Virtually the second that we realised Norway had won ESC 2009 (which was about three countries in to the voting process), arrangements began to be made and rumours started flying regarding the next contest – who would host it? Where would it be held? Will Italy come back? Well, according to www.eurovision.tv and the ever reliable Wikipedia, here are the latest developments.
Q. So where will it be?
A. The 55th annual Eurovision Song Contest will take place on the 25th, 27th and 29th of May 2010, in Norway (of course). Early reports suggested that the Telenor Arena, a newly constructed stadium in Bærum, south of the capital, would be the location, as the Oslo Spektrum does not have the capacity to host the contest. But now, the Fornebu Arena, 15 minutes from Oslo, has been confirmed as the location. Is it the same place with a different name? Who knows.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. A budget of 17 million Euros has been agreed to by the broadcaster NRK to cover the sheer magnitude of the spectacle. Whilst this is a lot of money, it is not as large as the amount allocated to this year’s contest – which was amazing. But it is said to be more than that of Helsinki 2007, and that was also a fabulous show.
Q. Who will be hosting it?
A. As is usual, the presenters have not yet been decided. But NRK is tossing around the names of several high-profile Norwegians as potential presenters, such as Thomas Numme & Harald Rønneberg, and Jon Almaas & Fredrik Skavlan. TV2 presenter Dorthe Skappel is also in contention. I’m not sure who these people are, but then again, I’d never heard of Andrey Malahov or Jaana Pelkonen either.
Q. Which countries are going to be there?
A. So far twenty nations have confirmed their participation. These are Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK. The EBU, as do I, also want to bring Austria, Italy and Monaco back.
LATEST – Could the orchestra be coming back after a hiatus lasting more than a decade? Maybe, says Jan Heyerdahl of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. The musing was prompted by a Facebook petition in which over 4000 people voiced their desire to have live music make a reappearance in Oslo 2010. But with the number of entries doubling in the years since music became pre-recorded for the contest, it could be too much to ask of any orchestra.
More news will appear as it comes to hand. For now, it’s back to the studio.