As we close the book on the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, it’s time to look ahead to the production of next year’s show.
Though the summer months may be quiet, the EBU revealed last week that the Eurovision Reference Group held their first meeting post-Rotterdam in Geneva, Switzerland to prepare for Eurovision 2022.
What is the Eurovision Reference Group?
Put simply, this group of officials oversees the contest and helps oversee the transition from host to host.
According to the EBU, the group’s duties also include “approving the development and future format”, “securing the financing”, and “modernizing the brand and raising awareness” of the ESC.
Executive Supervisor Martin Osterdahl is the most visible member of the group. The other members are various Member heads of delegation and executive producers of previous contests, including:
- Frank-Dieter Frielding – Chairperson (ZDF – Germany 🇩🇪)
- Sietse Bakker (NPO – Netherlands 🇳🇱 )
- Felix Bergsson (RUV- Iceland 🇮🇸)
- Carla Bugalho (RTP – Portugal 🇵🇹)
- Yuval Cohen (KAN – Israel 🇮🇱)
- Astrid Dutrenit (NPO – Netherlands 🇳🇱)
- Simona Martorelli (RAI – Italy 🇮🇹)
- Alexandra Redde (FTV – France 🇫🇷)
- David Tserunyan (AMPTV – Armenia 🇦🇲)
Armenia did not participate in Eurovision 2021, but the presence of the Armenian broadcaster here suggests a return in 2022.
This meeting marked the first in-person gathering for the reference group in 18 months.
What Are the Next Steps?
Italian Head of Delegation Simona Martorelli stated that the immediate goal for the reference group will be finding a host city for 2022. As of this writing, a dozen cities have expressed interest and an announcement is expected in the autumn.
Martorelli noted the enthusiasm for the contest in Italy following Maneskin’s victory and is “looking forward to working with the Reference Group on producing an incredible ESC in Italy in 2022”.
Martin Osterdahl added that the group is “excited to welcome [Italian Broadcaster] RAI onboard” to produce next year’s contest.
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News Source: EBU
Photo Source: EBU