For those of you eager to book flights to Baku for next May, there is still a chance you might end up being the only Eurovision fan there.
It’s no secret that Baku’s bid to host next year’s ESC has already had a few snags. Armenia isn’t sure it will participate, many gays have feared (whether rightfully or not) that they will be ‘running scared’ from homophobes in the city, and countries have questioned the nation’s human rights policies.
But now the focus of the EBU Reference Group is on the logistical ease with which the oil-rich city can actually host the contest. Baku’s largest existing indoor venue may apparently be too small, and the city’s plans to construct a new arena in time are questionable. Sietse Bakker, Event Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, recently told Belgovision reporters that the group will likely make its final decision at their next meeting at the end of August. “In case EBU and the Reference Group approve the plans for a new venue, we will also demand a plan B in case that new location won’t be ready in time,” explained the Dutch executive.
In practice this means that the Azeri planning committee is coming under pressure to have both a Plan A and Plan B. The Reference Group recently made a trip to the capital to scope out the venues and the greater city. In the meantime, Bakker denies that Italy and Sweden have been put on standby to host the contest in case Baku doesn’t cut it.
Wiwi and Vebooboo personally hope that the contest takes place in Baku. Despite the ridiculously high airfares to the Caspian capital, ESC gives people like us incentive to visit a place we otherwise wouldn’t have planned to see. What do you think? Should Baku receive final approval at the end of the month?