With nearly 200 days to go, plans for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest are well under way. Over the summer a city bid selection process took place and Kyiv emerged as the winner and will host the competition in May next year. Over the past few days representatives from the EBU met in Kyiv to agree on key milestones and deadlines required for the organisation of the event. Ukraine won the right to host the contest following Jamala's victory in Stockholm with the song 1944.
Last month several key city venues were announced in the media, including the proposed venues for the Euroclub and the opening ceremony. Whilst the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest remains the International Exhibition Centre, NTU and the authorities in Kyiv are still discussing various options for the other event-related locations. "We are still discussing many options and it is too early to confirm some of other locations in the city", said Jon Ola Sand.
Financial issues were on the agenda of the meetings as well as the set up of the organisation team. The EBU emphasised the importance of involving local talent from Ukraine as well as European experts. Jon Ola Sand explained; "It is challenging for every broadcaster as we have so much work to do in a limited time".
Next month the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, will meet in Kyiv to discuss the proposed content of the show as well as the involvement of key personnel. The question of tickets will also be discussed. Jon Ola Sand is optimistic about the possibility of ticket sales before Christmas although he emphasised that there is still a lot to confirm before the sales process will begin. "Since it is not a ready concert hall or ready venue we need to have the stage design in place before we know what kind of tickets we can sell".
Kyiv will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time and Jon Ola Sand is confident that host broadcaster NTU will rise to the challenge of producing an excellent event in May. "I’ve been to Ukraine and Kyiv many times over the few past months and I can really say to everyone that you will have a great time here in May when you come to Ukraine. We will have three fantastic TV shows from Kyiv and the city has a lot to offer".