ESC stage should remain non-political even in the war year

Turin (dpa) – The war in Ukraine is also a topic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) – but the organizers do not see a reason to open the stage for political statements.

“66 years ago we decided to leave this stage free of political statements, and we would like to keep them free of them,” said ESC boss Martin Österdahl at a press conference in Turin on Wednesday. According to him, the first semi-final on Tuesday in the northern Italian city showed that the organizers were capable of doing so.

Every performance is rehearsed very carefully, Österdahl explained. However, there is always a risk that a political statement will be made during the live broadcast. However, he does not want to speculate about an unknown scenario – just as little as about a possible victory for Ukraine and thus the country currently affected by the war as the venue next year.

With its representatives of the Kalush Orchestra and the song “Stefania”, Ukraine is one of the favorites to win at this 66th ESC in Turin. On Tuesday they entered the final on Saturday, for which Germany with Malik Harris (“Rockstars”) is already set. In the first semi-final, some artists expressed their solidarity with Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, with small signs, but there were no direct statements on stage.