Ten things about Eurovision 2015

Next May, Vienna will once again host the Eurovision Song Contest – for the second time since 1967! Here is an overview of the ten things we already know about next year’s biggest music spectacle which will be held in the Austrian capital.

  1. The 60th edition of the Song Contest will take place in Vienna from the 19th until the 23rd of May 2015.
  2. The venue will be the Viennese arena Wiener Stadthalle, and the city will bear the costs of carrying out the event. Vienna’s City Council already approved 11.89 million euros as the budget for the Contest, of which the largest portion  – approx. 8.9 million euros – will be channeled to Stadthalle’s account alone.
  3. For those wanting to experience the music spectacle live, you will have the opportunity to buy your tickets around mid-November. Around 100,000 tickets will go on sale for the three live shows and for the open rehearsals.
  4. Who will represent Austria in Vienna and be Conchita’s successor? With a new national selection format, Austria will be going on a hunt for new talents. Music professionals Anna F. and Alex Deutsch will take over the task in leading the auditions, but it will be up to the Austrian public to choose their entrant in four different television shows which will be shown on ORF1 some time in February.
  5. According to information provided by the travel search engine Checkfelix, for the “Eurovision Week” period, hotel prices have almost doubled. If we take into account that the average price for a room in a 5-star hotel in late June 2014 was approximately 170 euros, many will be struck by surprise to hear that the price for the same room for the 2nd half of May has already risen to a staggering 310 euros – an 80-something percent increase. For 3-star hotels, the increase amounts to approximately 47 percent.
  6. Who will be the host(s) of the Eurovision Song Contest? There has been much speculation about who will host the shows in May. In a Facebook group (stergrissemannesc), more than 11,000 people want to see Dirk Stermann and Christoph Grissemann host the event. Dirk Stermann, however, dismissed the idea, saying “We are not the right people for something like that. Christoph Waltz (an Austrian actor) and Conchita Wurst would be a better choice.” Who will actually host the shows will be announced in early November.
  7. The official Austrian Eurovision fan club OGAE Austria experienced an unpredictable rush of new members. The president of the club, Markus Tritremmel said “The number of new members has increased enormously since Conchita’s win – from 150 to unbelievable 420! What played an important role in the rise of members is perhaps the fact that the club will receive a large quota on tickets from the EBU.” OGAE Austria will have a club meeting this coming Saturday.
  8. Ukraine announced its withdrawal from the 2015 Contest due to financial and political reasons. “We just don’t have the money to make a good performance” said Zurab Alasania, the CEO of the Ukrainian national broadcaster NTKU. Ukraine already pocketed one victory at Eurovision – in 2004 – when Ruslana won with Wild Dances. Whether we will see the ex-Soviet republic’s return in 2016 is not yet clear.
  9. Apart from Ukraine, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Monaco and Turkey will also not participate in Eurovision 2015. The possibility of Albania taking part in the Contest is still out in the open.
  10. Nevertheless, 38 countries will battle for the winning trophy in Vienna next May, including: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


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