In a surprise move, it was announced today through the official Junior Eurovision Youtube channel that Minsk would be the host city of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
This will be the second time that the Belarusian captial will host the competition. Minsk previously hosted the contest in 2010, which was the first Eurovision event to ever take place in Belarus.
The Junior Eurovision Steering Group decided to remove a clause in the Rules that gave the winning broadcaster first refusal to host, to ensure the longevity of the Contest and allow more time to prepare the event. This clause was first introduced in 2014. Italy used this clause in 2015 to decline hosting the contest that year after their victory in the 2014. Bulgaria were then selected as hosts for the 2015 contest. After the removal of said clause, EBU Members were given the opportunity to apply to host Junior Eurovision 2018. From these applications, Belarus was selected.
Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Head of Live Events said: “The rule change to allow a host for next year’s competition to be chosen earlier not only gives the host broadcaster longer to prepare what is a huge production but also protects the future of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We are therefore delighted to announce, before we gather in Tbilisi for the 2017 competition, that BTRC will be the host broadcaster of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. BTRC’s application to host was extremely strong, and we have full confidence that they will put the same enthusiasm into the preparations of next year’s event.”
Olga Shylager, the Deputy General of BTRC, said: ” We had a wonderful playground already in 2010. We did not have to rebuild anything, we did not have to invent anything, it’s a great place where a lot of locations can be concentrated so as not to move around the city, because it’s not always convenient, and again our hotel complexes are located so that everything in general is close, convenient and compact. This is very important.”
Gennady Davydko, the Chaitperson of BTRC noted: “BTRC has the technical capabilities to conduct this event.We have some experience in conducting both music and singing competitions and sporting events. I hope by this time we will update our technical field. Not only BTRC, but also the city executive committee, other structures , ministries, departments, everyone will work to give Europe a holiday. ” BTRC have already begun developping the slogan and logo for the 2018 contest.
The bidding method was previously used to select the host countries for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. 2011 marked the first year that the contest took place in the country that had won it the previous year, as Armenia played host to the contest after Vladimir Arzumanyan gave Armenia their first victory in any Eurovision event in 2010.