Kyiv, Are You Ready To Host The Eurovision Song Contest? Written by on March 14, 2017 | 2 Comments

With just 6 weeks until many of the delegations will start arriving for the contest, and the heads of delegation meeting now wrapping up in Kyiv, it seems a large question mark still hangs over many of the arrangements for Eurovision in Ukraine. Sharleen Wright caught up with Ukraines’ national tourism minister Anton Tarenenko in Berlins’ ITB – the worlds largest travel conference – seeking answers to some of the most important and eagerly awaited news.

During their time together, the two discussed the experience fans should expect once on the ground, the nature of safety in Kyiv, including that of financial issues already suffered by some with ATM and card skimming, and hotel availability.

At the time of the interview, there was no public availability of the much promised hotel rooms held for sale, but these are now released online at eurovision.pilot.ua/en/eurovision_guests The site was launched with little to no fanfare through eurovision.tv, and indicates that it closes for sale on 15th March, giving fans little time to secure the availability. It is expected that after the date, hotels will then be free to open up bookings online once again at whatever prices they wish to set.

For those attending, the most eagerly awaited news is that of accreditation and party arrangements for fans. The details however remain hazy. Anton Tarenenko indicates that the chosen Euroclub venue – Parkovy – holds up to 5000 people with room enough to host fans on accreditations similar to those organised by Stockholm 2016. However, rumblings from the EBU and official organisers indicate far smaller numbers and no clear location for the general fans to assemble at. The tourism minister also mentions a Eurovillage venue, and a ‘Eurovision Embassy’; which appears to be a daytime destination for fan gatherings, similar to that of the OGAE-fanclub-organised Eurocafe. An official announcement is promised for later this week following the HOD meeting on all these elements.

Sharleen also discusses whether there will be large disruptions to travel plans, given that the Zhuliany (IEV) airport will be closing for runway repairs the day following the grand final as a promised 20,000 fans try to make their way home. The larger airport, Boryspil, will be handling the additional traffic, however it is highly recommended to fans to check with their individual airline about any possible time changes and also re-confirmation of flights.

For Australian fans, the conversation becomes more serious as there have been rumours swirling around the visa arrangements for the contest. Rather than clear this up, according to the national tourism minister, there have been last minute talks regarding visa-waiving arrangements. Given the late nature of changes and lack of official communication, both the Australian Embassy in Kyiv and the Ukrainian Embassy in Canberra are still highly recommending all Australian passport holders to secure their visas prior to arrival.

One thing is for certain at this time, the arrangements in Kyiv seem as uncertain as they were when first proposed months ago.

About The Author: Sharleen Wright

Sharleen Wright is the co-founder of ESC Insight and a freelance journalist and researcher. She has previously worked for numerous community radio stations in Sydney Australia, and contributed to the wider world of comedy holding production and promotions roles at both the Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her written words have appeared online, as well as The List magazine, and numerous fanzines on the topics of television and specifically, Eurovision . She is currently based in Australia and undertaking research on food and event tourism. You can follow Sharleen on Twitter (@sharly77) and Facebook (facebook.com/sharleenwright).

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2 responses to “Kyiv, Are You Ready To Host The Eurovision Song Contest?”

  1. […] Eurovision National Final season is over, leaving us with a yawning seven week gap that we fill in whatever way we can – meticulously reorganising our spreadsheets, planning our parties and getting ready to visit a Kyiv that may or may not be ready for us.  […]

  2. Adriana says:

    Guys, what are your opinions on the potential banning of the Russian singer in Ukraine? I also read that the Ukrainian authorities are also looking into the Armenian & Bulgarian performers. If they ban countries, others should boycott this farce of a venue

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