Herning boxing clever for Eurovision

Parken no longer in the running to host the 2014 competition

Within hours of Emmelie de Forest winning the Eurovision Song Contest on May 18, a site to pre-order tickets for 2014 had named Parken as the probable location. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Denmark’s capital would host the competition like it did in 2001 and 1964.

However, a week of frenetic activity at the end of June has seen Parken, along with Fredericia, withdraw from the bidding, leaving the 15,000-capacity Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning as the clear frontrunner to host Eurovision in May 2014. It is currently a 4/11 favourite with Nordicbet to win the right, followed by Copenhagen (2/1) and Horsens (19s).

As the venue that hosts the competition to select the Danish entry, the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, the Boxen venue has plenty of prior experience. A recent vote on DR’s Eurovision Facebook fan page put it well ahead of its rivals with 1,800 votes, well clear of Horsens (570) and Parken (500). And De Forest herself is from Jutland so it would be a fitting tribute to the woman who made it all possible.

Herning still faces competition from the capital though. Both the DR Byen building and B&W Hallen are interested, while Horsens Prison is also in the running.

The Horsens venue, which would see the competition held in the outdoor courtyard of a decommissioned prison, has a standing capacity of 13,000, but while it has novelty on its side, it seemingly has little else.

“I doubt the EBU will approve a prison,” Johann Sørensen, the chairman of the Danish Eurovision fan club, told TV2 East Jutland. “It’s a bit difficult to produce such a great television show in an outdoor arena, when one can’t be sure of the weather conditions!”

Parken, meanwhile, explained that it withdrew for footballing reasons. “FC Copenhagen and the Danish national team belong here and have a busy schedule until next spring,” Parken’s chief executive Anders Hørsholt explained to media.  “We are apologetic about the decision, as we appreciate many felt we were a good venue for Eurovision.”

DR is expected to make a decision regarding the venue in the early autumn.