"Euro Vision: The Surprising Price Tag of Performing and Hosting, Revealed - One Country's £52 Million Investment"
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is upon us, with Liverpool hosting the event at the M&S Bank Arena. As millions of viewers tune in, have you ever wondered how much it costs for each act to participate? Or which country has paid the highest amount to host the event?
This year, Liverpool City Council, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the UK government, as well as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have invested around €11.3 million (£9.8 million) in the contest. While this may seem like an eye-watering amount, it falls short of the most expensive Eurovision on record.
The cost to participate in Eurovision varies across the participating countries, but the five nations known as the "Big Five" - UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain - pay the most to enter. As a result, the Big Five automatically enter the final each year without going through the qualifying rounds. However, all participating countries must pay an entry fee of around £5 million.
Apart from the entry fee, each country needs to shell out money to put up a worthy performance, including payments to the performer, hair and makeup, and miscellaneous staging expenses. While this information is not readily available, Eurovision Fun reported that Spain spent an extraordinary €680,000 on its 2022 entry, with the remaining funds covering stage performance and hotel accommodation. On the other hand, in 2016, the Netherlands spent €500,000 to send Douwe Bob to Stockholm, Sweden, where he finished 11th.
As the grand final rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest commence, the excitement is palpable. This year's event features Mae Muller as the UK representative, as Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra aims to defend their win from last year. It remains to be seen which country will take home top honors but consider the exorbitant costs associated with this musical extravaganza.
The expenses associated with hosting Eurovision are not fixed and vary from one country to another, depending on factors such as whether the host nation already has a suitable venue or needs to construct one before the event.
For the UK, estimates indicate that expenses for the current year will be between £8 million and £17 million, though there is no final confirmation yet.
Once they have collected the participation fees from European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the host country must cover all remaining expenses themselves. Thus, they can choose to spend as much as they are willing.
Recent host countries have spent anywhere between €10 million (£8.6 million) to €30 million (£26 million) on the contest. According to Eurovoix, Turin, Italy, spent €16.3 million (£14 million) on the 2022 contest.
Although it may be an enormous sum, the €22.8 million earmarked for the 2022 Eurovision is nothing compared to the most costly Eurovision ever hosted, which took place in Azerbaijan in 2012. Azerbaijan had to build a brand new arena for the contest and ended up spending a breathtaking €60 million (£52 million) at the time. Adjusted for inflation, the same amount would amount to €89 million (£77.4 million) today, as estimated by MoneyTransfers. The second and third costliest host countries were Denmark in 2014 and Ukraine in 2017, each spending €44.8 million (£38.9 million) and €37 million (£32 million), respectively.
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