So that’s it, the decision has been made and the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest venue has been decided. Host broadcaster decided not to have the conversation “Where the fuck is Herning?” with the people of Europe, and Copenhagen will host the show. Of course it is! We never had any doubts … erm. But that raises the question of just WHERE in Copenhagen will it be? The colossal Parken Stadium pulled out of the bidding a few months ago.
The answer is that they will build a venue. Sort of. B&W Hallerne is a decommissioned shipyard on an almost-island in Copenhagen harbour, opposite the gorgeous Kastellet. As it happens I walked around there when I went to the Malmö show! B&W stands for Burmeister & Wain, an Anglo-Danish venture that became a huge shipyard and producer of diesel engines over its 150-year history. It eventually closed in 1996 after going bankrupt, and has been since used for all sort of things.
Hosting the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest will involve a 10,000 capacity venue being built, a proposed “Eurovision island”. The capacity will make it the smallest Eurovision venue since Kiev hosted the 2005 contest in its Sports Palace, so SVT’s 2013 wish to make Eurovision a more intimate affair has been taken to another extreme. I guess tickets will be like gold dust too… but at least fans will know a good hotel in the area, since you can probably see Malmö Arena from Copenhagen, something DR were keen to point out at the last grand final.
What else do we know then? The slogan was announced too. “Join us!”. Simple, I’ll be interested to see how they will weave that into a theme. I mean everyone seemed to hate Malmö’s “We are one” initially, mostly because Eurovision loons are bitches, but that worked really well.
DR and the EBU will certainly be looking for countries to join them, hoping to lure back some countries from the cold. At the moment, the tally is up to 24 countries, with no withdrawals or returns announced yet. That tally is obviously going to increase though as we approach the deadline for application which I think is around Christmas.
Few countries have done much more than announce intentions, though two countries have picked their artist. Tijana Dapčević is to represent FYR Macedonia, and the radiant Valentina Monetta is hoping for third time luck as she represents San Marino for a third consecutive year. Russia look to be one of the first to pick their song, announcing New Year’s Eve as their national final date a few days ago.
While Jon Ola Sand tries to bring back Turkey, Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Portugal, there is a worry that Greece might be out after the government shut down their state broadcaster earlier this year. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. There’s even a chance of a few debuts, with Liechtenstein and Kosovo apparently keen to join the party, but that hinges on their joining the EBU in time.
Either way, it should be interesting to see how the contest develops from here, it certainly seems to be on the road now, and fortunately that road doesn’t lead to Herning, wherever that is.