The Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, has met in Kyiv to discuss the upcoming competition. These meetings take place regularly throughout the year and are crucial to ensure that the planning of the event remains on-track and to support the Host Broadcaster produce a world-class show. The Reference Group also met with representatives from the City of Kyiv and relevant authorities.
Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand stated that whilst Ukrainian Host Broadcaster NTU has made great progress in recent weeks, challenges remain. "The Reference Group is a valuable body and a good team of professionals who can advise and support", he said. "NTU are developing really good ideas, there is good progression. They have presented a good draft of the event design, they have presented ideas for the stage and ideas for the concept. I have to say though, there is still a lot to do", he said.
The budget for the 2017 contest is in place however there are ongoing discussions on how this can be accessed. According to Jon Ola Sand there are also some legislation issues in Ukraine which have the potential to impact on the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv; "There are hurdles that the authorities have to look into to make sure that the project can move swiftly. It is going well, we have full confidence in NTU and the city authorities but there are still some issues that have not been solved and we are slightly concerned that time is running out. They need to speed up and they need to have the full support of the government in order to make it to the finishing line. We will follow that very very closely".Gallery: In pictures: Reference Group and EBU meet in Kyiv
Following the meeting delegates were taken to the International Exhibition Centre, the venue for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Ticket sales for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest are likely to go on sale in January. The next Reference Group meeting will take place in Kyiv in January, along with the Semi-Final Allocation Draw, however the EBU will continue to work closely with NTU in order to support them with the organisation of the 2017 contest.