Junior Eurovision 2020: How the contest passed from Krakow to Warsaw
While in the previous weeks Krakow seemed to be the favorite city to host the next edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest the situation changed rapidly with the competiton being passed to Warsaw. But which factors drove to such decision?
According to the the press release by Polish Television,Eurovision Junior 2020 will be held on November 29 in Warsaw. The official slogan of the competition is Move the world, which was presented by the winner of the previous edition, Viki Gabor. With one of TVP sutdios being underconsideration to host the next contest, some facts justify why Warsaw was decided to host the next edition .
The Coronavirus factor
Due to the coronavirus epidemic in Europe, all mass events have been canceled. Although many countries are seeing fewer and fewer new COVID-19 cases, the situation is still crucial . Although National governments have decided to lift restrictions, we still don't know how long this situtation will last while the scientists are still warning the nations for a possivle second wave of the pandemic the following months. All this means that the participation of the public during the competition is not certain. Facing this circumstances EBU and TVP had to find a solution that matches the current conditions. They were probably one of the, if not the main, reasons why Eurovision Junior 2020 will not take place in Krakow.
The Financial issues
The financial issue is certainly important when organizing large scale event such Junior Eurovision. Even if the authorities agreed to organize the event in the arena with the participation of the public, this decision would have to involve additional costs associated with ensuring security. Further more , the city's authorities wanted to ensure the continuity of the cultural offer of the city , which in the age of coronavirus is experiencing a clear crisis. That is why the local government focuses on co-financing permanent events and institutions closely related to Krakow.
However, it seems most likely that there will be no audience in the next contest. This means no money coming in the municipality's cashiers.. The authorities of Krakow expected that the organization would pay back thanks to the use of accommodation, gastronomy and local tourist attractions by teenage fans and their parents, which will be absent if no audience is predicted in this year's comeptition. Moreover, based on information provided by newpaper Gazeta Wyborcza, the capital of Małopolska was to make a financial contribution of over PLN 1 million . Originally, the amount was even three times higher. The Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, seeing the financial risk in the whole project refused to deposit the essetial funds to TVP , causing the decision according which Warsaw will host the event.
Domestic Political issues.
There are voices that until the end of April Krakow was to organize this year's competition for children and youth. The situation changed radically after a story on TVP News. The coverage titled Controversial Expenses of Local Governments, claimed that the city's financial problems are the result not only of the coronavirus epidemic, but also of management errors. The allegations were met with an immediate reaction from the city's president Jacek Majchrowski. He refused to bear the costs of organizing Junior Eurovision . In an interview with the portal LoveKraków.pl, the politician said:
If someone accuses me of spending money senselessly, for completely unnecessary things, and then tells me to give PLN 1.5 million for the organization of Eurovision Junior, then I see a certain contradiction. I wrote that I can't "throw money". Now Eurovision will be in Warsaw.
The next edition will be hosted in Warsaw , marking the second consecutive year that Poland will be hosting the show after Viki Gabor's victory with her song Superhero in Gliwice-Silesia. As things are going TVP is considering of hosting the show in one of its studios as a grand audience is more than likely to be absent in the next edition. However more details on Junior Eurovision 2020 will come to light in the weeks to come.