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. The group meets several times a year ahead of the contest to oversee the preparations of the upcoming editions, and decide on and make changes. For example, if it is decided that the current calls to adapt the voting system for the contest should be investigated, the Reference Group would oversee 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. 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|
|Tomislav Štengl||HRT||🇭🇷 Croatia|
The Journey to Eurovision 2024
Sweden will be hosting the 68th edition of the competition following Loreen’s historic win at Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool. One month after 2023 contest taking place SVT revealed the Core Team that will be working on the competition.
Four cities were in the running to host the 68th edition of the competition (Gothenburg, Malmö, Örnsköldsvik and Stockholm), with SVT settling for Malmö as the host city. The competition will take place on the 7th, 9th & 11th of May at Malmö Arena.
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: HRT