Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has signaled that smaller venues are the way forward for the contest.
Jon Ola Sand at the Opening Ceremony made a comment that appears signal that smaller venues for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest are what we should expect from future contests. When asked by last nights presenter Taryn Mamo Cefai what they could expect from the show, Mr Sand stated that:
I think they can expect a grand show on Sunday. I followed the preparation now over the last months and here over the last days and it really looks grand. It really looks good, they have an excellent venue, the right size I think for an event like Junior Eurovision Song Contest, so we’re up for something good.
The venue for this years contest is the Republic Hall in the Mediterranean Conference Center which has a capacity for just over 1,000 fans this Sunday. This years venue is the smallest that has ever hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and is a clear reversal over previous years where venue sizes has begun to increase once again.
The top two smallest venues to host Junior Eurovision:
- Mediterranean Conference Center – Over 1,000 people (2016)
- Palace Ukraine – 3,714 people (2013)
The top two largest venues to host Junior Eurovision:
- Ethias Arena – 21,600 people (2005)
- Ahoy Rotterdam – 15,850 (2007)
The move to smaller venues has also been seen at the adult Eurovision Song Contest since 2012. From a period of every growing venue sizes at the contest from the 00s up to 2012, we have seen a series of smaller venues take on the role of hosting the contest excluding 2014. This years venue in Stockholm held around 12-13,000 fans during the contest, a large decrease from the 25,000 that Baku’s Crystal Hall could accommodate in 2012.
It is of note that the venue for this years contest will also be used as the venue for Eurovision Young Dancers 2017. Eurovision Young Dancers traditionally has been held in small theatres seating less than 1,000 people. The venue for the 2015 contest in the Czech Republic seated less than 500 people.
The issue of venue size is hotly debated, the question will always remain for the host broadcaster whether they can fill a venue for the contest. It was clear to see in Sofia that a large area of standing tickets were empty around the stage, while the seating had a considerable number of pockets.
For the fan an arena may come with the feeling of excitement and ties Junior Eurovision closer to its bigger relative. The size of this years contest in Malta may be enough to provide an intimate feel, a compact contest and one that is more affordable for the host broadcaster.
Source: Junior Eurovision