Newsletter: The Road to Portugal… Written by on May 22, 2017 | 3 Comments

As the dust officially settles on the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, fans face a long summer of emptiness before the 2018 season can begin again in earnest. In the latest edition of the ESC Insight Newsletter, John Lucas presents a roundup of what we know so far…

In our latest edition of the ESC Insight Newsletter, we look at the countries who have already expressed an interest in participating next year, the artists enjoying significant post-Contest chart success and round up the best of ESC Insight’s coverage of this year’s Contest.

But first, a quick look at what we might expect from our trip to Portugal next year…

Quality, Elegance and Simplicity…

The dust has finally settled on a historic Eurovision Song Contest 2017, with perennial underdogs Portugal landing their first win – and indeed their first ever top five placement – on their 49th appearance at the Contest.

For fans, the long wait until Eurovision 2018 now begins – or at least until the Junior Contest kicks off in November. However, while little or nothing is likely to be set in stone for a few months, preparations are already underway for next year’s festivities.

First of all, we’re almost certainly going to Lisbon. This was apparently confirmed by the national broadcaster RTP on 15th May, after the first post-contest meetings took place.

Subsequently, representatives from the Portuguese cities of Guimarães, Faro and Santa Maria da Feira have called for a formal bidding process, but it is unlikely that any of them would fit the criteria for hosting an event on this scale. Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, could potentially have given Lisbon a run for their money, but have already ruled themselves out of contention for the time being due to other commitments for their major venues.

Speaking of venues, the 20,000 capacity MEO Arena is shaping up as the most likely place to hold the contest. One of the largest indoor arenas in the European Union, MEO has already hosted many major sports and entertainment events, including the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards and the 2003 World Men’s Handball Championship.

RTP’s Director General has promised that the 2018 Contest will be hosted “with a tone of quality, elegance and simplicity” and “without excess”. Portugal has only recently emerged from the grip of recession, so budget is likely to be a major discussion point over the coming months.

In any event, following Salvador Sobral’s “music is not fireworks” speech last Saturday night, a more restrained affair does seem appropriate to Portugal’s newly successful Eurovision brand. Spare a thought for poor 2014 fan favourite Suzy, who looks unlikely to be invited for a second chance to share her Pimba-inspired body shaking with Europe in light of this newly serious outlook.

About The Author: John Lucas

A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.

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3 responses to “Newsletter: The Road to Portugal…”

  1. Evan Davis says:

    I’m currently in Lisbon on a holiday I booked in October … so complete coincidence!

    I had a look around (but not in) the MEO Arena.

    It’s in the precinct that hosted the World Expo in 1998. As a result there are plenty of available function halls that will invariably be used for press centres, rehearsals, etc.

    There are a lot of 5 star hotels in walking distance (snapped up by the EBU by now I reckon). Trains and buses have a hub here (it’s on the metro line from the airport). The centre of Lisbon is about 15 mins away.

    As well as a very large shopping centre and casino, there is also a lot of open space that could be used for the Euroclub.

    Just walking around the Park of Nations, I had a sense that next year’s Eurovision will have an amazing atmosphere to it. It’s a brilliant and near perfect site for Eurovision.

  2. Shevek says:

    Well, I am Portuguese and I live in Lisbon. I can take the underground from my home and be at Meo Arena in 20 minutes. 🙂 Getting tickets will be difficult, for sure, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. As Evan said, Parque das Nações is perfect to host ESC and I hope that RTP and the city of Lisbon do a great job organizing th whole thing.

  3. Mark Butler says:

    I really hope the contest will be more Suzy than Salvador. I’ve already heard too much bleating about “real music”. We have to deal with enough of that snootiness coming from outside the Eurovision bubble, let’s not have it get any further.

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