ while options were being explored, who have expressed their ‘sadness and disappointment.’
‘The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.
‘As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
‘It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.’
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