Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv

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The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv next year, it has been confirmed.

Ukrainian singer Jamala controversially took the trophy at the European music contest in May with her song ‘1944’, referencing the persecution of the Crimean Tartars.

Due to mathematical changes to the voting system, Jamala won over Australia’s Dami Im and Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, who topped the jury voting and televoting respectively. Dami Im would have taken the trophy under 2015’s voting system.

The right to hold the next contest is traditionally offered to the victorious broadcaster, and this week the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTU) revealed Ukraine’s capital Kyiv will host the 62nd contest in May 2017.

The city fought off bids from Odessa, Lviv and Dnipro, with a decision repeatedly delayed by the broadcaster amid infrastructure concerns.

Kyiv won out with a bid to hold the mammoth event at its International Exhibition Centre. Thousands of gay Eurovision fans are expected to flock to the city.

The semi-finals will take place on May 9 and May 11, with the Grand Final on May 13.

There have been issues with violent anti-LGBT groups in Kyiv in the past, but organisers plan to ensure everyone is kept safe.

A violent far-right mob disrupted Kyiv Pride last year – pelting marchers and police alike with stones and smoke bombs, wounding two people.

In the past, it was called off when authorities refused to police the event – but 2016’s Pride event was largely peaceful.

Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest said: “After a thorough selection process, we are very pleased to be announcing today that NTU will be working with Kyiv as host city for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

“We would like to congratulate NTU on their extensive and careful assessments of each bid. Kyiv presented an excellent case and we are looking forward to working together to create the most electrifying show yet next May”.

Deputy Director General of NTU, Victoria Romanova said: “In the course of the selection we were deeply impressed with the efforts made by the bidding cities, the professionalism of their teams and the serious approach to their participation in the Bid.

“The process has demonstrated an unprecedented interest in the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine.

“We look forward to maintaining that momentum, with thanks and congratulations to Kyiv – the host city of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.”

And don’t worry… the UK will still take part in Eurovision despite Brexit.