๐Ÿ“บ New Eurovision Reference Group Revealed

๐Ÿ“บ New Eurovision Reference Group Revealed

With preparation for next year’s contest in Sweden well under way, the Reference Group for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed.

What is the Reference Group?

To steer the contest made by the European Broadcasting Union, a series of reference groups have been created by the organisation to focus on the individual content delivered by the organisation. The group meets several times a year ahead of the contest to oversee the preparations of the upcoming editions, and decide and changes. For example, if it is decided that the current calls to adapt the voting system for the contest are to be looked at, it would be the Reference Group that oversees any such potential changes.

The goals of the Reference Group for the Eurovision Song Contest are listed by the European Broadcasting Union as:

  • Approving the development and future format of the ESC
  • Securing the financing of the ESC
  • Modernizing the brand and raising awareness of the ESC
  • Overseeing the yearly preparation by the Host Broadcaster
European Broadcasting Union, 2023

The composition of the reference group is allocated in a number of different ways. The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, the Chairperson and the Executive Producers of the upcoming, and previous two host broadcasters are automatically invited. Furthermore, three heads of delegations can be elected to the reference group. Additionally, the final two members are invited based on their broadcasting experience.

Who is now on the reference group?

The current Reference Group for the 2024 contest consists of:

Martin ร–sterdahl (Executive Supervisor of
the Eurovision Song Contest)
N/A (EBU)N/A (๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ)
Bakel Walden (Group Chair)SSR SRG๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland
Ebba AdielssonSVT๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
Rachel AshdownBBC๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
Feliz BergssonRรšV๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland
Ana Maria BordasRTVE๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
Carla BugalhoRTP๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
Claudio FasuloRAI๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy
Simona MartorelliRAI๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy
Alexandra Wolfslast NDR๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany

Members in italics are new additions to the group

The position of previous host broadcaster has been given to the BBC (United Kingdom) delegate due to it being the primary host of the 2023 contest, rather than there being a representative from UA:PBC (Ukraine).

The previous members who have now left the Reference Group were:

Sietse BakkerNPO๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ The Netherlands
Yuval Cohen KAN๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel
Astrid DutrenitNPO๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ The Netherlands
David Tserunyan AMPTV๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Armenia

The story of Eurovision 2023

Although Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, due to the ongoing Russian invasion they are unable to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Instead, the United Kingdom stepped in, as 2022โ€™s runner-up; Liverpool will host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May 2023. The contest took place at the M&S Arena, with 37 countries taking partThe full production team behind the 2023 contest is listed here. The contest was a co-production between host broadcaster the BBC and last yearโ€™s winning broadcaster, Suspilne.

Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Hannah Waddingham hosted the semi-finals, with Graham Norton joining the presenting team for the grand final.

What do you think of the changes to the reference group composition? Are there any changes you’d like to see them make ahead of next year’s contest? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow โ€˜That Eurovision Siteโ€™ on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Tiktok as we start our preparations for Eurovision in Sweden next year!

News Source: EBU

Photo Credit: EBU

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