Due to a slight change in my plans I was staying at home one extra day. This means I have time to do one extra blog. Today I guess I should talk about the venue of the ESC 2012.
Before I begin it is worth noting that while Azerbaijan did win ESC 2011 they have not technically been given the right to host the contest yet. They will recieve this in August when the EBU approve their venue. In contrast to recent years Azerbaijan does not have an obvious venue for the contest. In the vast majority of cases an obvious venue should be clear, such as if the contest ever did come to Ireland it would be in the O2. Azerbaijan does not have such a clear cut venue. Some venues have been mentioned from a 2000 seater concert venue to a glass palace in the Caspian Sea.
On Wednesday the rumor mill seemed to say that the Azeri government had given around €9 million for the development and refurbishment of the Tofig Bahramov Stadium which would hold around 20,000 people, and would be a more normal choice. However ESCDaily reported yesterday that President of Azerbaijan has said an arena would be built in the National Flag Square. Personally if I was in the EBU I would be giving RAI and SVT a call at this stage. Building a brand new venue could be very risky, but you never know.
In August the EBU will inspect the proposed venue at the Reference Group meeting in Azerbaijan (Or inspect the plans for the proposed buildings). At that stage they will rule if Azerbaijan can or cannot host the contest. To be honest I think venues are the least of the worries, and I expect that the EBU will decide to use the Tofig Bahramov Stadium. However matters arising from items such as Visas, Security, Freedom of Press and personal expression are the more difficult and are more difficult for the EBU to police. Until then I will be here writing away. Do enjoy your holidays in the meantime. See you soon.