In three months, Kiev has to be ready for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. While host broadcaster NTU and its partners are generally on schedule, preparations are going slow because of bureaucracy. Though, everyone involved is doing his or her very best to make everything as easy as possible…
Palats Sportu, the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest venue, is currently undergoing a revamp. NTU president Olexander Savenko said to Komsomol�skaya Pravda last week that the neccesary budgets have not yet been approved 100%, which means “no final contract with the venue has been signed yet”, he said. NTU submitted several budget proposals to the Ukranian governement, but due to the elections, the problems surrounding them and the governement change, budget approval is going slow. The budget provided by the EBU has already been secured, but will, according to Savenko, be paid after the contest.
Light has been outsourced again to Spectra+, a Swedish company doing the job since 2000. The roof can carry more than 40 tons of weight, which makes it ideal for light rigging. “The roof of Palats Sportu has been made of an old bridge, so it's capable to carry even more than neccesary”, Svante Stockselius said to esctoday.com.
Malmö as backup city? Nonsense!
Several websites and media published the story that the Swedish city Malmö is Kiev's backup, in case the Ukrainian capital can't make it on time. “Absolute nonsense”, Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius said to esctoday.com. “Malmö, or any other city, has never been discussed (or even thought of) as an alternative for Kiev”, he added.
Vice-Prime Minister of European Integration Oleh Rybachuk declared that Ukraine intends to cancel the visa regime for Europeans. He also added that European citizens, who want to visit Kiev to attend the Eurovision Song Contest, won't have problems with visa.
Tickets for the upcoming 50th Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev will go on sale through the official website eurovision.tv on Monday 21st February 2005. Stockselius confirmed that earlier. The website will also be restyled into the theme colours of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.