Bulgarian EBU Member BNT will host the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which this year enters its teens. The 13th Contest will take place on 21 November at the Arena Armeec in the Bulgarian capital Sofia and will showcase the best European singers and songwriters aged between 10 and 15.
Last year’s competition in Malta was won by 14 year-old Vincenzo Cantiello from Italy, resulting in the country's public service broadcaster RAI being given first option to host the 2015 edition.
The honour was taken up by BNT in Bulgaria, whose musical prodigies Krisia, Hasan and Ibrahim came second with ‘Planet of the Children.’
"This is a unique chance for BNT and Bulgaria to host one of the most prestigious music competitions in Europe. Krisia, Hassan and Ibrahim proved that success is possible," says BNT’s Director General Vyara Ankova.
"We also loved participating in the 2014 event, put on by PBS Malta, and were very impressed by the renewed energy, commitment and enormous talents of the children," she added. "We believe that Bulgaria, as the host country, will provide a new platform for young talent from all over Europe while enlightening them to the beauty and traditions of our country."
Junior Eurovision Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev says the Contest’s fan base builds year-on-year:
“We look forward to supporting BNT in their preparations for this year’s live event, which last year reached millions across Europe and around the world,” he said. “The EBU and the Junior Eurovision Steering Group will do everything it can to ensure that the contest provides opportunities for creativity and friendship.”
16 countries took part in 2014, the highest number since 2007.
It was announced this month that Ireland will take part in the 2015 event for the first time. EBU Member TG4 will send a song in Irish. It will be the first time the language is heard at a Eurovision event since 1972.
Several other countries have already begun the selection process for the contest, which is open exclusively to Members of the EBU. The closing date for entries is Friday 28 August.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is one of the world’s most high profile talent events for children aged between 10 and 15. Launched in 2003 and first hosted by Denmark, the annual competition promotes outstanding young singers in the field of popular music. Contestants represent their country and compete for first, second and third place trophies.
Thirty countries have either hosted or participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest including Norway, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Belarus, Armenia, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania and Serbia, with the broadcast being shown in countries as far afield as Australia and Argentina.
Since its inception, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has allied itself with the Eurovision Song Contest as a training ground for nurturing emerging talent. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest sets the standard for entertainment TV and embodies diversity, creativity and respect.