Eurovision 2025 in Switzerland: Gilles Marchand is delighted

Gilles Marchand: “For Switzerland, we must first rejoice”

Posted today at 4:28 p.m.

“We must remember a few orders of magnitude,” exclaims Gilles Marchand, general director of the SSR, seized by the joy of the triumph at Malmö airport: “This show is 200 million viewers, 250 million more who follow him online, and even social networks. Yes, organizing it in Switzerland represents a series of challenges, but we will find the solutions.”

Marchand intends to underline “the enormous work of Swiss television to achieve this result. For six years, in particular with Suisa, the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Musical Works, we have been setting up these writing workshops to professionalize the choice of songs and to unearth talents to perform them. Results: Luca Hänni finished 4e in 2019, Gjon’s Tears 3e two years later. And there we win. The first thing I want to say is that we should rejoice, be proud of what we have achieved.”

And to remember that this 2024 edition was under tension, particularly around the presence of Israel. “Nemo’s victory, in this context, is important. She gets everyone to agree. No one, from juries to the public, disputes it. As if artistic quality, and this was not a foregone conclusion, had prevailed over everything else.”

According to Gilles Marchand, the SSR is ready to take up the challenge.

As soon as rumors and punters, a few weeks ago, had placed Nemo among the favorites, the SSR took the lead in thinking about 2025. “We reported this to the managers of large theaters in the main cities of the country, telling them to ‘think about it. Now that it is concrete, we will send calls for applications during the week, with very precise specifications.”

Claude Memberz, director of Palexpo in Geneva, confirms that he has spoken with the SSR. “Such a show cannot be put on just anywhere and Palexpo will play to its strengths. I would be delighted if we did it in Geneva.” The average budget of the show is announced between 20 and 22 million francs, it could also be a little more, or less. Lugano, which set it up in 1956, or Lausanne, which hosted the 1989 edition, however seem lightweights given the dimension taken by the event.

“It is the cities with an airport, Basel, Zurich and Geneva, which are at the top of the list,” continues Claude Memberz. “Geneva has 12,000 hotel rooms, Zurich 18,000, you need a press center, being able to secure the site, so not being too downtown, etc.” The Zurich Hallenstadion, equipped with stands and a sound system, has advantages, but not necessarily decisive. “We must also be able to make the location available for five weeks, due to assembly, rehearsals and dismantling. At Palexpo, the Vitafood show, which took place in May, will leave for Barcelona in 2025: we have room for Eurovision.” The choice of host city should be announced by the SSR during the summer.

An international co-production

On the financing side, Gilles Marchand, who is part of the Executive Council of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), recalls that it is a co-production: “There is the EBU, the national televisions, a pooling of certain skills, for example for the production of the show, possible contributions from the cities, the Canton, ticketing. Finally, the sponsors: Switzerland has world-class brands on its soil, we have to see how they will wish to benefit from such extraordinary visibility.”

Jean-Marc Richard has always dreamed of commenting on Eurovision in Switzerland… but in the cabin.

And will Jean-Marc Richard be on stage as Ringmaster 2025, the record holder of Eurovision commentators? He promises no: “Saturday night, at the end, I was so tense, I closed my eyes waiting for the results. It’s fantastic, and Nemo is an incredible guy. My dream has always been to one day commentate on this show in Switzerland, but in the cabin. I’m not saying we won’t wink from this one. I can also give some tips for preparation. But hosting such a big show, with so many difficulties of all kinds, requires top professionals: I’m thinking of Sven Epiney, Sandra Studer – who participated in Eurovision – or Michelle Hunziker.” The glitter is ready.

Christophe Passerborn in Fribourg, has worked at Le Matin Dimanche since 2014, after having worked in particular at Le Nouveau Quotidien and L’Illustré. More informations

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