The European Broadcasting Union and Host Broadcaster of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, PBS Malta, held a joint press conference at the Mediterranean Conference Centre earlier today. Jon Ola Sand, Head of Live Events at the EBU, attended the press conference alongside Charles Dalli, the Executive Producer of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest and John Bundy, CEO of PBS Malta.
John Bundy explained the meaning behind the theme for the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Embrace. "We want to embrace challenge, embrace the moment, embrace the participating countries. We embrace everyone who wants to come and watch the show. Welcome to Malta".
Charles Dalli explained how organising the contest this year differed from in 2014. "Each contest tells a different story. This year we wanted to give something different, it's in the capital Valletta this year, putting the city in the spotlight".
Jon Ola Sand explained that the format changes this year, including the earlier broadcast time was brought in as a result of feedback from members of the EBU. "We want to give the show a unique identity. We asked members what changes they wanted to see and nearly all of them asked for an earlier broadcast time. This was approved by the Junior Eurovision Steering Group. This is about giving the show its own narrative".
John Bundy told the press that they can look forward to an impressive show from Malta. "A small nation can do big things", he said. When asked about the choice of venue for the contest, which is smaller than previous years, Charles Dalli explained, "the Mediterranean Conference Centre is the right size for this contest and the performers". Jon Ola Sand agreed, "huge venues can be daunting for these young performers, this shouldn't be seen as a Eurovision Song Contest, it is a strong brand in its own right and should be given a strong identity".
After the press conference, the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, visited the Mediterranean Conference Centre to watch the rehearsal of the theme song, Embrace. She expressed her pride in PBS Malta and their organisation of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
(Photograph: Jonathan Brincat, PBS)
The 14th Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Sunday 20th November at 16:00 CET.