It’s a town of just over 8,000 inhabitants, located on the sunny isle of Sicily. But despite its small size, Palazzolo Acreide is up for the challenge of hosting Eurovision 2022. That’s according to the town’s deputy mayor Maurizio Aiello who has been forced to defend its presence on the list of 17 Italian cities vying for next year’s song contest.
Palazzolo Acreide’s deputy mayor defends Eurovision 2022 bid
SiracusaOggi.it asks the politician whether he really believes Palazzolo Acreide can host the international song festival. “Of course yes,” he responds. “And we are ready to get to work”. He continues: “We have a vision and we will propose it to Rai which will have the final choice. I can’t anticipate much, but ours is a widespread program on the territory”.
However, Aiello is conscious of the limits imposed by the town’s small size. “It is clear that Palazzolo alone could not do everything”, he says. “And then we pull the others: Syracuse, Noto, Avola, Ferla… ”. He goes on to explain that the town has previously organised a theatre festival, an experience which he thinks should place it in good stead when it comes to Eurovision. “With the classical theatre festival for young people, up to two years, we managed over 5 thousand admissions, why shouldn’t we be able to repeat the experience with Eurovision?”
On other hosting matters, he says that the Catania Fontanarossa Airport meets the airport requirements. The topic of a venue appears to be a little up in the air. “Palazzetto?”, he ponders. He may be referring to the town’s Palazzetto dello Sport, although he might have another venue in mind. He adds that “we have an alternative solution, always indoors, for 6,000 people as required. We have the times. For now, don’t ask me more. We will put everything in black and white in the dossier that we will send to Rai ”.
The official RAI and EBU bidding guidelines require that an arena should have an audience capacity in the main hall of at least 8,000 – 10,000 during the event and a main hall that can house the set and all other requirements needed to produce a high-level broadcast production. It’s also worth mentioning that those 8,000 – 10,000 people should correspond to 70% of the maximum capacity of that venue for regular concerts, as the specific stage and production needs of Eurovision should be taken into consideration. The venue should also have ample space within easy access of the main hall to support additional production needs, such as: a press centre capable of hosting over 1,000 journalists; delegation spaces, dressing rooms, artist facilities, staff facilities, hospitality, audience facilities.
Many hurdles may lie ahead, but Palazzo Acreide has received support from across Italy. The Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy has backed the proposal. There is also an online petition on change.org. Aiello concludes: “Regardless of how it will end, we have triggered positive energies for the area. But did you know that Palazzolo Acreide was among the 8 most clicked searches on Google yesterday? I understand the ironies, but I answer by asking you: why others who could have applied have not done so? We are not the favourites, but we play it. We have ambition, we have dreams and we try to chase them. We do not participate only for the popularity of one day, although for the moment I recognize that it was a media success at the cost of an email”.
Eurovision 2022 bidding process
- Acireale (Catania)
- Bertinoro di Romagna (Forlì – Cesena)
- Jesolo (Venice)
- Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse)
- Sanremo (Imperia)
The next stage will see all the candidates complete a more detailed document with the necessary requirements for hosting Eurovision. These bid books must be submitted to RAI by Wednesday 4 August. The final decision will be made by RAI in conjunction with the EBU by the end of August.
What do you think of Palazzolo Acreide’s chances? Would you like to go to Eurovision there? Let us know in the comments.