Eight countries unite against the EBU’s changes to the Liverpool press center

A group of eight countries participating in Eurovision 2023 have co-signed a letter to the EBU. They are protesting against holding the first rehearsals behind closed doors and the later than usual opening of the press center. The news broke today from Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.


The eight signatory delegations are Azerbaijan, Czechia, Latvia, Malta, Switzerland, Poland, San Marino and Portugal. This letter was sent back in March to Dave Goodman, the EBU’s Director of Communications. It is also reported that Belgium and Estonia wanted to join the protest but the letter had already been sent.


For the first time in decades, Eurovision’s Reference Group decided that the first week of Eurovision rehearsals would take place behind closed doors.

Furthermore, almost all press conferences have been suspended, including those that took place after the rehearsals of each country, giving each delegation a spotlight in front of the press.

This means the Liverpool press center will only be open for six days, from 8th to 13th May. For comparison, Rotterdam’s was open for a total of 15 days while Turin’s stayed open for 11 days and all interviews and press conferences went ahead as normal.

This has been most upsetting to those countries performing in Semi Final 1, as with the late opening of the press center, these delegations have just over a day to do promotion on the ground, while still having a very tight schedule of dress rehearsals and preparations for the live performances.

EBU’s Response

In response to Aftonbladet, Dave Goodman gave two reasons why the press center will open so late:

  1. Goodman explained that the daily cost of operating the press center is one of the reasons to reduce the days it is open. He also pointed out that most ‘professional’ media do not usually reach the host city until Eurovision week, while it is just the ‘fan media’ who attend for two full weeks.
  2. Goodman added that protecting artists from negative comments on social media is easier to do when the first rehearsals are done behind closed doors. Also, the EBU have created a space for meet and greets and short interviews at the Euroclub, yet only 14 delegations have taken them up on this offer.

What do you think of the move to make changes to the press center and press conferences? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

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