• Chris Hannaford

The EBU Reference Group Have Met


It looks like plans for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 are in full swing. It's only been a month since Portugal won the Grand Final, and the EBU have met with Portuguese Broadcaster RTP to discuss next years Eurovision. After, the constraints of the contest held in Kyiv last month, the EBU will be hoping for a much smoother process. Since the late 90's the contest has gotten grander and a lot more expensive so with the task of putting 2 semi finals, and a Grand Final together, will Portugal be up for the job?

The reference group meet around 6 times a year, and tend to meet with the host broadcaster to discuss plans for the up and coming Eurovision. Here, they will check the progress of the winning country, but also discuss other important factors for the contest. These things can include rule changes, broadcasts, and securing finances ensuring it can be afforded. More so, since last year when there was a plethora of problems in Kyiv, the EBU will tend to get more hands on, and trying to prevent such issues from occurring again.

The EBU reference group met with RTP yesterday to discuss plans

So is Portugal up for the job? Well it has only been a month, but certainly all the right signals are coming from Europe's most western nation. RTP would have presented their plans to the EBU. Also, possible venues and dates would have also been discussed. It is more than likely that the contest will be held in early May, and that Lisbon stands a strong chance of welcoming Europe. At the moment, a bidding phase of the competition will take place, with Jon Ola Sand stating, "the next key milestone will be the selection of the venue". Stay tuned to Eurovoxx for that announcement. This meeting has also given the delegates from Ukraine last year to give their valuable advice to Portugal on hosting. After all, it is the first time the country has won. With so much pride riding in Portugal at the moment, there is no doubt that they will put on a spectacular broadcast, and show to the world, that they are capable of such events. Certainly, the team at RTP seem very excited, and the fact it has taken them so long to win this competition means that they are ready to show the world what they can do.

So what next? RTP will take away all the information that has been gathered from the meeting. However, next time they meet with the reference group they are likely to confirm dates, and venues. Also, they will chose and design a slogan, and from there events will take quite a quick turn. Whatever happens Portugal is at long last ready to host. So bring the sunscreen, and flags, and be prepared for an amazing show.

Portugal has entered the competition on no less than 49 times. 2018 will see a milestone for them as it will be their 50th year, but also their year for hosting. Portugal held the record for the most appearances in the contest without a win until 2017. Salvador Sobral's entry "Amar Pelos Dois" changed all that when he won in Kyiv with both the jury and public vote gaining 758 points.

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