Eurovision 2017: Ukraine is ready to celebrate diversity

Kyiv, the most-visited city of Ukraine, will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2017
The city is almost ready to welcome visitors, willing to see Eurovision 2017 by their own eyes.

After Jamala's win in Sweden past year with her song 1944 Ukraine became the host of the Eurovision Song Contest. Kyiv fought off strong competition from Odesa and Dnipro to host Eurovision 2017.

Some facts about Eurovision
The Eurovision Song Contest, sometimes popularly called Eurovision, is an annual international TV song competition, held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956.

In the 1950s the European Broadcasting Union set up an committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a "light entertainment programme".

The idea to organize an international song contest was born in the head of Marcel Bezencon, the chairman of Swiss television, in 1950. Officially it was approved in 1955 by the General Assembly of the EBU in Rome.

The first contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1956. Seven countries participated, each submitting two songs. This was the only contest in which more than one song per country was performed. The 1956 contest was won by the host nation, Switzerland.

Gradually, the competition was becoming more and more popular. That fact helped to increase the number of participants. The contest was divided into semi-final and final in 2005. The two semi-final system was introduced in 2008.

Eurovision 2017 will be the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Ireland holds the record for the highest number of wins, having won the contest seven times, including four times in five years in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996. Sweden is second with six wins as of 2016. Norway holds the anti-record of Eurovision. The country has finished last eleven times.

52 countries have participated the Eurovision Song Contest at least once. Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to several countries that do not compete, such as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and China. An exception was made in 2015, when Australia was allowed to compete as a guest entrant.

The youngest winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is Sandra Kim from Belgium. She won Eurovision 1986 at the age of 13. 95-year-old Emil Ramsauer is the oldest musician to perform on the Eurovision Song Contest stage. He participated at Eurovision 2013 with Takasa, a band from Switzerland.

In 2016, Jamala, Ukrainian singer, won the Eurovision Song Contest
Symbols of Eurovision
The official music theme of the Eurovision Song Contest is the work of Marc-Antoine Charpentier called "The prelude to Te Deum". That tune is heard in the opening credits of the Vienna New Year's Concert, the Eurovision Song Contest and other Eurovision events.

For a long time the Eurovision Song Contest hadn't any special logo or slogan. The first generic logo was introduced for Eurovision 2004 in Turkey, to create a consistent visual identity. The host country's flag appears in the heart of the generic logo. Each year of the contest, the host country creates a sub-theme which is usually accompanied and expressed with a sub-logo and slogan.

Official Slogan of Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Since the 2002 contest, slogans have been introduced in the show (Eurovision 2009 in Russia being the only exception). The slogan is decided by the host broadcaster and based on the slogan, the theme and the visual design are developed.

The slogan of Eurovison 2017, chosen by the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine and the European Broadcasting Union, is "Celebrate Diversity".

The logo and the theme of Eurovision 2017 were created by Banda Agency, an advertising agency from Kyiv.

"We started looking for the symbol that would be authentic for Ukrainian culture as well as identify mission of the contest", Banda Agency explains. "Therefore, as a basis for Eurovision 2017 visual identity we have chosen traditional Ukrainian necklace, elements of which symbolize participants of the contest. Bead after bead, countries, which take part in Eurovision, together create a captivating celebration of music".

"The notion of celebrating diversity builds on last year's theme of 'Come Together' and is at the heart of Eurovision values", Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand said. "It is all-inclusive and all about countries around Europe, and beyond, joining together to celebrate both our common ground and our unique differences, as well as some great music".

Kyiv is trying to step twice into the same river

The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will take place in the International Exhibition Centre, the largest venue of its kind in Ukraine with capacity for 15,000 spectators. This will be the second time the contest takes place in Kiev, after Eurovision 2005. The contest is expected to consist of two semi-finals on 9 and 11 May and the final on 13 May 2017.

The National Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, which is organizing Eurovision 2017, announced that tickets are about to go on sale, but didn't indicate the exact date. The price of most tickets be will in the €40 to €200 range. For those, who wants to get some extra comfort, there will be "VIP tickets", that will cost more than €200.

The National Broadcasting Company of Ukraine has the sufficient budget to hold the contest. In particular the company will receive €15 million from the state of Ukraine and in addition to this it will receive €7 million from the Kyiv city administration as the contribution of the host city.

The allocation draw took place on 31 January 2017 at the Column hall of Kiev's City State Administration. Before the allocation draw the Host Insignia Exchange took place. Eva-Louise Erlandsson Slorach, President of Stockholm's City Council, handed over the "Eurovision Keys" to Kyiv City Mayor Vitaliy Klychko.

Kiev City State Administration expects 20–30 thousand tourists in Kyiv during The Eurovision Song Contest . First visitors are expected to come at the beginning of May. By that time most of the preparations will be finished.

There will be an official festival area in Kyiv during the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, known as Eurovision Village. There you will be able to see live performances by artists, DJs, special events and public viewing of the shows broadcasted from the Arena. Eurovision Village will be open for everyone. The location of Eurovision Village 2017 has not been decided yet, but used to be located at a central square in the host city. Kyiv authorities informed that a special fan zone can be construct on the main street of city, Khreshchatyk. For those, who won't be able to get tickets at the show in the Kyiv International Exhibition Centre, other fan zones will be open.

Here's how the scene will look during Eurovision Song Contest
Kyiv authorities are going to ensure safety of city's guests. For that purpose 4000 police officers will be required to maintain order in Kyiv. So if you are thinking about visiting Kyiv in May, there is no reason to fear. The city will gladly open its best places and routes for foreign tourists. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the city with such a great history! Don't have any doubts – Kyiv is ready to amaze!
Eurovision 2017 - Visual identity and slogan:
The city will gladly open its best places and routes for foreign tourists. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the city with such a great history! Don't have any doubts – Kyiv is ready to amaze!
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