Sunday 18 February 2018

Cash-strapped RTE 'can't afford Eurovision show' says head of delegation

Nicky Byrne sings Ireland's entry for the Eurovision
Nicky Byrne sings Ireland's entry for the Eurovision

Sean O'Grady

The head of the Irish Eurovision delegation has admitted that cash-strapped RTE does not have the funds to put on another big show to find Ireland's next entry.

Ireland's entry has been chosen in a variety of ways in recent years, with The Late Late Show Eurosong contest being favoured by fans, while acts including Nicky Byrne and Brendan Murray have been selected by bosses.

"If we had the money, I would love to see a stand-alone Eurosong final and do it in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, but unfortunately there's well-published financial difficulties here and we don't have the money for that," said Michael Kealy.

"The problem with the Late Late is that a lot of professional acts of any calibre are reluctant to come along and engage in that type of competition, which is understandable."

RTE has now invited singers and songwriters "with a proven track record of success" to submit a song to be considered for Ireland's entry in Lisbon next May.

"The Eurovision really isn't for people who are looking for their break in the music industry," Mr Kealy told the Herald.

"It's a big ask to send people out who have no real experience performing to an arena with 250,000 people."

The Eurovision team is keeping its options open and has been in touch with established musicians.

Applications close on November 6 at 5pm. More information is available at rte.ie/eurovision

Herald

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