EurovisionMalmö 2024

EBU concludes independent review into Eurovision 2024

Earlier this May a controversial Eurovision Song Contest 2024 resulted in numerous calls from delegations and broadcasters for the EBU to review the incidents raised throughout Eurovision week in Malmö. The EBU has now completed its independent review and has revealed in a public statement, the areas that need to be addressed as a result of the findings.

Independent review concludes for Eurovision Song Contest 2024

In a previous statement, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed it would address the incidents reported by delegations and broadcasters during Eurovision 2024. This came after the EBU received a total of 13 complaints after the contest, concerning backstage incidents and safe working environment practices. This includes issues raised by RTVE, AVROTROS, RTVSLO, RTP, Bambie Thug, Gåte, reports that six countries considered last minute withdrawals, as well as concerns over the EBU’s flag policy.

The independent review was overseen by Pernille Gaardbo, previously the Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Over 50 people were interviewed by Pernille Gaardbo including the EBU Core Team, Reference Group, board members, as well the Heads of Delegation for all participating nations. Now the independent review has concluded, the EBU has released a follow up statement on its website. It outlines future areas of development and the actions that have already been taken in terms of leadership structure within the EBU.

EBU conclusions from independent review

One notable recommendation is the introduction of an ESC Director. This role is a position above that of Executive Supervisor, currently held by Martin Österdahl. This will allow for a ‘focus on ESC production, Heads of Delegations and member relationship building, and day-to-day production issues’. Although Martin Österdahl will remain as Executive Supervision, a transfer of responsibilities will see the ESC Director take a more leading role in operational duties. Meanwhile a new Head of ESC Brand and Commercial is another addition that will report to the ESC Director.

During the review, the EBU noted three thematic areas for further development processes in future contests. A taskforce will undertake the implementation of these areas over the coming months. These are, EBU Governance and Participation, Safety and Risk Management, and Audience Engagement. EBU Governance and Participation will involve:

Clarifying the decision-making responsibilities of the various EBU Governing Bodies as it relates to the accepted list of participants, ensuring a wide range of member opinions are heard; the remit of the governing bodies, and the responsibilities of the ESC Core Team; and the role of the Heads of Delegations and responsibilities of Participating Artists.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

Safety and Risk Management will entail providing the rules and regulations of the contest in accessible formats that everyone involved in the participation and organisation of the contest, can understand. This is likely to be a result of the numerous incidents reported during the recent contest and the lack of immediate clarity given to the broadcasters and delegations.

Improving understanding of the ESC rules across all stakeholder groups, including artists, with a focus on simplification, consolidation and improved accessibility; strengthening the existing ESC Crisis Management Protocols; and bolstering our security and cybersecurity provisions in light of increased needs.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

70 years ago, when the Eurovision Song Contest started, the rules were basically one page. Now it’s hundreds of pages. We want to ensure that everybody understands them, that they are easily accessible but that we also explain them in a clear way to everybody.

Jean Philip De Tender, (EBU Deputy Director-General and Media Director)

Lastly, the third key area of Audience Engagement, reflects on the important role fan media has in engaging a wider audience to the contest across all age groups and social backgrounds.

Increased collaboration with fan groups, influencers, and media to build broader engagement based on ESC values; and ensure that the ESC continues to be an all-audience show appealing to a broad prime-time audience of all ages.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

As a result of the findings, AVROTROS have confirmed their satisfaction that the EBU took the report seriously and that the EBU are following the recommendations for structural changes. Meanwhile, NRK who themselves cast doubt on their future over the EBU’s handling of Eurovision 2024, have now confirmed their participation for the Eurovision Song Contest 2025 in Switzerland next May. Jean Philip De Tender, EBU Deputy Director-General and Media Director, reaffirmed the overall broadcaster satisfaction with the review. Stating that so far, no broadcasters have withdrawn from Eurovision 2025.

Are you happy with the outcomes of the EBU’s independent review? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, @escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube for our interviews and reactions ahead of Eurovision 2025.

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