Khabar Agency, the Kazakh national broadcaster, has confirmed that they are currently discussing with the EBU on whether Kazakhstan can make a guest appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
Alan Azhibayev, Chairman of the Board of Khabar Agency confirmed that negotiations on the possibility of Kazakhstan’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 as a special guest were taking place.
“For many years now, Khabar Agency has been part of the EBU. But our first task is to become full members of the union, so that we have the right to vote. When we will reach this status, it will be much easier. And work in this direction is carried out almost daily. There were big talks between the Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev and the EBU management team. Negotiations have not ended and we continue to work. Even after Junior Eurovision we’ve already had meetings with them. I think shortly they will come here to Kazakhstan and negotiations will continue. So we hope that a little later a decision is reached”.
He also mentions that Kazakhstan has a very important argument. Khabar Agency has already become a full member of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
“Now we have the right to vote in the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. But Asia is Asia, and Europe is Europe, so some time is needed. After all, Eurovision is not just participation. There, the most important thing in the adult event is that the winner will bring Eurovision to their own country. And this is such a large scale event like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup. Accordingly, these are investments, there are copyrights, broadcasting and much more. This is such a very important moment and you need to approach it with all the care. This is what the European Broadcasting Union is doing now.”
According to Alan Azhibayev, Kazakhstan still has a chance to get to the Eurovision 2019 as a special guest but this will have to be decided within the framework of the EBU.
“I recall Australia, which for a very long time, almost 40 years, had been seeking participation in the Eurovision and only recently they managed to get there first as a special guest, and only then as a full participant. We also should go step by step. First we need to get the guest status to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, then we will have more chances. But all this is done in stages, which unfortunately are not revealed to us, but at the same time we are being asked to fill out all the necessary documents for their consideration. ”
Kazakhstan is also interested in hosting next year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, provided that they can move the contest forward to October. Kazakhstan’s hosting of the contest would require a rule change and a refusal from Poland, the winning country of Junior Eurovision 2018, to host Junior Eurovision 2019.
Khabar Agency is currently an associate member of the EBU, and made their debut appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Kazakhstan’s debut appearance in Junior Eurovision was approved by the Steering Group of the contest. Kazakhstan were represented by Daneliya Tulehsova and the song “Ózine sen”. The nation finished sixth in the final, having been one of the favourites to win this years contest. Kazakhstan finished 8th in the jury vote with 68 points, but came third in the online vote with 103 points.