Organizers and city authorities release the details of Eurovision-specific sites and specially designed attractions placed in the city on the occasion of the song contest.
Five hospitality zones will work in Kyiv during Eurovision 2017. The central location, Eurovision village, will be based on Khreshchatyk – Kyiv’s central street, between Prorizna and Bohdana Khmelnytskoho streets. It was reported by representatives of the city authorities and of the Eurovision organizing committee at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. In order to set up the Eurovision village Khreshchatyk street will be closed down at night from April 25 to April 26. “It is the only location where Eurovision semi-finals and the grand final will be broadcast live. Entrance to the area is free of charge,” said Kyrylo Voronin, Eurovision 2017 event manager. Apart from the broadcast itself a vast entertaining program is on the agenda.
EuroClub will be placed in the Mariyinskyi park (16 Parkova lane). This location will host official delegations – accredited fans and accredited representatives of media. “In the nearest days, we will put on sale limited amount of tickets to the EuroClub. It comes as an opportunity to get an insight into the Eurovision’s behind the scenes and to meet the fans who are coming to Kyiv from almost all countries of the world,” Voronin said. The red-carpet event will take place in the Mariyinskyi park. “It will be set opposite the Mariyinsky Palace, with a fantastic view. The red carpet will be of record length,” he added. Inauguration of 900 volunteers, best of the best, will take place today. The organizers have received applications from 11,000 candidates from various countries.
The organizing committee does not reveal the most exciting details of the program to keep the intrigue. “The most important thing for us is to create a welcoming creative atmosphere. This year’s edition of Eurovision is a Namysto [traditional Ukrainian necklace – UCMC], and we will be arranging all the events – bead by bead, so that each of the beads reveals a piece of Ukraine, its traditions and modern times,” said Serhii Proskurnia, creative supervisor of Eurovision 2017 events.
The biggest hospitality zone will be the one located on Sofiyska square. It will be designed as a “green meadow”, part of the actual exhibition of pysanky (hand-painted Easter eggs) will stay. There will be a stage to accommodate entertaining events, it will host over 11 concerts in two weeks. Retrospective of previous editions of Eurovision will be screened on Poshtova square, everyone willing will be able to sing the participants’ songs. National Theatre of Operetta will arrange for an entertaining program on Troyitska square. “It will be a variety of colors, musical motives and smiles. It will feature both the French Cancan and the Italian opera,” said Diana Popova, director of the culture department at the Kyiv state city administration.
Hospitality zone at the Kontraktova square – Feel Ukraine, will present various dimensions of Ukrainian culture. The site of the fifth location – the Kyiv Fortress Museum, was specially chosen to be close to the Kyiv military hospital so that the wounded combat veterans can attend the events it will host. An artistic event is planned there, on May 14 in the framework of the Day of Europe a charity auction will be held to support the wounded combat veterans. “These events will draw on war and peace themes, so that all the guests get to realize the state our country lives in, what is going on in the East and what’s the take of Ukrainian artists on that,” Popova said. Organizers intend drawing the biggest attention of international media to this location.
Entrance to all the hospitality zones will be free of charge, but an ID will be required.
Other cultural events
The program of collateral events will include the artistic fair Kyiv Art Week focusing on contemporary Ukrainian art. Five Kyiv museums and over 12 galleries are involved in the project. Another artistic project entitled “Face of Art” will be on at the Lavra municipal art gallery. “The event will draw on joint plein-air events between Ukrainian and European artists. Ten best works will be exhibited as part of the joint project. Notable German curator Rainald Schumacher will take over the project,” noted director of the culture department at the Kyiv state city administration.
Kyiv Light Fest will be held for the first time. Mykhailivska square will be one of its main locations with the building of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry used as a screen to accommodate the light projections. Buildings of Ukraine’s National Bank and of the Passenger River Terminal Station on Poshtova square will also serve as projection sites. Other light installations will be set up on the Andriyivsky descent on the river quay close to Poshtova square as well as on the left bank of the river.
Infrastructure and safety measures
According to Oleksii Reznikov, deputy head of the Kyiv state city administration, Kyiv is on full logistic alert and ready for Eurovision. Works to introduce more greenery, renovate the asphalt and lighting are being finalized outside the Livoberezhna metro station (the area close to the main Eurovision location – UCMC). The building in construction (on 2 Sheptytsky str.) owned by Naftogaz PJSC will be covered with a cloth banner. Local activists have arranged the territory around the unfinished Ukrbud buildings, they will not be covered by cloth banners.
City authorities reassure that the reinforced security measures will not create big inconveniences for Kyivites residing in the areas around the International Exhibition Center (Eurovision’s main location). “The traffic in both directions on Mykilska Slobidka will stay, the passage to the houses will not be impeded. Only those who would like to get to the International Exhibition Center with tickets will pass through security control,” said Oleksii Reznikov.
Public transport hours will be extended during the competition days. Buses will connect hotels where official delegations will be staying with all other locations. A river tram that will connect Poshtova square with the left bank will be launched, it is thought as both a means of transport and a leisure activity. The exact route is being designed as it is unclear what the water level in Dnipro will be like and if the motor boat will pass under the bridges.