On Wednesday, ORF ended months of agony and announced Vienna as the host city for 2015’s Eurovision Song Contest. But the real planning hasn’t started. In the ten months leading up to the contest, Austrian broadcasting employees and event planners will be working much longer than 9 to 5 to try to one-up the Danes, and to celebrate their first victory after a 48-year long dry spell filled with failure. Who knows? It might be another 48 until we come back to Wiener Stadthalle. Thursday’s press conference revealed a lot of what is to come in the next few months. Lets take a look:
Eurovision 2015 Slogan
The slogan will be published by the end of August. In previous years, we have seen all sorts of taglines ranging from super-modern (“#joinus”), peace-bearing (“We Are One”), and patriotic (“Light Your Fire!”). The theme of the show is also to be announced soon, about a month later than the slogan.
Get that Checkbook Ready
The budget for the show will also be revealed, around the same time as the slogan. It’s already known that the contest will cost at least 11.7 million euros, of which 8.9 goes to fixing up the arena to get it concert-ready. Of course, many more factors will affect these numbers. They have to get the press area ready, get a caterer for the opening reception, purchase a red carpet and more. We hope that they exercise greater caution than the Danes, who are in hot water after spending three times their budget!
Master of Ceremonies
Although we have no idea when our gracious hosts will be unveiled, it has been said that we will treated to a “big, positive surprise”. This raises a lot of questions. Will the host be an Austrian international superstar, like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or will it be the host of “Good Morning Vienna”?
Will they go with a wonderful solo host to blow away the competition, a duo like in the earlier part of the century, or stick with the new standard of crowding the stage with three hosts? If they go with a duo, will they continue promoting the LGBT community and pick a same-sex pair rather than a man and a woman?
There have previously been rumors that last year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, would host. In fact, she said in the winner’s press conference that she would accept the responsibility if it was offered. This would be nothing new, of course, as several ESC winners have hosted the year after their win (Marie N and Eldar are two examples) and several bronze and silver medal winners have done so several years later (like Zeljko Joksimovic and Sakis Rouvas). However, veteran Austrian commentator Andi Knoll has also expressed interest in hosting. Veteran Austrian spokesperson Kati Bellowitsch (who donned a beard during this year’s voting process) has also been thrown around the rumor mill as well.
Although the hosts of the actual contest have yet to be announced, we know that the Rathaus (the Mayor of Vienna’s office) will host the opening ceremony on May 17th.
One of the main difficulties posed when considering Vienna’s two major concert halls was dealing with events that were planned well before Conchita snatched the trophy. Wien Messe was put out of the running quite early due to a 10,000-delegate liver doctor convention, and the Wiener Stadthalle had several major events planned involving comedians, horses and medicine men. Now ORF needs to find a way to compensate the acts that have to give up their slot in the stadium for Eurovision to take place.
A Little Village Dedicated to Schlager
Finally, it has been confirmed that Eurovision Village will return! Last year, the Danes went all out and included, among other things, an all-inclusive wedding chapel. This is also where many of the club events and parties go on, and there are prime opportunities for artists and fans alike to enjoy a break from the competitive atmosphere.
Are you as excited as us for the upcoming season and Vienna 2015? Share your feelings in the comments below!