In short, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) is a massive media entity. Launched in 1954, the EBU would remain an influential presence in the lives of many around the world, which is largely the result of programs branching from the Eurovision network. Historically, the Eurovision Song Contest was its first huge hit, and from there the EBU earned quite a bit of success from these competition-driven shows. This trend of having European countries send their best performers to song, dance and instrumental contests became an incredibly effective means of joining together the hundreds of millions of viewers who otherwise might say they have little to do with neighboring countries. But there is always some untapped demographic and market that can stand to be globalized and appreciated, which is likely why the EBU and Eurovision network are now launching the Eurovision Choir of the Year (ECY).
INTERKULTUR is a German-based foundation and as its name might suggest, shares a similar goal with the EBU - to bring together people of all walks of life under the guise of culture-promoting competitions. It was responsible for the inception of the Choir Olympics - now known as the World Choir Games - which is currently the largest choral competition in the world. The ECY is essentially the brainchild of a union between INTERKULTUR and the EBU, and due to the mega following that both these broadcasters have, early proposals of the ECY generated substantial interest and will undoubtedly perform well in the public scope.
But how will the upcoming ECY compare to existing choral competitions? The Eurovision Song Contest has always been unique because it was the first of its kind, so what sort of creative and entirely original elements will a union between INTERKULTUR and the EBU provide?
For starters, unlike the World Choir Games the ECY is planned to be an annual show rather than a biennial production. Secondly, the World Choir Games, which will host their tenth edition next year, have had a tradition of hosting themes with every installment. Both the World Choir Games and the ECY invited amateur choirs to perform and this will act as a brilliant platform to get up-and-coming performers an opportunity to showcase their skills and use both competitions to propel their careers forward. As an additional incentive, winners of the ECY will be rewarded a recording contract. The winning choir will be determined by a jury, just like in the early running years of the ESC.
This first edition of the ECY will host amateur choirs from nine countries that will perform in the host city of Riga in Latvia. Representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia, and Wales will meet and compete at the Arena Riga and on Saturday 22 July.To learn more about the ECY, click here.
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