Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra have spoken out about the United Kingdom hosting Eurovision 2023 in place of Ukraine.
In a statement to the PA News Agency, Kalush Orchestra lead singer Oleh Psiuk has said “Of course, we are very sad that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine next year. But we are grateful to the U.K. for their solidarity and for agreeing to hold the event in support of our country. We hope Eurovision 2023 will have a Ukrainian flavour and celebrate our beautiful, unique culture…”
Oleh goes on to say that he would like to see Ukraine win Eurovision again in 2023, so the contest can be brought back to a peaceful Ukraine in 2024: “We, in turn, will make all efforts to help Ukraine win next year as well, so that Eurovision 2024 can take place in a peaceful country.”
Ukraine comes to the United Kingdom
Since the announcement was made that the United Kingdom would be officially hosting Eurovision 2023 in place of Ukraine, it has been made very clear that the contest will pay homage to Ukraine and it’s culture, as Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC stated.
“The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, stated that “…The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture…” Whilst Eurovision executive producer Martin Österdahl has said that they will make sure that “…this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
Since winning Eurovision, Kalush Orchestra have been using their new found fame to make the world aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now.
At the end of May, the group sold their winning Eurovision trophy at auction for $900,000 (approximatley 838 Euros), with the money going towards buying a PD-2 Drone for the Ukrainian army. Lead singer Oleh also sold his pink bucket hat.
Kalush Orchestra went on to perform at Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom in June, alongside fellow Ukrainian acts Go_A, Jamala and DakhaBrakha.
In the Autumn of 2022, the group are expected to begin a North American tour to raise funds for Ukraine. They will begin in Seattle, Washington on October 20th and end in Montreal and Toronto, Canada on November 5th and 6th.
What kind of Ukrainian elements would you like to see at Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments below!