Eurovision 2015: First previews for contest in Austria

Many Austrian cities are eager to host the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. However, it seems like Vienna is the only city to have enough hotel capacity and suitable venues. But some venues seem to be unavailable on the preliminary dates.

Two months ago, ESC Daily wrote that the Eurovision Song Contest would most likely take place on May 12th, 14th and 16th next year. These dates are still preliminary, and may change if the Wiener Stadthalle will be the venue next year.

In the preliminary schedule, rehearsals would start on May 4th. The technical rehearsals, however, already start weeks before that date somewhere in April. And in the Wiener Stadthalle there are already some concerts (James Last) and other events (Horse Event Apassionata).

If the ORF and EBU do not wish to reschedule these events, Eurovision must be postponed by one or two weeks, making it a late contest on the 26th, 28th and 30th of May.

Other Options in Vienna
Although the Wiener Stadthalle seems to be the best option, there are more chances for Vienna to host Eurovision 2015. The Austria Center Vienna and Messezentrum have also showed their interest.

The Austria Center Vienna is the biggest congress hall in Austria. However, that hall might be suitable as a Press Centre, but not as venue itself. If they break the walls of the biggest halls, they still only have room for around 5000 people. And that is not enough. Also, the Wiener Stadthallo would be 9 kilometres away, so the Press Centre option would be difficult.

Messezentrum would be a place where they can place the Press Centre and the actual shows under the same roof. The altitude of the hall however is only between the 8,5 and 12 metres. Not enough for Eurovision.

That’s why Wiener Stadthalle seems to be the only reasonable option. For a normal concert, there is place for 16.000 people. During Eurovision this would probably be decreased to around 12.000. There is no other hall in the centre big enough for a Press Centre, so it seems like that will be placed further away, just like in Belgrade in 2008.

Other cities beside capital Vienna
Many cities want to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, but since many of them only have possible venues in the open air or not enough hotel capacity, we can narrow it down to five potential host cities. Besides Vienna there are Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Linz. The mayor of Salzburg already told a local newspaper that they are not willing to host Eurovision 2015 and Linz barely touches the hotel limits by the EBU.

The Olympiahalle in Innsbruck and the Messe Halle in Graz seem to be too small. Unless there will be a huge tent or venue there seems to be no other option then Vienna. And then again, if there would have to be a new or renewed venue anyway, why not do that in the capital a larger hotel capacity?

ORF has a budget up to € 20 million
Financial director Richard Grasl of the ORF already told a national paper in Austria that there is a maximum budget of €20 million, to be expended by new sponsorships and grants by (local) government. The ORF is expecting a definite answer on the venue (and dates) in July. Last year, Danish broadcaster DR kept it a secret until September.

First countries have applied already
Besides the hosting broadcaster ORF from Austria, also the broadcasters YLE (Finland), RTÉ (Ireland) and SVT (Sweden) have confirmed their participation in the 2015 contest. Probably many other countries will join these four early birds in the next couple of weeks and months for the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Keep an eye out for the ESC Daily in the next couple of months as we will keep you informed about the early news surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest 2015!

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