Eurovision’s organising body the European Broadcasting Union has confirmed that Ukraine will not host the 2023 contest. In a statement released on Friday 17 June, the EBU said that discussions will now begin with the United Kingdom.
EBU Statement on Eurovision 2023 host country
- Since Kalush Orchestra’s victory in May, the EBU has been exploring options with Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC.
- The EBU conducted a full assessment and feasibility study with the broadcaster and third-party specialists on multiple areas including safety and security.
The Reference Group, Eurovision’s governing board, has concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce Eurovision cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.
The EBU will now begin discussions with 2022 runners up the United Kingdom about potentially hosting the contest.
It is intended that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority.
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Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.
It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.
Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.
The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.
The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.
As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.
BBC replies to Eurovision hosting news
The BBC was quick to react. Its press office issued the following statement that “these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want” and that it will “discuss” the opportunity.