Kalush hope Ukraine can host Eurovision in 2023 despite organisers' decision
Eurovision Song Contest winners Kalush Orchestra hope Ukraine is able to host next year’s event despite organisers ruling it out.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Thursday said the “severe” risk of air raids in Ukraine alongside the “high” risk of mass casualties contributed to the decision that the “necessary requirements for hosting” the competition were not met.
Folk-rap group Kalush, speaking from Glastonbury ahead of their first UK performance since winning Eurovision in Turin, thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saying the event should take place in Kyiv.
Frontman Oleg Psyuk told the PA news agency: “Thank you very much to Boris (Johnson) for his support and (to) everybody (who) sends their support.
“So right now there are (still) a lot of discussions (going on) in Ukraine. Maybe Ukraine will be invited (to host Eurovision),” he added.
“And we altogether hope Eurovision will be in Ukraine.”
The BBC is in talks with the EBU about hosting the event, with the UK’s Sam Ryder finishing runner-up to Kalush in Italy.
Speaking to reporters at RAF Brize Norton after returning from an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Mr Johnson on Friday said he believed it should be possible for the contest to go ahead in Ukraine, despite the ongoing conflict with Russia.
“The Ukrainians won the Eurovision Song Contest. I know we had a fantastic entry, I know we came second and I’d love it to be in this country,” he said.
“But the fact is that they won and they deserve to have it. I believe that they can have it and I believe that they should have it. I believe that Kyiv or any other safe Ukrainian city would be a fantastic place to have it.”
It comes after the EBU announced that following a “full assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded the “security and operational guarantees” required to put on the competition in Ukraine could not be fulfilled by its public broadcaster, UA:PBC.
The channel, however, issued a statement claiming it had been “denied the right” to host the contest and called for negotiations on a new location to be put on hold.
On Friday, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky described Glastonbury as the “greatest concentration of freedom” as he addressed the festival calling for the world to “spread the truth” about Russia’s invasion.