Last week in Geneva, members of the Steering Group gathered to see presentations by two cities interested in hosting the 2016 event - Budapest and Cologne. After both cities had presented their bids, it was down to representatives of NRK (Norway), NTR (The Netherlands) and RTVSLO (Slovenia) to decide which city would be awarded the competition.
"We saw two very strong presentations, both of which had excellent visions for organising the contest in 2016," said Arild Erikstad, Chair of the Steering Group. "It was a very difficult decision to make, as both cities would be perfect hosts. In 2016 we will continue to improve the format of Eurovision Young Musicians, so as the Steering Group we felt that Cologne's experience of organising the event earlier this year would give them a solid base to put on the type of show we want to deliver in 2016. WDR's experience in producing the event will mean we can focus very heavily on finalising the format development, and then take a very strong show to another city in 2018".
The effort and strength of Budapest's bid was, however, not unrecognised by the Steering Group. "The Steering Group was so impressed by Budapest's presentation and vision to host Eurovision Young Musicians, that they would like Budapest to consider hosting the 2018 event," added Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev. "This will, of course, need to be discussed further with our colleagues from MTVA, together with the Steering Group, before any formal decision is made".
Cologne hosted Eurovision Young Musicians in May this year, and broadcaster WDR was delighted to be hosting it again. "We are extremely proud and honoured to be able to host Eurovision Young Musicians again in 2016," said Lothar Mattner of WDR. "We will be able to take the good things from this year's show, improve on some areas, and work with the EBU's format changes to deliver an excellent event in 2016. We were also very impressed by the passion our Hungarian colleagues showed for the competition, and hope that they may consider hosting in the future."
The provisional dates for Eurovision Young Musicians 2016 will be made known in due course.