Even though we’re all thrilled with the announcement that DR has selected Copenhagen as Eurovision host city 2014, reactions are a little more subdued in Herning and Horsens after their bids failed to impress the Danish broadcaster. Herning’s surprisingly youthful and attractive mayor, Lars Krarup, released a statement expressing his pride in the “thorough, professional, and high class” bid Herning offered to DR. Although he wasn’t sure why the bid wasn’t accepted, he said, “I had a feeling towards the end of the process that the contest would not be held on Jutland [the location of both Herning and Horsens]. We chose to stay at the negotiating table because we felt we had the best offer.” While he was disappointed, Krarup graciously wished lots of luck to both Copenhagen and DR on the success of Eurovision.

Horsens mayor Peder Sørensen also congratulated Copenhagen in an article in Jyllands-Posten, but expressed disappointment that DR missed an opportunity to create buzz across Europe with Horsens’ unconventional converted prison idea. Frank Panduro, part of the Horsens bid committee, commended DR on an excellent choice of venue, but says that his city could have offered the same nontraditional setting. “It irks us like crazy,” he said.

While the mayors put on a smiling face, Aarhus cultural councilman Marc Perera Christensen thew a hissy fit on par with Valentina Monetta’s rage over overpriced Azeri coffee. Even though Aarhus did not put in a hosting bid itself, it expected to take on a large part of Herning’s hosting duties as the only major city nearby (if you call 50+ miles “nearby”), offering hotels and entertainment not available in Herning itself. In fact, Christensen claimed that almost 1,500 hotel rooms were already booked by members of the press anticipating a winning Herning bid.

His fury pointed to the deep hostility between Denmark’s sophisticated capital and the more rural Jutland peninsula: “It’s ‘Copenhagenry’ of the worst kind. DR fails its customers throughout western Denmark and ought to immediately change its name to Copenhagen’s Radio” (a reference to DR’s former name of “Danmarks Radio”). He called DR’s decision “unambitious conventional thinking” (has he SEEN Refshaleøen??? It’s a freaking warehouse!), and lamented the loss of the Aarhus-backed bid. “It was a unique opportunity for Aarhus,” he said. “So many guests and visitors would contribute to the revenue of hotels, restaurants, and shops. The many visiting journalists would have the opportunity to gain a good impression of Aarhus and the qualities that have made the city the European Cultural Capital in 2017.”

I don’t disagree with Mr. Christiensen: Aarhus would have been an amazing and feasible host city, one that would have shown a new Danish face to the rest of Europe and proved that there is a Denmark outside of Copenhagen. But it didn’t put in a bid! At least not a reasonable one. Next time, Aarhus should bank on itself rather than trying to piggyback off the ambitions of a town in the middle of nowhere.

Miss Dagognat is a contributor to wiwibloggs.com. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

Photo: Visit Herning

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Melissa J
9 years ago

I was really hoping for the prison venue. That would have been something really unique. But there is something to be said for having experience hosting the contest.

9 years ago

I can agree with the last paragraph, that another part of Denmark should get a moment on the international stage, but at the moment Copenhagen remains the only viable option. Aarhus just needs a suitable venue