Eurovision 2017 – There are mounting concerns about whether Kyiv will be ready in time for the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2017… and there is even a slight possibility that the EBU could take the competition elsewhere, although this is unlikely.
Alexander Harebin, the general director of NTU, has admitted to the local press that the EBU served NTU with a red card in early October. At one stage the preparations were running 3 months behind schedule, but now are supposedly only 1 month behind.
Procurement processes and Ukrainian legislation, and lack of funding from the government, appears to have all contributed to delays, resulting in the resignation of Zurab Alasania, the head of NTU. The Minister for Culture took over the process himself.
Additionally the proposed venue, the International Exhibition Center, has still not signed a contract to host the event as yet.
Ukraine media is reporting that the EBU will make a final decision on 8th December at its Annual Assembly. If the unthinkable happened and the EBU said Ukraine could not host, it has been rumoured that Russia would step in.
Fans trying to make arrangements to visit Ukraine have already had problems with accommodation with unscrupulous hotels cancelling bookings or taking full payment in advance, contrary to the booking conditions, and fans who need visas are also frustrated with processes so far.
The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has however reassured fans that the city will be ready in time and the renovated Poshtova Square will be opened in time to be one of the fan zones. Speaking to Radio Liberty, he also confirmed that a water bus will be launched, which will run from the River Station to the International Exhibition Center. 600 Metropolitan Patrol servicemen will also go on English courses before May 2017.