The first post-Rotterdam meeting of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group took place in Geneva this week.
From left to right: Claudio Fasulo, Deputy Director of RAI Uno, Simona Martorelli (RAI), Felix Bergsson (RÚV), David Tserunyan (AMPTV), Martin Österdahl (EBU), Carla Bugalho (RTP), Yuval Cohen (KAN), Sietse Bakker (NPO), Astrid Dutrenit (NPO), Frank-Dieter Freiling (ZDF).
(Note: Claudio Fasulo isn’t on the Reference Group and Alexandra Redde (FTV) who is, is absent from the photo.)
The Reference Group is made up of elected Heads of Delegations, executive producers from previous Host Broadcasters and the ESC Executive Supervisor from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It’s their job to steer the Contest from Host to Host.
The triumphant Italian Head of Delegation, Simona Martorelli, shared her excitement about Italy’s chance to host the world’s biggest music event:
'There is a lot of enthusiasm around the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy. This victory is combined with a sentiment of rebirth that Italy really needs. We’re looking forward to working with the Reference Group on producing an incredible ESC in Italy in 2022.
In the story of Eurovision, my favourite song is ABBA’s Waterloo and my favourite Italian entry is, of course, Maneskin’s Zitti E Buoni!'
Dismissing the old proverb ‘all roads lead to Rome’, Simona revealed the number one item on her agenda:
'Our first task is of course to find a great Host City over the summer for next year’s show.'
Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl welcomed the Reference Group to the EBU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland:
It’s great to finally be able to welcome the Reference Group to Geneva and meet in person for the first time in over 18 months.
The handover between the previous and next year’s Host Broadcaster is always a special moment and even more so this year. We’ve reflected on three spectacular shows in Rotterdam and are excited to welcome the team from RAI onboard and already looking forward to what they will bring us in 2022.
The countdown to Italy 2022 begins!