After Kazakhstan‘s recent top-ten finish at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Central Asia nation’s Eurovision fever shows no signs of declining. Now Khabar Agency chairman Alan Azhibayev has revealed the broadcaster’s ambitions for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Speaking to Today.kz, Azhibayev confirmed that Khabar agency is not currently able to compete at Eurovision as it is only an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union. But Khabar Agency have their sights set on full membership.
While the transcontinental country — which is located in both Europe and Asia — is currently a full member of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, it would also like to become a full member of the EBU. And in doing so, participation at Eurovision could be possible.
Azhibayev revealed that the broadcaster has already been in talks with the EBU and that negotiations are ongoing. He explained, “There were big talks between the Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev and the EBU management team … After Junior Eurovision we had meetings with them. I think they will come here to Kazakhstan. Negotiations will continue.”
For Kazakhstan to become a full member of the EBU, the broadcasting union would need to broaden its membership area. Currently Kazakhstan is outside the catchment area covered by the EBU.
The chairman also talked about the benefits that hosting Eurovision would bring to the winning country, suggesting that Kazakhstan very much has their eyes on the prize.
Kazakhstan also appear to have been studying the route that Australia took to Eurovision. The down-under nation — who is still only an associate member of the EBU and must be invited to participate each year — initially appeared as an interval act in 2014.
Azhibayev talked about the possibility of Kazakhstan appearing at Eurovision 2019 as a special guest performer. He mentioned Australia’s decades-long path to Eurovision and said, “We should do it step by step, to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, then we will have more chances.”
However, at this stage none of the interval acts for Eurovision 2019, nor Kazakhstan’s bid for full EBU membership have been confirmed.
What do you think? Should Kazakhstan become a full member of the EBU? Should they perform as an interval act in Tel Aviv? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!