Only a month after Salvador Sobral’s win at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the Portuguese delegation has already traveled to the EBU’s headquarters in Geneva for their first ever meeting with the Reference Group. It is safe to say that preparations for the Eurovision 2018 contest have now begun!
Organizing the Eurovision Song Contest translates into a tremendous amount of hard work for the host nation. This year, more than ever, the Reference Group plans on being more involved than before with all preparations.
This first meeting was used as a de-brief session of the 2017 edition where representatives from the Ukranian delegation handed over their knowledge and advice to the Portuguese delegation. Portugal’s public broadcaster (RTP) presented, during the meeting, their initial plans for the Eurovision 2018 show. Several venues were put on the table and an announcement regarding the provisional dates is expected in the following weeks.
Jon Ola Sand (EBU Executive Supervisor), talked about the importance of choosing the correct venue. A Venue which meets the requirements for hosting an event the size of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. According to Jon Ola Sand,
“The venue should be able to accommodate around 10.000 spectators. Enough to be able to have tickets for all national and international fans who want to assist.”
For this reason, Jon Ola Sand and the Reference Group encourage the host country to have talks with different cities in order to make the best choice possible.
On their return to Portugal, the next steps to follow by the team at the Portuguese Public Broadcaster will be the confirmation of the Host City and Venue. This should also confirm the dates for the Semifinals and Grand Final show. Once these are confirmed they will also have to develop the 2018 slogan and artwork.
The entire Portuguese delegation is very excited to welcome everyone to Portugal in 2018. Cristina Tomé (member of the RTP board) said:
“You have to come to Portugal, enjoy the country and enjoy the contest. We will have plenty of sunshine for you!”
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Portugal debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 represented by António Calvário, the country finished last scoring nul points. Until the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the best result of Portugal in the contest was 6th place. This 6th place came in 1996 when Lúcia Moniz performed “O meu coração não tem cor” on stage in Oslo, Norway. She scored 92 points receiving 12 points from both Norway and Cyprus. Since their debut in 1964 Portugal has missed a total of five contests, the latest being in 2016.