They were due to bring their unique brand of folktronica and rock to the Söngvakeppnin 2022 grand final on Saturday. However, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Go_A are unable to travel to Iceland.
Go_A were initally invited to peform during the interval of the national final on the back of topping the Icelandic televote at Eurovision 2021. In their absence, Sweden’s Tusse — the 2021 runner-up with the Icelandic public — will perform instead.
Go_A will no longer perform at the Söngvakeppnin 2022 final
In a statement, Söngvakeppnin organisers say: “When it became clear that Go_A could not come to Iceland, the representatives of the competition here in Iceland contacted Tusse, the Swedish singer who represented Sweden at Eurovision in Rotterdam last year”. Tusse will sing his Melodifestivalen hit “Voices” on Saturday.
The show’s team sent their support to the “SHUM” group with Söngvakeppnin director Rúnar Freyr Gíslason explaining that: “We’ve had a good relationship with the [Go_A] team for the last few weeks and told them how sorry we are. I also told them that our thoughts were with them and that Icelanders supported them during this difficult time. We last said goodbye with the hope that they would be able to visit us next year”.
The Russian Invasion of Ukraine
On Thursday 24 February, Russia launched a long-feared “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine. This happened just days after Russia’s authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin recognised the pro-Russian breakaway regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and eight years after Russia illegally annexed Crimea. Ever since, Ukraine has been subjected to heavy airstrikes and fierce fighting.
In the wake of the invasion Europe and its allies have imposed severe economic sancitons on Russia, while sporting and cultural bodies have excluded the country from international events, including Eurovision. Ukrainian artists have been doing their best to get important messages out to their followers both at home and abroad. Ukraine’s Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala performed at national finals in Germany and Romania, after fleeing with her family to the latter. Go_A too have provided regular updates on their social media channels. Lead singer Kateryna Pavlenko has called for the skies to be closed over Ukraine, while also sharing details of some of the destruction caused by Russian forces.