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Kalush Orchestra make Glastonbury and UK debut


Kalush Orchestra made their Glastonbury and UK debut on Friday (24.06.22).

The 2022 ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ winners played Shangri-La’s Truth Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset, South West England, for what marked the Ukrainian folk-rap outfit’s first-ever concert on British soil.

Led by Oleh Psiuk, their performance went down a storm with the 3,000-strong crowd, despite only having one song, Eurovision-winning ‘Stephania’, known to the world.

Kalush penned 12 new tunes in just 10 days ahead of their Glasto gig so they would have a setlist, and played ‘Stephania’ again at the end.

They largely rapped and sang in Ukrainian with a translator on stage.

Oleh quipped: “Who doesn’t know the Ukrainian language? Oh dear…”

At one point, the bucket hat-wearing rapper made a moving statement amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He told Glasto-goers: “Just imagine it’s the last party of your life.”

Speaking of playing the legendary festival, Oleh had said: “We are so excited to be playing at Glastonbury Festival alongside some of the biggest names in mu from around the world. This is the perfect place for our first ever British performance and we hope it will be the start of many in the UK. We are very grateful for all the support we receive from the people of Britain, both for us and our country, and we are preparing a very special Ukrainian surprise for the fans at Glastonbury. What is it? You’ll soon see. See you there.”

Meanwhile, it’s likely the UK will play host to next year’s ‘Eurovision’ amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement: “Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.

“It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.

“Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.

“Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.”

Because Sam Ryder came second to Kalush Orchestra at last month’s contest, organisers are now planning to liaise with the BBC about the possibility of staging the competition in the UK instead.

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