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 Some people who had bought tickets were contacted and told their tickets were no longer valid.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