Several venues and dates proposed at the Reference Group meeting

Representatives from Portuguese broadcaster RTP met with the Reference Group to discuss the most initial plans for holding the Eurovision 2018 in Portugal. Several venues and dates were proposed. However, no final decisions have been made public yet.

The meeting took place at the EBU’s headquarters in Geneva. Starting the meeting with a review of the 2017 competition, RTP discussed a few important topics with the Reference Group. Portuguese delegation has proposed several venues for hosting the contest. Probably in Lisbon, as RTP first confirmed Lisbon as the host city but later stated more vaguely that multiple locations are still in the race.

“The next key milestone will be the selection of a venue, which meets the requirements for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest,” added Jon Ola Sand on this regard. Many people have been expecting that the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the MEO Arena (pictured in the left), as the Director General of RTP, Nuno Artur Silva, had earlier expressed the venue in Lisbon as a likely one to host the contest.

Also, it was mentioned that the preliminary dates for the next year’s contest will be announced in the upcoming weeks. It currently looks like the contest will most likely take place on the 8th, 10th and 12th of May, about which team ESCDaily has explained earlier in this article.

Cristina Tomé, Chief Finance Officer at RTP added “When we return to Portugal we will finalise the venue and Host City selection including the dates of the 2018 contest. After this it’s time to develop the slogan and artwork. This is more than just Eurovision, this is a huge event”. RTP also referred to fans encouraging them to join them in Portugal. “You have to come to Portugal, enjoy the country and enjoy the contest. We will have sunshine for you!”

Check out the video from the Reference Group meeting:

Salvador Sobral ‘s Eurovision victory

During the meeting Carla Bugalho Trindade, Portugal’s Head of Delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest touched upon Salvador Sobral’s victory in Kiev. “We won for the first time, it was a wonderful experience to finally hear ‘Portugal 12 points’. But we did not expect to win, the main goal was to qualify for the final. When we won, it could not have been better. Everyone stood still to watch the TV, everyone wanted to see Salvador win.”

Cristina Tomé, Chief Finance Officer at RTP added. “We were really happy, we were expecting this for more than 50 years. It was good for our country and for us at RTP”. Cristina also added that right after the victory along with celebration they got to work right away. “I sent messages to my colleagues, read the documentation given to us by Jon Ola Sand at the winning press conference and we then began to set up the core team”.

Regarding to the first Reference Group meeting, Jon Ola Sand said that “representatives from the team in Ukraine handed over valuable knowledge to colleagues from Portugal. The Eurovision Song Contest is a huge event to organize and the work starts the minute a country wins”.