Political fight delays song contest decision

It’s still undecided where in Austria next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held - despite the director of Austria’s national broadcaster, ORF, having promised an announcement by “the end of July”.

Political fight delays song contest decision
Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst has been tipped to host next year's song contest. Photo: APA/HANS KLAUS TECHT

The Kronen Zeitung and Österreich newspapers report that the delay is due to political disagreements. Three cities – Vienna, Graz, and Innsbruck – have applied to host the song contest. The governor of Tyrol, Günther Platter (ÖVP), is said to be offering the ORF millions to stage the event in Innsbruck.

And the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) is reported to have told the ORF director Alexander Wrabetz that he may face a lawsuit if he fails to make the best possible decision for the ORF.

Vienna’s SPÖ mayor Michael Häupl and the Greens are keen to stage the event in the capital’s Stadthalle venue, and have said the ORF could have the location for free. Wrabetz is also said to favour Vienna.

Meanwhile the organisers of this year’s song contest, which took place in Copenhagen in May, have said the event cost three times more than they had budgeted for.

The total bill came to $20.2 million (€15 million), well over the initial $6.2 million figure that had been planned. Copenhagen Council will have to cover some of the losses.

Organisers said on Monday that the refurbishing of the former ship-building halls B&W Hallerne in an industrial area on Copenhagen’s Refshaleøen island cost much more than they anticipated.

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