The fifth annual workshop dedicated to the Eurovision Song Contest has taken place in Berlin, Germany. The workshop was attended by delegations from around Europe and beyond and a diverse range of topics from politics to performance were discussed. The event provides a valuable opportunity for broadcasters to share knowledge and experience from the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Eurovision Workshop is part of the EBU's Eurovision Creative Forum and is an opportunity for EBU Members to share knowledge, ideas and best practice around the Eurovision Song Contest. The workshop also marks the beginning of a new season where broadcasters turn their attention to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in May 2018.
Handing over the reigns
The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, opened the 2017 workshop by thanking Pavlo Hrytsak, the Executive Producer of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, and his team for all their work on the 2017 competition. The challenges around hosting the the contest in Ukraine were well-documented but public broadcaster UA:PBC rose to these challenges and produced three spectacular live shows from Kyiv in May.
Pavlo Hrytsak and his team formally concluded the handover of the Eurovision Song Contest to representatives from the 2018 Host Broadcaster RTP, the EBU and the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group. Eurovision 2017 may be over with but 2018 is just beginning!
Learning from experience
During the workshop participants heard first-hand experiences from a range of different delegations. Representatives from RTP discussed their vision for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest and shared news about the preparations so far.
Paul Clarke, Head of Delegation for Australia gave delegates a unique insight into the forthcoming Eurovision Asia Song Contest. There was considerable interest in the format and how it is being developed in the Asia-Pacific region.
Joanna Levieva-Sawyer, Head of Delegation from Bulgaria, shared her knowledge and experience of turning failure into success at the Eurovision Song Contest. Bulgaria achieved its best ever placing at the contest in 2016, only to beat this record in 2017. Joana and her colleague Vasil Ivanov also revealed that the popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest is increasing in the country. Bulgaria also successfully hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015.
The Eurovision Song Contest enjoys the highest share of viewers in Iceland where 98% of the population tuned in to watch the 2017 edition. Head of Delegation Felix Bergsson was able to share how the incredible interest in the Eurovision Song Contest is sustained in the country year on year. Felix, who presented alongside his colleague Birna Ósk Hansdottir, revealed that over 300,000 votes were received in the Icelandic national selection. A pretty impressive number when the total population of Iceland, around 330,000 is considered!
The workshop was also an opportunity for representatives from the broadcasters to get answers to their questions on a broad range of Eurovision topics.
Eurovision 2018: So far, so good!
The Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, met following the workshop in Berlin. The group oversees the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest and take important decisions concerning the format of the programme. Representatives from Host Broadcaster RTP provided the group with detailed plans for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest including the proposed venues for the Euro Club and Eurovision Village. The theme artwork and slogan for the forthcoming competition were also discussed.
The deadline for EBU Members to apply for participation in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest has now passed. The full list of participants in the 2018 competition will be released later in the year. The Reference Group are satisfied that plans for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest are progressing well. The next Reference Group meeting will take place in Lisbon in November.
In short, when it comes to Lisbon 2018, it's a case of so far, so good!