Edition 2025 in Switzerland: Eurovision, “an opportunity to seize”, for the boss of the SSR

Edition 2025 in Switzerland: Eurovision, “an opportunity to seize”, for the boss of the SSR
Edition 2025 in Switzerland: Eurovision, “an opportunity to seize”, for the boss of the SSR

For Gilles Marchand, Switzerland must seize the chance of Eurovision 2025 to shine internationally. A call for applications will be launched in the coming days to determine which city can host the event. Geneva is already in the running, Zurich is considering submitting a file, others are trying their hand.

We must concentrate on producing a major global spectacle and do it professionally, specifies Mr. Marchand, recalling “that 180 million people follow the event live, we cannot disappoint them” (archives).

KEYSTONE

“We will first have to define the place where the event will take place,” underlined the general director of the SSR on Monday on RTS. This location will be absolutely decisive for all logistics and organization and therefore also for the entire financial dimension of the operation.

“We are not starting from scratch, it is a co-production between the host country and those of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU),” underlines Mr. Marchand. A lot of know-how has already been acquired: “We rely on a history and we will adapt it to Switzerland and our resources”.

Strong competition

Palexpo Geneva announced on Sunday that it had submitted its application. The exhibition and convention center says it has been working “for several weeks” in collaboration with the Geneva authorities to host one of “the most important global television events”.

On Monday, it was the city of Zurich which said it was studying “with high priority” the possibility of applying. The SSR had already contacted the city before Nemo’s victory on Saturday. The discussions will now intensify.

Basel also said it was “ready”, while the head of the Olma agricultural fair, Christine Bolt, indicated that she would like to bring the competition to St. Gallen. According to her, the new Olma hall, which can accommodate up to 12,000 people, would be an ideal location.

Bernese reluctance

On the other hand, the cities of Lucerne and Bern are more reluctant, due to possible date collisions. And the canton of Bern, Nemo’s home canton, was critical. The president of the cantonal government, the PLR ​​Philippe Müller, called on Eurovision to “stay away from Bern”, deeming the competition “corrupt to the core”.

Words which deeply irritated the socialist mayor of the City of Biel Erich Fehr. “I am ashamed of being Bernese, I am ashamed of our president of the government,” he said. For Mr. Fehr, everyone is free to have their opinion, but he expected the President of the Bernese Executive Council to at least first congratulate Nemo.

Precise specifications

Thirty-six years after its last edition in Switzerland, the Eurovision Song Contest returns to the country where it was invented and organized for the first time, in 1956: “Perhaps this is the time to readjust and recalibrate it », Explains a spokesperson contacted by Keystone-ATS.

The fact remains that the specifications are precise and dictated by the EBU, clarified Gilles Marchand. “There must first be a long and wide availability to host this set of events,” he explains. “We are talking about 45 days for the hall which hosts the event”.

Then you need extremely efficient connections with the rest of the world and significant hotel capacity. Malmö welcomed 100,000 visitors and 1000 journalists, recalls the general director of the SSR.

Very powerful logistics are essential, such as slabs that support gigantic tonnages, systems to fix the immense projectors or hold the stage. “There are perhaps four or five systems of this type in Switzerland,” he says, citing Geneva and Zurich, “but also Basel or perhaps St. Gallen.”

180 million spectators

We must concentrate on producing a major global spectacle and do it professionally, adds Mr. Marchand, recalling “that 180 million people follow the event live, we cannot disappoint them”.

Mr. Marchand reminds us that it is not just the show, but also “everything that is next to it and for that we need commitment from the community”. The economic benefits, direct and indirect, “are absolutely gigantic”.

There is also a national issue: Switzerland must show its capacity to organize this type of international event, it is very important for other potential events. If Switzerland knows how to mobilize and use the ESC, it can transform it into something extremely positive for its stature and its place on the international scene, believes Mr. Marchand.

“Eurovision is coming back to Switzerland, and Switzerland must seize this opportunity not only to shine internationally but also to perhaps rethink the concept a little,” concludes Mr. Marchand.

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