Representing BNT, Director General Viara Ankova started proceedings by welcoming everyone to Bulgaria. "We are very proud that we're hosting such a big contest, the biggest in Europe of such wonderful young talents. We're also very proud of being the centre of Europe for these days!" said Mrs. Ankova. "We have taken some very big decisions, from the logo to the venue, which I hope you all like. Last year we really liked the #together theme, and we used this as inspiration for this year - we wanted our young talents to #discover themselves, new friendships, and new worlds."
Ms. Ankova also thanks various other oganisations around Bulgaria for their help in putting together the event: "The support we've had has been great - the government securing our financial support; the municipalities of Sofia and other areas of Bulgaria who have been involved; and the schools. Bulgaria is a very old country, and it was our idea to present this image through the show content" she added.
Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev paid tribute to BNT and the organisation of this year's event. "I am very grateful to BNT for being the host broadcaster, and every time we have come here for meetings we have been surprised more and more by BNT and the Production Crew with their enthusiasm and vision. Everyone has found a great way to work together! " he commented. "All of the planning was done very much in advanced, and we have seen since the dress rehearsals that every delegations are very pleased - and this comes down to excellent planning. Overall BNT and the production crew has put in an exception amount of work, and it will be the best Junior Eurovision ever, I think."
Mr Yakovlev also revealed that a Delegation from France is here in Sofia observing the content, and while German broadcaster NDR is web streaming the event he has also received contact from Baltic countries about re-joining.
Executive Producer Joana Levieva-Sawyer was full of praise for the team working on this year's project. "First of all I'd like to say that it has been so rewarding to put all of these people together, to have this wonderful thing that is happing here at the moment with the rehearsals. While BNT is in the centre of it, we have worked with many different colleagues across Sofia and Bulgaria; schools, volunteers, other TV production companies in Bulgaria who helped with show content, and the international production team - every single one of them has contributed to this common result. I could name over 70 people from the production team, but I thank them all. I also thank all the press for being here, and sending our message out to the world" she revealed.
Mrs. Levieva-Sawyer also gave some facts about the event, that they have:
- 700m of stage
- 80 technicians
- 14 cameras
- 200+ cast (dancers etc. for different acts in the opening and intervals)
Lastly, she was asked about the moments last year in Malta, where Bulgaria achieved its greatest ever Eurovision result by finishing as runners-up. "It was an extremely big moment for all of us. The children were so happy, and for us it was a terrific moment for us. At the end of the day, though, all of the children here are winners - they're so young, and singing in front of such a large audience. To reach such a chance at their age makes them all a winner, and it's a pity that we can only give one first prize" she said.