lisbon eurovision 2018 meo arena

Credit cards to the ready — you’ll soon be able to book your hotels and flights for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. That’s because Portugal’s RTP will stage a press conference on Tuesday July 25 to confirm the dates of the two semi-finals and grand final. As ESC Portugal reports, the host broadcaster is also likely to reveal the host city and host venue.

The team from wiwibloggs will be at the announcement, which will take place inside RTP headquarters in Lisbon at 17:30 GMT (18:30 CET). Be sure to follow our Instagram page (@wiwibloggs) for on-the-ground updates as the press conference unfolds.

In recent months,  while Portugal’s Eurovision fans continue to ride a high over the landmark win, RTP has been busy deciding which city will host next year’s extravaganza. It has now conducted technical visits to the cities of LisbonGondomar, Santa Maria da Feira and Braga to get an initial sense of how each city might host the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

The rumour mill is churning fast ahead of tomorrow’s announcement. Portugal’s Observer newspaper claims that Lisbon has been chosen as the host city and that the contest will take place “across the last days of April and the first days of May” — suggesting the first semi-final could be as early as May 1. However, we should stress the newspaper’s report has not been confirmed by RTP. 

Eurovision 2018: Host city selection

In the days after Portugal’s win, RTP’s own evening news program reported that Lisbon would serve as host city. And fans — at home and abroad — have also assumed that Lisbon is the only city with a realistic shot at this.

But RTP — the publicly owned broadcaster — decided on a transparent and democratic bidding process, allowing all cities that have an interest in welcoming Europe next year to plead their case.

“We have a lot of commercial interest, but we’re still in the phase of creating the concept,” RTP’s President Gonçalo Reis said in an interview with Jornal de Negócios.

“We already have a financial model defined, but Eurovision requires the involvement of the host city, tourism boards and an effort to create partnerships with both public and private sponsors.”

As fans bite their fingernails, here’s a reminder of the cities that were in the running…

LISBON

With a great transportation network and endless accommodation options, the Portuguese capital is the front runner to host. It has an international airport with its own subway station, allowing visitors to reach the city centre in less than 20 minutes.

MEO Arena is the biggest venue in Portugal and has unrivalled experience hosting large-scale music events. With a capacity of around 20,000, it has already welcomed global superstars like Ariana Grande, Adele, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. If B can drink “Lemonade” there then so can we…

Located in Parque das Nações, the venue boasts great transport links, a mall, restaurants and other infrastructure to support the contest. Plus it’s literally by the river, which will help calm nervous performers and excited fans.

GONDOMAR

The second option takes us north to the city of Gondomar, which hopes to host the event in its more intimate Multiusos de Gondomar.

The arena can welcome around 8,000 people, but the city lacks the wide range of hotels and transport infrastructure that Lisbon offers. At least some people (OK, thousands) would likely have to stay out of town — and then they’d struggle to get to and from the venue.

It is served by Porto’s International Airport, which is 25km away from the city.

SANTA MARIA DA FEIRA

Santa Maria da Feira is a small municipality but it has one of the most Eurovision-friendly venues in its Europarque de Santa Maria da Feira.

With a capacity of around 11,000 people, it’s hosted concerts from Portuguese artists including Amália Rodrigues, Bernardo Sassetti and Carlos do Carmo, but also international acts like Dionne Warwick, Tony Bennett and the London Symphony Orchestra. It can do big events.

It may have the venue, but unfortunately the city lacks accommodation options and a proper transport network. Plus it’s only served by Porto’s International Airport, which is 50km away.

BRAGA

Braga is one of the new hot spots in Portugal, with the number of tourists rising exponentially year on year. Portugal’s third-largest city is described by Lonely Planet as “an elegant town laced with ancient narrow lanes closed to vehicles” and one known for its vigour, owing partly to its large student population.

During a recent press conference, town president Ricardo Rio discussed the possibility of welcoming Eurovision after renovating a number of areas and buildings, including its Exposition Park.

After its construction — expected to be finished by March —  the main venue would be able to welcome around 15,000 people. The city already has plans to greatly expand its accommodation offerings. Unfortunately they can’t move the city any closer to an airport — the nearest international airport is 53km away — and it lacks an efficient transport system in and out of the city.

Portugal is putting a great amount of effort into making the next edition of Eurovision one to the remember. We are thrilled that RTP will be living and breathing Eurovision as much as we are all year long. Boa sorte, Portugal!

Where would like Eurovision 2018 to take place? Do you desperately want to travel to Lisbon or are you OK with the other options? Let us know in the comments box below. 

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22 Comments
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Denis
Denis
4 years ago

Sorry to be that guy but I to think it will be Lisbon. It is the most logical choice, transport wise and all.

As for dates I doubt it will be early May. That would be to early.

bsbsbs
bsbsbs
4 years ago

Do you know FSC? I have discovered a few months and a competition similar to Eurovision, each one chooses a country, if the country is already busy, do not worry, you continue as a jury of that country (and do the same), send a song and vote at the end of Editing (does not take much time). It’s very funny and discovers songs from other countries. Subscribe to the forum ESCYOUnited.

Link = http://escunited.com/forum/threads/3472-Join-FSC-Sign-Up-Thread/page220

If you have any questions, you can ask me, I wait for you.

beccaboo1212
4 years ago

Pretending I’m part of a big crowd that’s rooting for Lisbon to be the host city. “LISBON! LISBON! LISBON! LISBON! LISBON! LISBON! LISBON! LISBON!” 🙂

Ddraven
Ddraven
4 years ago

I understand RTP giving a chance to other cities, but I feel there is no reason NOT to choose Lisbon. At the end of the day it is the city that is best prepared to receive such a contest. Besides, this is their first time hosting. I think a country should always go for their capital first and then give other cities a try at later victories.
Also, I find it funny that, because Portugal has skipped Eurovision 4 times before, next year it will be the 50th participation of Portugal and it is coincidentally their first time hosting.

Onde vai o gato?
Onde vai o gato?
4 years ago

New cover of the italian eurovision song Occidentali’s Karma on my YouTube channel! Go check it out and let me know your opinion 😉 https://goo.gl/aUpYh4

Feirense
Feirense
4 years ago

Santa Maria da Feira isn’t small … Go to the Google Maps…

MollieLouise
MollieLouise
4 years ago

Off topic, but did anyone in the UK just see the advert for XFactor – I think Slavko Kalezic is going to be on it :’)

Mark
Mark
4 years ago

There is a big 5 star hotel just near MEO Arena (Myriad) and it’s full for the weekend between 10 and 12. This particular hotel has more than 300 rooms, so… I think it’s a little obvious what will be the dates.

Mark
Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I mean.. it’s not full, but they accept prepayment only for these dates. By the way, anyone who wants to watch live and have some money to spend, just stay on this hotel. I’ve been there a few times and it’s awesome, one of the best hotels I’ve ever seen.

Micho
Micho
4 years ago

Lisbon – MEO Arena – 1st Semi on 8th May 2018, 2nd Semi on 10th May 2018 and the Grand Final on 12th May 2018 :DDDD

Velma ESC
Velma ESC
4 years ago

I’m almost sure it will be Lisbon and Meo Arena, from 8th to 12th May.

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago

It’s nice Portugal gives the opportunity to other cities to compete in this process. However, as I understand, Lisbon is the only city which has the arena and the suitable facilities, accomodation, transportation etc. Besides, it’s the capital of Portugal. It’s their first win, nobody knows if they win again, so it’s better to pick Lisbon.

Wherever we go next year, I hope for a great contest with beautiful songs!

azaad
azaad
4 years ago

The MEO arena in Lisbon seems all but confirmed.

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

I’m 99% sure it’s gonna be the MEO arena.

Fusedmarc is the real winner
Fusedmarc is the real winner
4 years ago

It is very obviously going to be Lisbon and its MEO Arena, it has no rival when it comes to accommodation and I’m pretty sure RTP doesn’t want to take many risks. About the dates, it’s hopefully gonna be at May 15th, 17th and 19th, not too early nor not too late.

Evan
Evan
4 years ago

Yeah…..Yeah…..Yeah……..Yeah.
Uhmmm…..No.

Fusedmarc is the real winner
Fusedmarc is the real winner
4 years ago
Reply to  Evan

May I ask why have you answered me this several times? It stopped being funny a long time ago.

Twisted French
Twisted French
4 years ago

They will pick Lisbon, there’s no doubt about it. For the infrastructure and also for the image. They have wait like 60 years to host the contest, Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. Period. It’s not like they host the contest every year and can send fans anywhere in Portugal to make them discover other regions. That would be wonderful, but it’s been 60 years, it has to be in Lisbon. At least this time… Lisbon is a wonderful city anyway, no need to look further.

ninasublatti
ninasublatti
4 years ago

I have a feeling we will get a surprise, and probably a negative one. They haven’t picked the MEO arena

Jo
Jo
4 years ago

I don’t care where, just bring Slovakia back!!!!

Kris
Kris
4 years ago
Reply to  Jo

Yes….I want the same.

Jonathan Balsdon
Jonathan Balsdon
4 years ago

I know it’s probably a foregone conclusion, but I do think the most likely host city for Eurovision next year will be Lisbon, and at the MEO Arena. Given this is Portugal’s first time they’ve hosted Eurovision, I would hope that RTP want to make sure it’s a memorable contest and don’t want to take too many risks. To me, the MEO Arena in Lisbon is the only truly logical choice, for reasons that have already been made in this article.