NTU, Ukraine's public broadcaster and host of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, have chosen their creative agency and travel agent, each after a thorough tender procedure to find the best possible partner for the job. Meanwhile, Stage Designer Florian Wieder, Show Producer Stuart Barlow and Creative Director Oleh Bodnarchuk joined NTU's core team. The announcements were made early this morning, as Europe started its final countdown towards 2017.
The creative agency, stage designer and official travel agent have been approved by the Reference Group, the contest's governing body on behalf of the participating broadcasters, and the European Broadcasting Union.
Republique and Banda Agency won creative pitch
Two Ukrainian agencies, Republique and Banda Agency, joined forces under the name Re Design Team, and won the pitch to become the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest's creative agency, NTU announced. 11 top Ukrainian creative agencies submitted 23 creative concepts for the upcoming contest.
"It should be noted that the pitch was deliberately held among Ukrainian companies or Ukrainian offices of international agencies. We did not involve any global companies based outside Ukraine. It was crucial for us to invite Ukrainian professionals to participate in this pitch in order to show the world the best national design and idea as a result," says Victoria Romanova, one of the two Executive Producers of the contest. "We also sincerely thank all the companies that joined the creation of the creative concept. We were really impressed by the number and quality of the ideas developed by Ukrainian agencies."
When their creative concept was shortlisted Dmytro Basov, Art Director of Republique, said: "This contest is about friendship, unity, the fact that we are all different and can enrich one another. It is a boost for us as a country, and winning this pitch would become a boost for us as an agency."
Yaroslav Serdiuk, Head of Strategy at Banda Agency, added: "We want to convey a specific message, use the Eurovision Song Contest as a platform to say something to Europe. We as an agency would like to help in that."
The creative concept itself will be presented in January 2017.
Creative Producer and Show Producer appointed
NTU's team has been joined by Creative Producer Oleh Bodnarchuk, who will work together with Show Producer Stuart Barlow on the creative aspects of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
"For the 2017 contest, we are preparing a unique, modern world-class, Ukrainian show. To this end, we have built a team of national and international professionals, who have a long-standing experience in the production of TV shows. Stuart Barlow has been working in the media industry for over 20 years and joined the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Baku, Malmo, Copenhagen and Vienna. Oleh Bodnarchuk has repeatedly directed the most popular Ukrainian shows, such as The Star Factory and The Voice. Last year, his staging of a performance at the US project America's Got Talent was a success. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will fuse Ukrainian and international experience," says Executive Producer Victoria Romanova.
Florian Wieder to design the stage
After an international pitch, NTU received four proposals for the stage design of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest; two from Ukraine and two from abroad. Eventually, Florian Wieder was chosen to design the stage for the upcoming contest.
Upon his selection, Wieder said: "I love the idea behind Eurovision Song Contest. So many different countries and cultures come together in peace to celebrate this event that’s what truly excites me. The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most exciting projects of my career. There are only a few like this in the world, so it is a huge honour for me to be the designer for this years show in Kyiv."
This is the fourth time Wieder designs the Eurovision stage. Earlier he did so for the contest in Düsseldorf (2011), Baku (2012) and Vienna (2015). He has also worked for The X Factor in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the MTV VMAs.
NTU has already entered into all necessary agreements with the contest's venue, the International Exhibition Center in Kyiv. The stage and grandstands construction will start in late March 2017, several weeks before the contestants will travel to Kyiv for their first on-stage rehearsals.
Pilot chosen as official travel agent
The company Pilot has been appointed as the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest's official travel agent. The company will be responsible for hotel booking matters for the 43 participating delegations, foreign crew, sponsors, press and fans who will visit Kyiv.
Olena Korchynska, Director General of Pilot, said: "We will provide a 24/7 English speaking support service for delegations. We will consider the wishes of every country so that is as convenient for everyone as possible and to leave everyone with the best impressions about Ukraine. For our part, we also intend to have a sequence of negotiations with our Stockholm counterparts to adopt their Eurovision experience to the utmost and take into account all important details."
Online booking of the official hotels will start after the Host City Insignia Exchange between the Mayor of Kyiv and the Mayor of Stockholm, the Host City of the contest in 2016, in late January. The selection of hotels, available rooms and prices will be made available in due time.
43 countries have confirmed their participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Victoria Romanova and Oleksandr Kharebin have been approved as the contest's Executive Producers. The Semi-Finals will take place in Kyiv on Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 May, the Grand Final on Saturday 13 May.