Will we see Kazakhstan debut at the forthcoming 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon? Is Khabar Agency eligible to participate in our beloved contest? ESCToday decided to investigate further into this matter and contacted the EBU in order to enlighten us on the potential Kazakh participation in the competition.
After the mediatic frenzy, rumours and rejoinders hinting on Kazakhstan joining the Eurovision family in Portugal next year, ESCToday got in touch with the European Broadcasting Union in order to solve this mystery. The EBU told ESCToday:
Participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is limited to Members of the EBU or specially invited Associates. Associates of the EBU may be eligible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, this is decided by the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, on a case by case basis. An announcement on the participating nations for the 2018 contest will be made in due course.
Does this mean that we could possibly see Kazakhstan join the competition next year, if its broadcaster is invited by the EBU? Does the EBU’s answer leave the door open for other Associate Members to participate in Eurovision in the future?
Hence with the EBU’s answer we understand that EBU Associate Members are eligible to enter the competition with the approval and invitation of the Reference Group and the EBU.
Earlier this month ESCToday contacted Khabar Agency in order to confirm if Kazakhstan was planning to enter the contest next year. The Kazakh broadcaster told ESCToday it had no information yet on its participation at the 2018 ESC in Lisbon.
So far, a total of 34 countries have confirmed their participation at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May in Lisbon, Portugal.
The deadline for broadcasters to officially apply for Eurovision 2018 concluded on 15 September. Hereafter, countries have a grace period to confirm their participation or withdraw their application without a penalty until 10 October.
The final list of the 2018 Eurovision participating countries is expected to be released by the EBU later during the year.