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:
European Broadcasting Union, 2023
- 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
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 Österdahl (Executive Supervisor of |
the Eurovision Song Contest)
|N/A (EBU)||N/A (🇪🇺)|
|Bakel Walden (Group Chair)||SSR SRG||🇨🇭 Switzerland|
|Ebba Adielsson||SVT||🇸🇪 Sweden|
|Rachel Ashdown||BBC||🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|Feliz Bergsson||RÚV||🇮🇸 Iceland|
|Ana Maria Bordas||RTVE||🇪🇸 Spain|
|Carla Bugalho||RTP||🇵🇹 Portugal|
|Claudio Fasulo||RAI||🇮🇹 Italy|
|Simona Martorelli||RAI||🇮🇹 Italy|
|Alexandra Wolfslast||NDR||🇩🇪 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 Bakker||NPO||🇳🇱 The Netherlands|
|Yuval Cohen||KAN||🇮🇱 Israel|
|Astrid Dutrenit||NPO||🇳🇱 The Netherlands|
|David Tserunyan||AMPTV||🇦🇲 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 2022’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 part. The full production team behind the 2023 contest is listed here. The contest was a co-production between host broadcaster the BBC and last year’s winning broadcaster, Suspilne.
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 ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we start our preparations for Eurovision in Sweden next year!
News Source: EBU
Photo Credit: EBU