North Macedonia and Montenegro pull out of Eurovision 2023 over ‘cost of staying in UK’

Some nations have decided that the cost of participating in the music competition is too expensive

Nicole Vassell
Monday 17 October 2022 14:59 BST
Eurovision 2023: Liverpool named as UK host city

North Macedonia and Montenegro will not compete in 2023’s Eurovision Song Contest.

According to a statement released by the broadcasters of both countries, the cost of participating in the multi-national music competition has been a key factor in causing them to drop out.

These countries join Russia on the list of non-participating nations so far. Russia was banned from competiting in the 2022 competition due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, with the ban remaining in place for next year.

Each broadcaster of the contest pays a fee to have their country take part, which varies based on the size of the country.

As stated in a BBC report, some countries have been asked to pay more due to the absence of Russia, previously a large financial contributor.

Although the amount paid by each individual broadcaster isn’t public information, the total cost for all broadcasters involved to enter normally adds up to around £5m.

In a statement, Montenegro's public service broadcaster RTCG cited plans to use the money they would have spent on Eurovision for their national projects.

RTCG said: “In addition to the significant costs of registration fees, as well as the cost of staying in Great Britain, we also faced a lack of interest from sponsors, so we decided to direct existing resources to the financing of current and planned national projects.”

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Since Liverpool was announced as the host city of Eurovision earlier this month, prices for hotel and Airbnb rooms have soared to as high as £5,500 per night.

Macedonian broadcaster MRT also cited “the increased registration fee for the participation” as a reason for their withdrawal, as well as the energy crisis in North Macedonia.

In the 2022 competition, neither Montenegro nor North Macedonia advanced past the semi-final stages.

Eurovision will take place in Liverpool, on behalf of the 2022 winning nation, Ukraine, in May 2023.

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