After a long, hard battle between seventeen Italian towns and cities, we finally have our host for 2022! Turin (Torino in Italian) will be the host of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest. Once again, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in one eagerly anticipated May week. As Turin emerged as the victorious winner, we decided that it would be a good idea to give you more of an insight into the host city. Think of this as your guide to Turin, but Eurovision style. But before we do that, let us delve into some context about the battle to host Eurovision 2022.
We All Want to Host Eurovision!
On 22nd May 2021, Måneskin won the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with 524 points. Following Italy’s long-awaited win, talk turned to who would eventually host the biggest non-sporting event in the world. Many places initially stated their interest to host between 23rd May to 28th May 2021. Examples of cities that expressed a desire to host were Bologna, Florence, Rome, Milan, Naples, Rimini, Sanremo, Verona and Bari. On 7th July 2021, RAI and the EBU launched the bidding process as well as a list of criteria:
- The place where Eurovision will be held needs to be available at least six weeks before Eurovision and one week after Eurovision finishes;
- The venue has to be indoors, with air-conditioning, with a clear perimeter and an audience capacity of 8,000 to 10,000 people;
- The venue must have a main hall with the capacity to hold the set and other requirements to ensure a high-level broadcast production. There needs to be sufficient space within easy access to support necesitites such as: dressing roooms, a press centre, hospitality, audience facilities, artist facilities and delegation spaces;
- The host city needs to have an international airport that should be no more than ninety minues away;
- The host city should have more than 2,000 hotel rooms in the area close to where Eurovision will be taking place.
In the first phase, any city that was interested in hosting Eurovision had to present their bids via certified mail by 12th July 2021. Following this, RAI and the EBU would then send all interested parties a bid book with more detailed requirements to fulfil. After this, the host cities could submit their plans.
Between 12th July to 13th July 2021, cities such as Turin, Pesaro, Bologna and Rimini officially announced their bids. Later, RAI confirmed on 13th July 2021 that seventeen cities threw their hats in their ring to be crowned the host of Eurovision 2022:
- Acireale (Catania)
- Bertinoro di Romagna (Forlì – Cesena)
- Jesolo (Venice)
- Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse)
- Sanremo (Imperia)
Fans were happy with the range of cities and towns that wanted to host Eurovision (although some, such as Palazzolo Acreide, apparently just wanted free promotion!). For some, it symbolised the growing Italian interest in Eurovision following Måneskin’s victory. Others still doubted the competence of RAI to host the Eurovision Song Contest, fearing Eurovision 2022 would be another long edition of the Sanremo Musical Festival. On 4th August 2021, eleven cities submitted their final and detailed plans to host Eurovision. By 24th August 2021, Italian journalists reported on the final five, the ones left who wanted to host Eurovision:
It was then reported shortly after that two cities remained to host Eurovision next year:
However, after this was announced, many newspapers and journalists reported on several cities being the host for Eurovision 2022. Many rumours were circulating that the host would be revealed on 8th September 2021 “in a matter of hours”. But the host was not revealed. Some thought the host city would be revealed on the SEAT Music Awards show broadcast from 9th September to 10th September 2021. For those who do not know, the SEAT Music Awards are an awards show that gifts Italy’s singers prizes for having a good musical year. Again, no announcement about the host was made. Shortly before the SEAT Music Awards, rumours circulated that the host city was in fact, never chosen, leaving Eurofans in shock and disbelief.
Following the “soon” teaser uploaded on the Eurovision Song Contest’s Twitter on 8th September 2021, people became excited. Then they had to wait and wait and wait for who the host city would be. For eurofans staying at home next year, seeing the spectacle was fine. But for the ones who planned to go to Italy, there was a slight mood of panic as people already booked flights and accommodation. Eurofans were forced to keep waiting, some more patient than others.
But most host cities have been revealed anywhere from July to October. Examples of host city announcements in bold include:
- Düsseldorf 2011 – 12th October 2010
- Baku 2012 – May 2011
- Malmö 2013 – 8th July 2012
- Copenhagen 2014 – 2nd September 2013
- Vienna 2015 – 6th August 2014
- Stockholm 2016 – 8th July 2015
- Kyiv 2017 – 9th September 2016
- Lisbon 2018 – 25th July 2017
- Tel Aviv 2019 – 13th September 2018
- Rotterdam 2020* – 30th August 2019 (did not take place)*
- (Rotterdam was permitted to host Eurovision 2021 following Eurovision 2020 being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
But, on Friday 8th October 2021, Turin won the right to be the host of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest! Many fans breathed a sigh of relief knowing who would be the host city. It was as if a great mystery had finally been solved. Now that we have got all that context out of the way, let us get to know our host city more!
Woah, We’re Going To Turin!
The Eurovision Song Contest in Turin will take place on Tuesday 10th May 2022, Thursday 12th May 2022 and Saturday 14th May 2022. As per usual, Tuesday and Thursday will host the semi-finals and Saturday will host the final. These events will be at the Pala Alpitour.
The Pala Alpitour (also known as the PalaOlimpico) was specifically built for the 2006 Winter and Paralympic Games held in Turin, costing €87 million in total. Following its construction, the Pala Alpitour became one of Italy’s most popular venues for large-scale concerts, boasting 18,500 seats at its maximum capacity. The Pala Alpitour is also 18 metres tall and is designed to host a wide variety of events such as parades and exhibitions. Continuing with its sporting legacy, the Pala Alpitour was one of two venues which hosted the ice hockey at the 2006 Winter Paralympic and Olympic Games. As a sign of what is to come in the future, the Pala Alpitour will host the ATP tennis finals between 2021 to 2025.
You probably know artists like Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Marco Mengoni, Tiziano Ferro, Elisa and Shakira right? Can you guess what they all have in common? Well, they all performed at the Pala Alpitour! And from 10th May 2022, we will start to see Eurovision artists perform in this very venue.
Turin will become the 3rd Italian city to host Eurovision. The first city to do this was Naples, all the way back in 1965. The next city was Rome in 1991 and now we have Turin for 2022. Turin has already made its way into the history books as it is now part of a specific club of host cities that are not the capital city. Other examples include Millstreet 1993, Birmingham 1998, Malmö 2013, Tel Aviv 2019, Rotterdam 2021.
Turin is also now a Eurovision city that has hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games! Other cities that have done the same, in the summer or winter, include:
- Sarajevo (as part of Yugoslavia)
So Turin is clearly in good company, as you can see above.
Turin and Music
Turin has a rich musical history. Before the 1980s, Turin was an industrial city; many worked at Mirafiori’s FIAT car plant. The FIAT car plant was located in the south of the city but it no longer exists. It no longer exists because the Turinese industry suffered a huge decline because of economic stagnation and political unrest in the 1970s. These days, Turin has a reputation for being an innovative pioneer in electronic music, one example being “Eiffel 65”, which scored a huge hit with “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” in 1998.
There are many other musicians who are part of the jazz, blues, folk and rock scene. An example of a part of the rock scene is “Subsonica”, which have an alternative rock and electronic rock sound. They were formed in 1997 and participated at the 2000 Sanremo Music Festival with “Tutti I Miei Sbagli”, which received huge radio airplay.
A name that is familiar to most eurofans is Willie Peyote. Willie Peyote hails from Turin and has had a long career in the Italian music industry. He participated in the 2021 Sanremo Music Festival with the song “Mai Direi Mai (La Locura)”. The song is a critical take that questions why society is the way it is. It also references Achille Lauro and Bugo’s dramatic storming off at Sanremo 2020. It finished 6th overall and received the Critics’ Award. The song was praised for its lyricism and bluntness.
A final example of Turin’s rich musical heritage comes from Frankie Hi-NRG MC. Like the other examples here, Frankie was born in Turin and has been a member of the Italian hip-hop movement which started to grow in the 1990s. His music discusses social issues and politics. One of his best-known songs is called “Quelli Che Benpensano”. The song talks about populism and takes the perspective of a person who no longer has faith in traditional politics. The song makes allusions to the Qualunquismo movement, filled with people who believe that politicians do not listen to them and how they feel.
How the Professionals Responded to Turin Hosting Eurovision
As you can already guess, everyone behind the Turin bid was really happy and excited.
The CEO of RAI:
‘We are happy that Turin will host the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the international festival loved by a huge audience in every country.
Thanks to the beautiful victory of the Måneskin, the Contest returns to Italy after 31 years, in a city that has all the characteristics to host such a prestigious event.
The choice made by Rai, together with EBU, was not easy given the very high level of the proposals made by the competing cities, which I thank for their enthusiastic participation.
From today, an exciting journey begins for Rai and the city of Turin that will lead us to May 2022. A great challenge for Rai and for our country’Carlo Fuortes
The mayor of Turin – Chiara Appendino:
The Eurovision Excecutive Supervisor – Martin Österdahl:
‘Turin is the perfect Host City for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest.
“As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, PalaOlimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans next May.
“This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Italy in 30 years and, together with our Host broadcaster RAI, we are determined to make it a special one.”
Impact? What Impact? That Is The Question
Hosting Eurovision is a great honour. For a few days in May, Turin will be the host to many eurofans of various backgrounds. There will also be people from Turin there as well and hopefully a new generation of eurofans. Italy’s long history in the Eurovision Song Contest is really complex and complicated, with interest failing to stay consistent. So it is important that this Eurovision Song Contest in particular leaves a lasting impact. Turin needs to get this Eurovision right as this could be the one event that creates a long-lasting interest for years to come in Italy. This Eurovision also needs to have an impact on the Turinese people and attractions, for they will hopefully reap in the afterglow of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.
Could this be the start of something new? Can Eurovision finally solidify itself in the hearts of Italians? We’ll have to wait and see. We are no longer in 1991; what happened in 1991 stays in 1991. One thing COVID-19 did was make us question ourselves and reevaluate the future we wanted to have. We went from having uncertain futures to now looking forward to futures where we could make new adventures and memories that will last a lifetime. There will also be probably more Italian artists who wish to represent their country at Eurovision, having to participate at the Sanremo Music Festival first.
But the greatest impact Turin 2022 can have is being the catalyst for a better future for the people of Turin. It should also create a lasting legacy of Italian Eurovision excellence which then seeps into the Italian music industry.
With that being said, lets be confident that Eurovision 2022 will be a success. The fact that an arena with a large capacity was chosen to host Eurovision perhaps hints that we may have a fully normal contest. Not only does Eurovision showcase what music Europe has to offer, but it also a big party for those in the arena and audience to enjoy. Lets also trust that the EBU and RAI will work together to give us a Eurovision Song Contest that will be remembered for all the right reasons.
What are your thoughts about the host city? Does it make you more excited for Eurovision? Please let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!
Edited 12.10.21: A previous version of this article stated that Baku was selected as the host city in May 2012.