In October 2017, Belarus was announced as the host country for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The contest will be held in the capital city, Minsk and today Belorussian broadcaster BTRC have revealed that the Minsk Arena will once again host the contest, after it played host to the 2010 edition. The broadcaster has also announced that the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, Vasily Zharko will be the head of the organising committee for this event. So far, only Belarus and Georgia have confirmed their participation for the 2018 contest.
The news that Belarus would be hosting the next years contest came as a surprise to many, especially as the 2017 contest hadn't even begun yet! However, the Junior Eurovision Steering Group decided to remove a clause in the rules that gave the winning country first refusal to host the next years contest. This decision was made to ensure that the host country had more time to prepare for the contest.
This clause was first introduced in 2014. The winners, Italy, declined to host the 2015 contest and instead, it was hosted by runners up, Bulgaria. The winners of the 2015 and 2016 contests, Malta and Georgia, both decided to host the contest, thus there being no need to use the clause. Since this clause has been removed, EBU members have been given the opportunity to apply to host the next years contest.
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest had this to say:
"The rule change to allow a host for next year's competition to be chosen earlier not only gives the host broadcaster longer to prepare what is a huge production but also protects the future of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We are therefore delighted to announce, before we gather in Tbilisi for the 2017 competition, that BTRC will be the host broadcaster of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. BTRC's application to host was extremely strong, and we have full confidence that they will put the same enthusiasm into the preparations of next year's event."