The organizers of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest held a special press conference in Kyiv in order to update the assembled press and media, including foreign journalists about the preparations regarding the forthcoming ESC.
A special briefing by ESC 2017 organizers was held at the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting on February 16 to cover the course of preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest. Ms. Hanna Bychok (Acting Head of the Managing Board of Public Joint Stock Company “Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine”), Mr. Pavlo Hrytsak (Deputy Head of JSC “UA: PBC”), Mr. Ola Melzig (ESC 2017 Head of Production), Mr. Oleksii Reznikov (Deputy Head of Kyiv City State Administrations) were all present at the press conference and answered journalists’ questions and queries. In particular, they briefed the assembled media on the recent management changes, ticket sales and Kyiv’s preparations for welcoming ESC fans and tourists.
Ms. Hanna Bychok (Acting Head of UA:PBC) says:
We fully understand that the international community is closely watching Ukraine these days due to a number of reasons. Therefore, it is now especially important to present the country to the world, let everybody feel our hospitality and get familiar with our history, culture, demonstrate our sincerity and, most importantly, civility and peacefulness.
She also said that some top managers who recently left the ESC organizing team had no previous experience in international state-level events of the similar kind. Specialists who will replace them at their positions have already been found; the candidates will now have to be approved by the EBU. The latter is under control whilst the delay will soon be removed.
Mr. Pavlo Hrytsak (Deputy Head of JSC UA: PBC) gave more details regarding the course of the contest’s preparations. He went on to mention that over 9,000 ESC 2017 tickets had already been sold in 2 days since the sales started and that an agreement had been signeed with the official travel agent. He added that hotel booking for ESC 2017 started on February 6, 21 delegations from the ESC participating countries have already booked their hotel rooms. No problems have arisen so far with the bookings.
Pavlo Hrytsak also reported on a range of tender procedures for the procurement of services for the Eurovision Song Contest. The Government passed a law at the end of the previous year enabling simplified tender procedures to be held for the needs of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Mr. Pavlo Hrytsak says:
Selecting a system of public procurements through prozorro.gov.ua was our principled position. Preliminary selection through this system takes five working days. Then we negotiate with participants and seek approval of the EBU.
The tender for grandstands preparation and installation services has been announced recently, and the supplier will be known on February 21. Tender procedures for telecommunications services are also ongoing.
The Deputy Head of UA: PBC also spoke about the staff changes. Thus specialists to replace all top managers who have left the ESC project have already been found.
By the way, it took only 72 hours. Firstly, it owes to the assistance from the state and Kyiv authorities. Secondly, there are a lot of highly professional specialists in the market for these particular vacancies. Moreover, no television production specialists left the team. The managers who left dealt with event and commercial matters.
All candidates will take office upon approval of the EBU.
A dedicated interdepartmental commission has also been established composed of the ESC Host Broadcaster, Kyiv authorities and representatives of some Ministries.
In addition the locations for the ESC 2017 events have already been decided. So there is no doubt that the Eurovision Song Contest will be held on the highest level.
Ms. Hanna Bychok (Acting Head of UA: PBC) answered questions about the contest’s budget during the briefing. The budget of the Eurovision Song Contest is composed of UAH 455.7 million allocated from the State Budget and UAH 200 million from Kyiv City, participation fees, revenues from National and International Sponsorship, ticket sales revenues, commentary booths rent and other components.
Ms. Hanna Bychok says:
Under the law, these are the costs directly purposed for the Contest organization. All expenditures will be disclosed. If some costs are saved, they will be used in accordance with the current laws.
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 9, 11 and 13 May at the IEC in Kyiv, Ukraine.