First up, and this is very important, we here at ESC Insight are very confident that the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is going to be held in Baku. It’s been over twenty years since a winning country hasn’t went on to host the following year, and like many of the new entrants to the Contest, Azerbaijan really want to use Eurovision as a platform for their country.
But, and this is a big but, there is a tiny, non-zero chance that we might not be heading to Baku. Even with the Eurovision.tv logo saying Baku 2012, and an Azerbaijan mobile network as the sponsor, there’s still not been a black and white “We’re off to host Eurovision 93 miles from the Iranian border).” So let’s have a bit of fun and ask “what if… it’s not Baku?”
Somewhere in Sweden
Although offering the contest to second place Italy seems the obvious move, we’re going to discount Rome partly down to RAI’s recent return to the Song Contest , but also the audience levels watching 2011 on TV. We’re looking at Sweden, in third place, with a number of suitable venues around the country. Stockholm is out due to scheduling clashes, but would SVT be ready to step up with their Melodifestivalen experience to put on a show to rival their neighbours Norway from two years ago? I think so.
Glastonbury’s Stage in the middle of any football stadium in Europe
The tentpole musical festival of the UK summer isn’t erecting their tents in 2012 to give the fields a rest, but that means there’s a huge amount of outdoor equipment going spare. Okay, some of it will head to the Olympics in London, but arguably you could take any large uncovered stadium, pop the Glastonbury stages in at one end with all the rigging, and throw a light “rain only” tarpaulin over the roof to give an indoor/outdoor feel and make Eurovision feel incredibly contemporary. And the tented outdoor staging was the plan for Berlin/Tempelhoff so it has already been studied.
You want new frontiers? You want to bring the message of the Eurovision Song Contest to the world? Then take it to the New York NFL Stadium. Home of both the Giants and the Jets, May is off-season and you’ll get a bucket load of interest in taking the contest outside the traditional boundaries of the European broadcasting zone. You might even get network interest from one of the EBU’s associate members based in New York! Admittedly Slovakia are going to take a look at the airfare cost for the delegation and ask for a subsidy, and the logistics chain for everyone is long and fragile, but it’s a brand new country!
Nope, not gonna happen, is it? Still, moving the Song Contest with a a view to promoting the contest if we can’t promote the winner might be one for discussion.
The London O2 (nee the Millenium Dome)
Any venue with nothing announced in late April through to the start of June is going to be cited by someone as a potential venue. So let’s flag up the gap after Diversity play on April 4th and Blink 182 take to the stage on June 8th at the London O2. It’s iconic, it’s got buckets of space inside and outside, and I don’t think the BBC have anything else on in the summer of 2012… This is assuming there isn’t a secret reunion gig for The Stone Roses hat’s not listed on the website, in which case the Royal Albert Hall is just up the road. Okay the capacity is only 5,250, but it’s got the acoustics and broadcasting capability worked out from the BBC Proms, it’s close to the London Underground, and we could all stay in Imperial College’s Beit Halls of Residence.
Agreed. It would take something calamitous to stop The Land of Fire hosting in 2012. And even if it happened, the chances are a tender process similar to Junior Eurovision would be rushed through with proposals at the end of September and an announcement late October.
You know what we think? We’ll see you in Baku in May.