The Cost of Eurovision

Eurovision 2017 – The cost of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev has been revealed to be a staggering $30m, three times the cost of last year’s in much more expensive Sweden. Journalists from the local media in Ukraine have been uncovering costs prior to and after the event and some of the figures are pretty surprising. 

One cost is that of Jamala, the winner of Eurovision 2016, who has apparently received €34,000 for her performances at this year’s contest. Her manager says she will earn nothing, as the money will only cover the cost of her performances! The 2004 winner, Ruslana, was paid approximately $15,000.

The next eye-watering fact is that the three hosts had to be kitted out in outfits worth almost $38,000! The company, Indposhyv, said that it cost this much because the eight sets of attire, including suits, shirts, accessories and shoes, were ordered on a tight deadline, and confirmation of the order was received from the organizers only a few weeks before the first semi-final.

Another big cost was the making of the Postcards. An aide to Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Denysenko – Kyrylo Tymoshenko – charged $77,000 from making the postcards for the 42 acts. (Source: Nashi Groshi investigative website.)

Arguments continue about tendering processes and transparency. Germany’s Nussli construction company initially won the tender to erect 9,200 seats and 50 commentator’s booths, for €1m. The national broadcaster later annulled the agreement. A Lviv-based company (with alleged links to those involved with the contest) built less than 7,000 seats and no booths for around $900,000. Some people who had bought tickets were contacted and told their tickets were no longer valid. Many tickets had restricted views once you got into the arena with no warning.

It is expected that $35m will be raised in ticket sales (70,000 tickets). Concert.ua’s tender was ruled invalid as non-transparent, but Concert.ua still signed a deal for a token Hr 1,20 and continued as the provider. It is expected that Concert.ua will make $158,500 from the deal on servicing fees. The whole ticketing process cost organisers $2.6 million.

According to preliminary calculations, from May 1 to 14, 60,000 tourists arrived to attend the song contest. 20,000 of these were foreigners, while 40,000 were domestic tourists. Kyiv city officials predicted that every Eurovision tourist would spend at least $550 during the contest but have been left disappointed as visitors were mainly budget guests, eating street food cheaply and finding cheap hostels. The Association of Small Hotels and Apartments confirmed the numbers, saying that guests attending Eurovision 2017 arrived “with not much money”.

It is perhaps not surprising that this was the case. Uncertainty about the contest even happening in Kiev until several weeks before the finals put many off travelling to Kiev, some of whom were worried about the situation with Crimea & Russia already.

The inability to get tickets for the final or semi-finals also prevented some travelling and paying for decent city centre hotels, as did the the extortionately raised city centre hotel prices, and the last minute accreditation process / allocation of press hotels.

Sources: Ukrainian Vesti and Kiev Post

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218 comments on “The Cost of Eurovision

  1. I hope this one can bring a smile on our faces! It’s already Lisbon2018!

  2. Moldovan delegation receiving the ‘Order Of Honor” by Moldovan president(lol)

  3. Off-topic: This is the first year in ages that no ESC song features in the swedish i-tunes top-10 for the week after the contest. Highest-ranking is “City Lights” at #18, followed by “Hey Mamma” at #20. Last year the only song in the top10 was Frans’ “If I were sorry” at #10.

    • According to esctracker,Belgium is at #6 and Sweden at #8.
      On the other hand,Bulgaria which was promoted as the most chart-friendly and contemporary song is a huge flop with the charts.

  4. An interesting video.
    YT predictions VS actual results :

  5. Also, Sweden scores for a second year in a row 5th, one place higher than the OGAEs winner for 2 years now :)

  6. Here’s the ESC stars in official Swedish Top 40
    Blanche #18
    Robin #24
    Salvador #38


  7. On a sidenote,Sweden made the right choice by sending Robin.I don’t think that any of the other finalists would have scored better than him in Kyiv.

    • Sweden didn’t do the right choice. It was the international juries.

      • I said Sweden as their national final voting system and not the Swedish televote in particular.
        Slovenia,f.i got it wrong even though BQL won the televoting and would have qualified for the final.

        • BQL in would have meant Demy out ! imagine the backlash here in Greece :)

          • Hmm…It could be but we don’t really know how the votes would be distributed if BQL were in.Demy could still hold on to those pts and someone else lose out(?)

    • I actually believe Wictoria would have gotten a better result. Nano: I don’t know.

      • I don’t think so.Wictoria did really bad with the international juries in MF and she was really close to Robin’s televoting.

    • Well then we can just scrap the televoters then. The thing is I wouldn’t care if we got a worse result with Nano or Wictoria. It’s always better to send something that we as a country can get passionate about, rather then the best suited song for the contest, casue I didn’t get excited at all when we got our fifth placement. I think this is the one year, where I have been rooting for my own country to fail actually… So yeey us or something for another top 5 finnish..

      • Thing is i don’t think there was a song in thei year’s MF line-up that people would be passionate about.There wasn’t a big televoting favorite.

        • Have you not heard anything about the appocalypse, the numbers says nothing about how many that voted for example Nano or Wictoria or Robin. The numbers are so inauthentic and cluttered with all the millions votes that come in that absolute no one can say who won/who lost. Nano and Wictoria had the most positive response post MF final, so dont come here and tell me/us that no song had passion behind it.

          • so dont come here and tell me/us that no song had passion behind it.
            Ok.I think it’s best if we end this discussion here.

  8. Salvador and Luísa will be interviewed at 22.00 CET in RTP 1:


    I’ll be paying attention.

    • Keep us informed, please. I have guests and can’t watch.

      • Nothing new came out of it. They talked about their emotional reactions to everything that has happened: how people reacted, the politicians and other musicians. They feel very honoured, but they have already moved on and they are not counting on working together anytime soon, riding the wave of their recent success. It will happen when they feel it has to happen. Caetano Veloso was here last weekend and he posted a video online declaring his support for Salvador. He felt over the moon when he became aware of it. He attended Veloso’s concert last week, they met and played together afterward.

        Salvador also said that he does not like when people stop him the street to ask him to take a photo with them; he enjoys talking to them, but photos are another story entirely. Luísa expressed her sorrow for having read that some people accused her of trying to ride the wave of her brother’s success. They both have their careers and this project was born very naturally and it has run its course. Jimmy Fallon has invited Salvador to participate in his show. He did not allude to his answer. Salvador is working on his second album; bolero music will be heavily featured.

        One more thing: his ESC clothes were chosen by his mother, She made the FdC ones herself.

        P.S. – Salvador’s mother had a high paying job in a multinational company; she gave it up and opened an atelier where she makes clothes, calling herself a seamstress.

        • Thanks for the update. :)

          “that some people accused her of trying to ride the wave of her brother’s success”

          How silly is that? She wrote the song and officially she won ESC.

  9. I don’t really care whether ESC songs do well in the charts or not. We get thousands of chart hits every year, and I don’t need more coming from ESC. I want sth different from ESC: rituals and magic moments. :)

    • And WTF moments of course. Thank you, Jacques. :)

          I honestly think that the expectation that ESC should be a chart hit producing event is totally wrong. It needs to be three shows providing good entertainment with sth for everyone to enjoy. Otherwise it will become irrelevant.

          • Now wonder, she forgot to breath. So many things to do and she is blond girl, after all!
            Hits come if they are to come. It has nothing to do with the concept of being radio friendly. It can only produce too many toilet breaks. With 40+ entries there is more than enough room for different kind of approaches. Unfortunately some broadcasters don’t seem to get a cue.

  10. At the end of the day, the biggest sellers are often songs which aren’t designed as such.

    Songs designed to be chart toppers tend to be made after a hit template which collects several elements that have been successful in the past few years. As a result, they often sound unimaginative and impersonal, and they don’t last long. There may be a boost in a short period of time, but then it’s forgotten.

    Music with unique qualities may not always sell that well when originally released, but it often keeps selling as new generations of listeners also get something out of it. The list of biggest selling albums of all time includes albums like Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” which is a true artistic masterpiece.

    • Some songs may still be designed as smash hits and still remain popular. But I don’t think “Calm After the Storm” was expected to do that well in the charts.

    • I could not agree more. And those songs are the ones that will have staying power and will age well.

    • Making hit music is very difficult art. It’s quite delusional from EBU to think ESC could be a platform for that with B-tier local talent in productions and performers mostly talent show left overs. How could they possible fight of the air time when it’s actually an uphill battle for big stars of which many fails every year. Also ESC is always at least lagging one year behind when it comes to pop trends. It can happen, and it happens. It’s just most of the time it won’t and then we end up with Australia, Malta and Denmark 17’s

  11. Breaking news: Salvador is leading the charts here – albums, singles and streaming.

  12. Sounds like there was graft and kickbacks galore as well. In other words, I would have fit in nicely over there. If I was a corruptible person that is. But we all know I’m not.

    Someone not corrupt is my friend Boggie. She released her new single. Buy it. In fact, buy more than once.

  13. Btw. Am I the only one who gets frustrated by the extremely bad sound quality in many of EBU’s official YouTube clips of the songs? It often affects the enjoying of otherwise great songs :-(

  14. Alexandra Paschalidou’s(Greek spokesperson 2005)advice for Greece after the recent flops: Back to the Basics&Keep it simple.

  15. In the meantime,Jacques keeps bitching about the lack of support by the fello-ex-Yugo juries.lol

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