Reference Group gathered in Belgrade

Reference Group gathered in Belgrade
Reference Group meeting in Belgrade
Belgrade, Serbia -

Another contest has passed, and for the Reference Group that means it is time to look back. The governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest evaluated Oslo 2010 with Norwegian broadcaster NRK and discussed with German broadcaster NDR the preparations for next year's event.

The meeting of the Reference Group took place in Belgrade, host city of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, at the kind invitation of its Executive Producer, Ms. Sandra Šuša of RTS, who is leaving the Reference Group after a three-year mandate. "Organising the Eurovision Song Contest was probably the most exciting work I have ever done," she said in her goodbye-speech.

The group also evaluated the Oslo 2010 contest at the Belgrade meeting with its Executive Producer, Mr Jon Ola Sand, who presented his final report. The report was unanimously approved by the Reference Group, which praised NRK for an excellent production. One of the most appreciated features of the 2010 contest was the excellent implementation of the theme Share The Moment.

German broadcaster NDR presented their four potential host cities for next year's competition; Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Hannover. A final decision about the host city of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be made in the weeks to come.

Usually, ten countries qualify in each of the two Semi-Finals, while France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, along with the host country, directly qualify for the Final. This brings 25 contestants to the Final. However, since Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest, there are only 24 countries represented in the Final based on the current rules. The Reference Group decided not to add a 25th participant to the Final from one of the Semi-Finals, and stick to the existing rules.

The Head of Delegation meeting of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest shall take place 14 and 15 March 2011 in the host city of the competition. The 14th of March is also the final deadline of all participating broadcasters to hand in entries for the 2011 contest to the European Broadcasting Union.

A request of participating broadcasters to move the so-called 'release date' from the 1st of October to the 1st of September has been approved by the Reference Group. The 'release date' is the date before which the songs entered for the Eurovision Song Contest must not have been commercially released and/or publicly performed, in full or in part.

Stay tuned for more news from the Reference Group meeting!


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  • Posted on 1/September 2010 at 23:13
    Finally a debate on the big 4. It is just simply wrong. If it was a soccer tournament there would be outrage at the arogance of it.
    The economic arguement usualy, only made by people from the big 4, is false. The ESC doesn't have to big a huge flashy event with special efects. Infact it might be better without it. I would be happy to pay more for the event if needed. Certainly there is no other reason for justifying what is basicly cheating through economic bullying. Strong words but isn't it true.
    The big 4 destroys the truth of the ESC as a competition. It means trash like what came last this year would not get into the final and countries that come 11th and 12th in the semis would qualify for the final. Lets get this right finaly.
    It saddens me that most ESC fans ignore the injustice of the big 4 and continue to vote for these countries. Lena's song was a grand song,Germany had nothing to fear in the semi finals. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 1/September 2010 at 08:37
    @Mikeyyyy
    In my opinion that's not fair. I know the Netherlands pay a lot for Eurovision but we can't simply pass to the final like the big 4. And I know we pay very much to Eurovision so won't it be fair to let the Netherlands pass through?
    My answer: No, every country needs to do semi-finals exept for the hosting country.
    Since 2004 we've never been in final, but do we quit? No..... So your statement doesn't make sense. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 31/August 2010 at 12:22
    Why not extend an olive branch and offer the free final spot to ...ITALY! That might entice them back, even if it's just for one year. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 30/August 2010 at 12:26
    Hey Guys. I'm from the United Kingdom. In terms of the "Big 4 Rule", where France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom are always guarenteed a place in the Eurovision Final is slightly unfair. But you've got to understand the simple thing. Most years, the "Big 4" are usually in the bottom 10 of the final. Think about if France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom had to compete in the Semi Finals. They wouldn't qualify! This would eventually lead to all the "Big 4" leaving the Eurovision Song Contest. And if that happened, disaster would strike! No country would be able to afford to participate. So the EBU has to keep the "Big 4" in the Eurovision Song Contest if they want to keep it alive. If they chose to make the "Big 4" compete in the Semi Finals, it would only take a few years until the Eurovision Song Contest completely died out. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 20:44
    I am from Turkey and Turkey's 2011 Eurovision Song Contents to find the right not to participate directly in the final because Turkey deserve to go direct to the final report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 20:14
    I think it's annoying, the "Big 4" always are save, when it comes to a place in the ESC-final. Fx. The UK have been the bottom of the bottom many times in the last 10 years. This is sad, for the songs, that actully have a chance in the competition. It is a good idea, if the 5 highest-placed songs is qualified to the next years competition, instead of the "Big 4." The competion will also be more attractive for everyone, fx. the Turkey. They've been 2 this year, and then to give them a "come again" prize, in form of "automatic final qualification" to the next year.

    Thats just my oppinion.

    Anders report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 20:08
    after even now the reference group looked back to oslo, it might be time to reveal the detailed voting-scoreboards of the esc 2010. don't you think so? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 17:43
    The fact is that Turkey is an "automatic qualifier". Thus preventing a country that deserves it to qualify... but anyway.
    And yeah @ Ms. Sandra Šuša, for me Eurovision is the most exiting thing i ever -watched- in my life :p (if every job was like that :p) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 15:39
    @MrAleksandarMk Good idea : )
    I wait to new news from Reference Group meeting :) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 15:15
    So what?! :O

    I think that they should talk and make a plan how to return Italy, Monaco, Czech R and Luxembourg at Eurovision ...
    :)) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 13:19
    I think, that this year Germany deserves to be in the final because they won, but to let Turkey pass to the final, even without winning, would be like a special cheat.

    It would be better if the top 5 every year would qualified for the final instead of the big 4 countries, so it has to be: Germany, Turkey, Romania, Denmark & Azerbaijan.

    Just like back then, where there only was 1 semifinal, then the top 10 were qualified for the final next year. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 13:04
    Turkey should have been chosen to enter to final directly... this is so unfair... report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 11:10
    Europe hasn't Justice...Please NO TO RACISIM...Please You Havent Anti-Turkism(Maybe Greece will be 2nd Running in the Final report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 10:38
    well, I don't think it is a good solution to qualify germany automatically for the final, but at least it is a comprehensible one. in contrast france, spain and the united kingdom don't deserve to be there. maybe finland, lithuania and sweden due to their semifinal-top10-placings last year?
    and please accept the votes of the majority next year. thank you. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 29/August 2010 at 09:15
    I agree, Turkey will get through even if they have a rubbish song (but they won't =D). But I still think having come 2nd in 2010 they should get automatic entry because Germany gets both advantages now. They should share with Turkey =) A 24-strong final will be great....but not as good as one with 25! report to the moderator