Malta has stepped down from hosting Eurovision Young Dancers 2017, with the contest unlikely to return until 2019.
Following days of speculation as to whether Eurovision Young Dancers 2017 will take place, the EBU has confirmed that this years event is unlikely to take place. Malta’s national broadcaster, PBS has cancelled their hosting of this years contest in June due to “circumstances beyond their control”. With the EBU stating a search is underway for a new host, but that the time frame within which to find a new host is limited.
The full statement from the European Broadcasting Union is as follows:
The EBU has regrettably announced the 2017 edition of Eurovision Young Dancers will no longer take place in Valletta, Malta as previously stated.
Member PBS, who agreed to host the event in 2015, has due to circumstances beyond their control been forced to cancel their staging of the competition in June 2017.
Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, where Members agree to host if they win the event, there’s no obligation for participating broadcasters to host the Eurovision Young Dancers competition. The EBU therefore relies on its Members to volunteer to take on the responsibilities and partial costs of host broadcaster.
The EBU is currently looking for another host broadcaster but should one not be found in such a short timeframe the competition will not take place this year and is expected to return in 2019.
The announcement of the contest’s cancellation comes as a number of countries had already launched their selection process for Eurovision Young Dancers 2017.
The Czech Republic have already made a public call for dancers to compete, the selection was due to be held on February 12th. Equally, Germany had made a call for dancers, the deadline for which was February 10th – meanwhile in Slovenia on the 10th, the selection was due to take place. Malta, this year’s hosts, weren’t due to select their entry until April 10th despite opening applications.
Today’s announcement means that possibly for a second time Eurovision Young Dancers has been cancelled. The first cancellation of the contest came in 2007 when the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and the European Broadcasting Union agreed not to hold the contest in Lausanne. The contest was to return in 2009 but was again cancelled due to a lack of interest. The Young Dancers format was revived in 2011 when Vladislav Yakovlev took over as Executive Supervisor for the competition, a role he held until his firing from the EBU in 2015.
Source: European Broadcasting Union