Eurovision 2023: Can another country host the competition instead of the winner?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,398 views

Can another country host the forthcoming 2022 Eurovision Song Contest if Ukraine is unable to host the event next year due to the ongoing war afflicting the country?

Throughout the history of the Eurovision Song Contest several countries have declined hosting the event due to financial constraints involving hosting the competition or for various other reasons (hosting the event twice in a row, hosting the competition again after having hosted it recently, etc).

The United Kingdom has come to the rescue 4/6 times and the BBC has hosted the competition when the winning country has declined to host the event. Germany and the Netherlands too have hosted the event once each when the winning country was not able to hold the competition.

  • In 1956 Switzerland hosted the very first Eurovision Song Contest and won the event on home soil, the following year Germany hosted the event.
  • London hosted the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest after the Netherlands declined hosting the event as it had recently hosted the competition in 1958.
  • The British capital came to the rescue again in 1963 when it hosted the competition after France declined to host the event as it had already hosted the competition in 1959 and 1961.
  • Monaco declined to host the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest after winning the competition in 1971 as allegedly it had no suitable venue, the BBC stepped in again and hosted the event in Edinburgh.
  • Luxembourg won the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest on home soil and declined to host the event for the second year in a row, so the United Kingdom hosted the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton.
  • The last time another country than the winner hosted the competition was in 1980 when the Netherlands stepped in to host the contest after Israel declined hosting the competition for a second year in a row.

Since 1980 the winning country has defended its right to host the competition. We should note that Ireland hosted the competition thrice in a row ( 1993, 1994, 1995) a record not surpassed by any other country. No country other than Ireland has hosted the event twice in a row either. Irealand holds the record of hosting the competition 7 times after winning the competition ( 1971,1981, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997). The Emerald Isle has hosted the event four times in the span of five years too ( 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997).

The United Kingdom has steppted in four times to host the competition when the winner has declined hosting the event, ie the UK is the country which holds the record of holding the competition a whopping 8 times: 1960, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1998). Will the UK step in and host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine is unable to host the event next year?

It is early days yet to know who will host the event next year? A number of countries have shown their interest in hosting the competition in the event Ukraine is unable to hold the competition, one of them being Spain who have offered to host next year’s competition if Ukraine will decline.

The winning country has declined to host event six times throughout the history of our beloved competition:

  • 1957- Frankfurt  (Switzerland won in 1956)
  • 1960- London (Netherlands won in 1959)
  • 1963- London (France won in 1962)
  • 1972- Edingburgh (Monaco won in 1971)
  • 1974- Brighton (Luxembourg won in 1973)
  • 1980- The Hague (Israel won in 1979)

Source: ESCToday
Photo credit: EBU/ Sarah Louise Bennett