Kyiv 2017

Christer Björkman leads all new organisation team in Ukraine following resignations

Over the past couple of weeks there has been all change in regards to the team responsible for organising the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. The contest will take place in just under three months time.

Resignations of executive producers and core team

On February 13th, the executive producers of the contest both resigned. These were of course Victoria Romanova and Oleksandr Kharebin. In addition, members of the Core Organisation Team also resigned. The EBU released the following statement:

“Victoria Romanova, Oleksandr Kharebin, Iryna Asman, Denys Bloshchynski and his team and Oleksii Karaban informed the EBU on 10th February that they were resigning from their roles for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on.”

Nevertheless, the EBU were confident that the issue would be resolved and that Ukraine would be able to continue on their journey to host a successful contest in May.

New core team implemented

On February 20th, Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC announced the replacements for the three Core Team members. These are Larisa Koval, Kirill Voronin and Oleh Zapadnyuk. Deputy head at the broadcaster, Pavlo Hrytsak, explains that this decision was made very quickly. He states this was because there are many highly skilled professionals in the market who have experience in large-scale and international projects.

Today, it was announced that Christer Björkman has also joined the Core Team for Eurovision 2017. Christer was instrumental in producing the 2013 and 2016 Eurovision Song Contests in Malmö and Stockholm respectively. Furthermore, he is the person responsible for Sweden’s extremely popular national selection show Melodifestivalen. In a statement to eurovision.tv, Christer says:

“I’m thrilled to be back, working on what is surely the world’s premier music event.  I look forward to collaborating with the wonderful team at UA:PBC and I’m sure together we will produce the best contest yet!”

“Adding to an already excellent production team”

Following the announcement of the new Core Team members, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand released the following statement to eurovision.tv:

“It is pleasing to see these positive steps being taken in the staffing of the core team for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. For example, the appointment of Christer Björkman adds to what is already an excellent production team, and his experience producing the Eurovision Song Contest over several years will be invaluable.”

“Now, with many key positions filled, it is important that the EBU and UA:PBC continue to implement the plans already agreed, and work to the timeline and milestones that were established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.”

All systems go in Kyiv!

It’s now full steam ahead for Kyiv with the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest fast approaching. In just a few weeks time, the organisers will begin to build the stage in the International Exhibition Center. The Center is the host venue for this year’s music extravaganza. Florian Wieder is responsible for designing the stage for the 2017 contest. He also designed the stages for the 2011 and 2015 contests in Düsseldorf and Vienna respectively. You can see an artist’s impression of the Kyiv stage below.

Artist’s impression of the 2017 Eurovision stage. (Source: UA:PBC)

What are your thoughts on all of the changes to the Core Team for Eurovision 2017? Furthermore, we will get to see this stage in action in less than three months time. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

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Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!
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