Reference group happy

by Richard West-Soley 58 views

The EBU Reference Group, meeting in Finland this weekend, are said to be more than happy with the current organisation for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, as a record 40 countries may be planning to take part next year.

Although not drawn into speculation on the exact list of countries, Eurovision man in charge Svante Stockselius suggested that the record number of countries would be taking part at the Helsinki contest. Although 40 is the maximum number of competitors allowed, nothing is certain until all countries have made an official submission, as Stockselius explained: "The rules of the ESC 2007 will be sent to member broadcasters next week and they have until the end of this year to decide on their participation. Only then will we know with certainty the number of countries".

Modern venue
Ruurd Bierman, chairman of the eight-person reference group, pointed out that even the host broadcaster, YLE, is ahead of schedule at the moment, stressing how satisfied the group is with the current plans. On Hartwall Areena, also known as Helsinki Arena, he added: "It is a modern venue, and is suitable for hosting a brilliant show. The venue is not too small nor too big, and I am sure the atmosphere there will be perfect next year". The theme of the contest will be decided in the coming weeks.

Ticket sales for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 will begin around Christmas this year, according to YLE.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site