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Eurovision Song Contest 2003

Eurovision Song Contest 2003
"Magical Rendez-vous"
Final date 24 May 2003 (2003-05-24)
Venue Skonto Hall
Riga, Latvia
Presenter(s) Marie N
Renārs Kaupers
Director Sven Stojanovic
Executive supervisor Sarah Yuen
Executive producer Brigita Rozenbrika
Host broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija (LTV)
Interval act Iļģi, Brainstorm, Marie N and Raimonds Pauls
Number of entries 26
Debuting countries  Ukraine
Returning countries
Withdrawing countries
Voting system Each country awards 1–8, 10, and 12 points to their ten favourite songs
Nul points  United Kingdom
Winning song  Turkey
"Everyway That I Can"
Eurovision Song Contest
◄2002 2003 2004►

The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 was the 48th annual Eurovision Song Contest. The contest took place in Riga, Latvia on 24 May 2003, following Marie N's win in the 2002 contest with the song "I Wanna". It was the first win and hosting of the competition for Latvia with only their third participation after debuting at the 2000 contest. Latvijas Televīzija (LTV) chose the Skonto Hall as the venue after conducting a bidding process among several cities and venues in Latvia. The hosts for the contest were the previous year's winner Marie N and former Latvian representative at the 2000 contest, Renārs Kaupers, who competed in the contest as part of the band Brainstorm.[1] The design of the contest was built around the theme "Magical rendez-vous", which represented the meeting of the various European nations coming to Latvia and encountering Latvia's versatile landscapes.[2][3] Twenty-six countries participated, which saw the return of Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Poland after having been relegated from competing the previous year, Portugal returning to the contest after withdrawing the previous year, while Ukraine participated in the contest for the first time.[4] Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Macedonia and Switzerland were required to withdraw due to their poor results in the 2002 contest.

The winner for 2003 was Turkey with the song "Everyway That I Can" sung by Sertab Erener, which scored 167 points, narrowly beating Belgium into second place with a margin of 2 points and Russia into third place with a margin of 3 points.[5] This was the first win for Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest. Norway and Sweden rounded out of the top five, placing fourth and fifth respectively. The United Kingdom achieved their worst result to date, coming in last place (26th) and scoring no points from any of the twenty-six voting nations.[6] The 2003 contest was the last contest to take place on one evening. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) revealed that it would be adding a semi-final show to the competition in order to accommodate the growing number of interested countries wishing to take part in the contest.[7] This was also the last contest in which a relegation system was used to determine which countries would participate in the following year's contest. The contest also marked the fifth time in the history of the competition where all participants were participating for the first time; there were no returning artists that had already competed in the contest on a previous occasion.


  • Location 1
    • Bidding phase 1.1
  • Format 2
    • Graphic design 2.1
    • National host broadcaster 2.2
    • Voting 2.3
    • Future changes in contest format 2.4
  • Incidents 3
    • Organisational issues 3.1
    • Controversies surrounding Russian artists 3.2
    • Russian complaint against Irish vote 3.3
    • United Kingdom's last place finish 3.4
  • Participating countries 4
  • Results 5
  • Scoreboard 6
    • 12 points 6.1
  • Marcel Bezençon Awards 7
  • International broadcasts and voting 8
    • Spokespersons 8.1
    • Commentators 8.2
  • Official album 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


On 22 August 2002, Latvian public broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija (LTV) announced that it had chosen the Skonto Hall in Riga as the host venue for the 2003 contest.[8]

Latvia won the

External links

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  58. ^ Sietse Bakker (25 May 2002). Latvia won the 47th Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved on 23 March 2008.
  59. ^ Sietse Bakker. EBU released list of participant for 2003. Retrieved on 23 March 2008.
  60. ^ Sietse Bakker. No new countries at next Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved on 23 March 2008.
  61. ^ Sietse Bakker (1 December 2002). Draw of running order finally available. Retrieved on 23 March 2008.
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Track listing
No. Title Artist Length
1. "Open Your Heart" (Iceland) Birgitta 3:01
2. "Weil der Mensch zählt" (Austria) Alf Poier 2:57
3. "We've Got the World Tonight" (Ireland) Mickey Harte 2:59
4. "Everyway That I Can" (Turkey) Sertab Erener 2:35
5. "To Dream Again" (Malta) Lynn Chircop 2:57
6. "Could It Be" (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Mija Martina 2:54
7. "Deixa-me sonhar" (Portugal) Rita Guerra 3:01
8. "Više nisam tvoja" (Croatia) Claudia Beni 2:52
9. "Feeling Alive" (Cyprus) Stelios Constantas 2:51
10. "Let's Get Happy" (Germany) Lou 3:01
11. "Ne ver'’, ne boisia" (Russia) t.A.T.u. 3:03
12. "Dime" (Spain) Beth 3:01
13. "Words for Love" (Israel) Lior Narkis 2:56
14. "One More Night" (Netherlands) Esther Hart 2:59
15. "Cry Baby" (United Kingdom) Jemini 2:53
16. "Hasta la Vista" (Ukraine) Olexandr 3:00
17. "Never Let You Go" (Greece) Mando 3:00
18. "I'm Not Afraid to Move On" (Norway) Jostein Hasselgård 3:00
19. "Monts et merveilles" (France) Louisa Baïleche 3:01
20. "Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic" (Poland) Ich Troje 3:03
21. "Hello From Mars" (Latvia) F.L.Y. 2:56
22. "Sanomi" (Belgium) Urban Trad 3:00
23. "Eighties Coming Back" (Estonia) Ruffus 2:47
24. "Don't Break My Heart" (Romania) Nicola 3:00
25. "Give Me Your Love" (Sweden) Fame 3:00
26. "Nanana" (Slovenia) Karmen 3:00
Total length:

Eurovision Song Contest: Riga 2003 was the official compilation album of the 2003 Contest, put together by the European Broadcasting Union and released by CMC International on 19 May 2003. The album featured all 26 songs that entered in the 2003 contest.[98]

Eurovision Song Contest: Riga 2003
Compilation album by Eurovision Song Contest
Released 19 May 2003
Genre Pop
Length 76:47
Label CMC
Eurovision Song Contest chronology
Eurovision Song Contest: Tallinn 2002
Eurovision Song Contest: Riga 2003
Eurovision Song Contest: Istanbul 2004

Official album


  1.  Iceland - Eva María Jónsdóttir
  2.  Austria - Dodo Roščić
  3.  Ireland - Pamela Flood
  4.  Turkey - Meltem Ersan Yazgan
  5. [65]
  6.  Bosnia and Herzegovina - Ana Vilenica
  7.  Portugal - Helena Ramos[66]
  8.  Croatia - Davor Meštrović[67]
  9.  Cyprus - Loukas Hamatsos[68]
  10.  Germany - Axel Bulthaupt
  11.  Russia - Yana Churikova
  12.  Spain - Anne Igartiburu
  13.  Israel - Michal Zoharetz
  14.  Netherlands - Marlayne
    (Dutch representative in the 1999 Contest)
  15.  United Kingdom - Lorraine Kelly
  16.  Ukraine - Lyudmyla Hariv[69]
  17.  Greece - Alexis Kostalas[70]
  18.  Norway - Roald Øyen
  19.  France - Sandrine François[71]
    (French representative in the 2002 Contest)
  20.  Poland - Maciej Orłoś
  21.  Latvia - Ģirts Līcis[72]
  22.  Belgium - Corinne Boulangier[71]
  23.  Estonia - Ines
    (Estonian representative in the 2000 Contest)
  24.  Romania - Leonard Miron
  25.  Sweden - Kattis Ahlström[73]
    (Co-presenter of the 2000 Contest)
  26.  Slovenia - Peter Poles

The voting order in the 2003 contest was the order in which the countries had been drawn to perform. The spokespersons for each country were:


International broadcasts and voting

Category Country Song Performer(s) Final result Points
Artists Award  Netherlands "One More Night" Esther Hart 13th 45
Fan Award
(voted by members of OGAE)
 Spain "Dime" Beth 8th 81
Press Award  Turkey "Everyway That I Can" Sertab Erener 1st 167

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon.[63] The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Fan Award.[64]

Marcel Bezençon Awards

N. Contestant Voting nation
5 Russia Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Ukraine
4 Turkey Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Netherlands
3 Belgium France, Poland, Spain
Norway Iceland, Ireland, Sweden
2 Iceland Malta, Norway
Spain Israel, Portugal
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina Turkey
Cyprus Greece
Greece Cyprus
Ireland United Kingdom
Poland Germany
Romania Russia
Sweden Romania

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:

12 points

Voting procedure used:
Pink: Televote.
Violet: Jury.
Televoting Results
Total Score Iceland Austria Ireland Turkey Malta Bosnia and Herzegovina Portugal Croatia Cyprus Germany Russia Spain Israel Netherlands United kingdom Ukraine Greece Norway France Poland Latvia Belgium Estonia Romania Sweden Slovenia
Contestants Iceland 81 7 8 12 6 5 1 6 4 12 1 1 3 3 1 7 4
Austria 101 10 6 5 10 5 4 2 8 8 8 2 8 4 2 6 6 7
Ireland 53 2 5 5 7 4 7 12 1 6 1 1 2
Turkey 167 3 12 4 12 8 10 8 10 3 7 12 7 2 7 10 10 2 12 10 8 10
Malta 4 3 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 27 7 12 8
Portugal 13 2 2 3 6
Croatia 29 5 6 3 6 1 8
Cyprus 15 2 1 12
Germany 53 8 1 4 3 7 4 2 4 5 2 2 1 10
Russia 164 4 8 10 1 3 4 12 10 8 6 10 1 12 10 2 7 4 12 7 12 7 2 12
Spain 81 6 2 12 7 6 6 12 5 5 10 5 4 1
Israel 17 5 1 3 8
Netherlands 45 5 7 2 10 2 1 5 8 5
United Kingdom 0
Ukraine 30 8 4 10 5 3
Greece 25 1 4 12 5 1 2
Norway 123 12 2 12 6 5 7 4 3 7 6 7 3 6 7 6 10 3 12 5
France 19 8 2 3 6
Poland 90 10 10 12 5 4 2 8 6 4 5 8 5 4 4 3
Latvia 5 5
Belgium 165 7 4 10 7 10 6 3 6 3 12 8 10 5 10 8 3 12 12 10 8 8 3
Estonia 14 1 8 2 3
Romania 73 6 1 7 1 2 4 12 10 6 6 4 1 4 8 1
Sweden 107 5 3 8 1 3 2 1 3 7 5 3 10 5 7 2 7 6 4 7 12 6
Slovenia 7 4 3


1.^ Specifically Styrian, a Southern Bavarian dialect spoken in Styria.
2.^ The chorus contains a few words in English, Greek, French and Spanish.
Draw Country Language[62] Artist Song English translation Place Points
01  Iceland English Birgitta "Open Your Heart" 8 81
02  Austria German Alf Poier "Weil der Mensch zählt" Because the human counts 6 101
03  Ireland English Mickey Harte "We've Got the World" 11 53
04  Turkey English Sertab Erener "Everyway That I Can" 1 167
05  Malta English Lynn Chircop "To Dream Again" 25 4
06  Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatian, English Mija Martina "Ne brini" Don't worry 16 27
07  Portugal Portuguese, English Rita Guerra "Deixa-me sonhar" Let me dream 22 13
08  Croatia Croatian, English Claudia Beni "Više nisam tvoja" I'm not yours anymore 15 29
09  Cyprus English Stelios Constantas "Feeling Alive" 20 15
10  Germany English Lou "Let's Get Happy" 11 53
11  Russia Russian t.A.T.u. "Ne ver'’, ne boisia" (Не верь, не бойся) Don't believe, don't be afraid 3 164
12  Spain Spanish Beth "Dime" Tell me 8 81
13  Israel Hebrew Lior Narkis "Words for Love" 19 17
14  Netherlands English Esther Hart "One More Night" 13 45
15  United Kingdom English Jemini "Cry Baby" 26 0
16  Ukraine English Olexandr "Hasta la Vista" So long 14 30
17  Greece English Mando "Never Let You Go" 17 25
18  Norway English Jostein Hasselgård "I'm Not Afraid to Move On" 4 123
19  France French Louisa Baïleche "Monts et merveilles" Mountains and wonders 18 19
20  Poland German, Polish, Russian Ich Troje "Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic" No borders 7 90
21  Latvia English F.L.Y. "Hello From Mars" 24 5
22  Belgium Imaginary Urban Trad "Sanomi" 2 165
23  Estonia English Ruffus "Eighties Coming Back" 21 14
24  Romania English Nicola "Don't Break My Heart" 10 73
25  Sweden English Fame "Give Me Your Love" 5 107
26  Slovenia English Karmen "Nanana" 23 7


Twenty-four countries participated in the 2002 contest in Tallinn; of these, fourteen were expected to compete in 2003. The bottom ten in Tallinn would be relegated, to allow countries to compete for the first time.[58] In reality, only five countries were relegated— nineteen countries that entered in 2002 competed in Riga. Macedonia, Finland, Switzerland, Lithuania and Denmark were forced to sit out the contest. The nineteen qualifiers were joined by the six countries that had sat out the 2002 contest: Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal. The twenty-sixth contestant was Ukraine, making its debut at the contest.[59] Originally, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania and Belarus had planned 2003 debuts, but the EBU's late changes to the relegation procedure meant that they could not compete.[60] All three countries eventually made their debuts in 2004. RTBF was the Belgian broadcaster at the forty-eighth contest, marking the first Walloon entry since 2000. Twenty-six entries was the highest number in the final of the contest's history at that point; subsequently equalled nine years later in 2012 and then beaten in 2015, when twenty-seven countries participated in the final that year. The draw for the running order took place in December 2002 in Riga: Iceland would open the contest and Slovenia would complete it.[61]

Participating countries

The United Kingdom's last-place finish was greeted with much consternation in the British media. Terry Wogan, long-time commentator on the contest for the BBC, said that the UK was suffering from "post-Iraq backlash".[5] Chris Cromby from Jemini said, in reference to the group's off-key vocals, "The monitors were off. Maybe it was sabotage, but we couldn't hear anything...we used the floor monitors, the others used their own."[57] The UK's result was their worst-ever at Eurovision; by contrast, Turkey's win was their first. Alf Poier's sixth place was Austria's best result for fourteen years, Poland's seventh place was their best in nine, and Romania's tenth place was one place behind their best-ever. Belgium's second place was their first top-five finish in seventeen years, but Latvia's third-from-bottom finish was their worst result in four attempts; it was also the worst placing for a host country since 1992.

United Kingdom's last place finish

After the contest, Russian broadcaster Channel One complained that Irish broadcaster RTÉ had used a back-up jury, and that it had cost them victory. A statement by Channel One said "Considering [the] insignificant difference in points between the first and third places, there are grounds to believe that the contest results could be much different for Russia."[53][54] On the night of the competition, the voting polls operated by Irish telecommunications company Eircom suffered a delay in delivering the results on time, which prompted RTÉ to use the votes of the back-up jury instead.[55] The EBU cleared RTÉ of any potential wrongdoing after an investigation on the matter and stated that the rules concerning substituting the back-up jury in place of the televote were correctly applied.[55] RTÉ later published the unused results of the televote, which showed that had the jury not been used, Turkey would still have won, and Ireland's voting "partners", the United Kingdom, would still have no points. Russia did not receive any points from the televote, however, since Belgium only received 2 points from the Irish televote as opposed to 10 points awarded by the Irish jury, Russia would have placed second.[56]

Russian complaint against Irish vote

t.A.T.u.'s first rehearsal dominated proceedings on 20 May—the band were supposed to rehearse the day before, but had turned up a day late, claiming that Julia Volkova was suffering from a sore throat.[48] The group were booed by journalists during their press conference where they complained about the production's poor lighting and stage. EBU supervisor Sarah Yuen said "They are the bad girls of pop…we shouldn’t have expected them to come here and be nice and pleasant."[49] The EBU had originally planned to have a pre-recorded performance of the Russian entry ready to substitute during the live broadcast in case the duo performed a lesbian publicity stunt on stage, which they deemed inappropriate for a family entertainment show.[50] The EBU later stated that the performance would be broadcast live without any interruption.[51][52]

Upon the selection of the Russian artists t.A.T.u., the duo gave an interview to German tabloid Bild in March 2003 where they claimed that they would win the contest without a doubt and criticised the German entrant Lou calling her a witch with duo member Julia Volkova (also referring to Germany's 2002 entrant) stating, "In Russia we nurse blind and old people, but we don't send them to the Grand Prix. This must be different in Germany."[45][46] Lou later responded to the comments stating, "I don't know whether bitching, fighting and boozing kids are the right representatives for such a beautiful country as Russia."[47]

Controversies surrounding Russian artists

[44] Ingrida Smite, head of press for the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, reaffirmed that the contest would take place in Riga despite reports to the contrary.[44], Bjørn Erichsen. We talked about co-operation and about programme exchanges, and neither of them said a single word that would indicate any doubts, lack of trust or accusation."DR's legal director, Werner Rumphorst, was in Riga, and I spent an entire day with him and with the former general director of the Danish broadcaster EBU The general director of LTV, Uldis-Ivars Grava, replied, saying: "A few weeks ago, the [43] In March 2003, Danish newspaper

[42] In January 2003, German news magazine

Organisational issues


With the increased amount of potential participating countries, the EBU began to review the format of the contest with potential changes being considered such as adding extra evenings for the show, holding a regional pre-selection, or putting a limit to number of participating countries by increasing the entrance fee.[38] On 29 January 2003, the EBU unveiled a two-night system for the contest in 2004: a semi-final would be held before a grand final. The "Big Four", along with the top ten from the 2003 contest, would automatically qualify for the 2004 final.[39] The format change eliminated the relegation system, allowing all countries to send an artist and song to the contest. The fourteen eventual countries from the 2003 contest that qualified to compete directly in the 2004 final were Turkey, Belgium, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Spain, Iceland, Romania, Ireland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. All other countries would have to compete in the semi-final for ten remaining spots in the final.

Future changes in contest format

The EBU reintroduced televoting as an obligatory voting mode in all participating countries, which awarded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their ten favourite songs, in ascending order. Countries voted in the same order as they had performed. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia were granted an exception to holding a televote as they cited that their telecommunications penetration was less than 80%.[5][13] Polish broadcaster Telewizja Polska opted to use only SMS-voting.[36] In the televoting/smsvoting household shall not be permitted to vote more than three times.[37] All other countries planned to use a televote. This contest was also the first to introduce a computer-generated scoreboard which rearranged itself in order as the points were awarded. Broadcasters were required to assemble back-up juries that consisted of eight voting members, with age and gender equally distributed, in the case of televote failure on the night of the competition.[13] Four members of the jury had to be members of the general public and the other four members had to be music professionals.[13]


Initially, Arvīds Babris, head of the Latvian delegation at the 2002 contest, was appointed as executive producer for the contest, however, after production fell behind schedule and the EBU applied pressure upon LTV, he was dismissed and Brigita Rozenbrika took over the position, receiving additional support from the Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) and Estonian broadcaster Eesti Televisioon (ETV).[3][32][33] SVT was also the technical producer of the contest for the second year running with Sven Stojanovic as director and the Swedish lighting company Spectra+ contracted for the contest.[34][35]

National host broadcaster

The stage design was created by Aigars Ozoliņš and based on the concept called Planet Latvia.[30][31] The stage used several light and video effects and included an innovation new to the contest - a video screen stage floor that could be used to give each entry a unique look.[31] The green room where the delegations and competitors awaited the results of the contest was placed directly behind the stage and unveiled shortly before the voting portion of the show commenced, allowing the audience to view the representatives of the competing nations as they received points.[31]

The postcards shown between the entries were directed by Ugis Brikmanis and featured the artists competing at the contest interacting with Latvia's various landscapes: forests, rivers, lakes and towns.[28] The postcards were recorded during the preceding week of the contest and ran behind schedule, leading to some postcards featuring only footage from the rehearsals and press conferences.[29]

LTV launched a competition in order to find the logo for the contest. At the close of the competition, high interest from the public translated into 204 logo submissions, which were ultimately judged by a jury panel consisting of Uldis-Ivars Grava (general director of LTV), Arvīds Babris (then executive producer of the contest), Ugis Brikmanis (director), Laimonis Šteinbergs (artist), Ingūna Rībena (architect), Arta Giga (LTV representative) and Juhan Paadam (EBU representative).[26] On 16 November 2002, LTV and the EBU presented the logo for the contest which was designed by the director of the Computer Graphics Department of LTV, Maris Kalve with further elaboration by LTV's chief artist Kristaps Skulte.[14][27] The logo was named upes, the Latvian word for rivers, and carried the slogan "All rivers flow toward the sea, all songs flow toward the Eurovision Song Contest".[14]

Graphic design

An official compilation album, featuring all twenty-six competing entries from the contest, was released for the first time on the EMI/CMC label.[25]

On the day of the contest, bookmaker William Hill's odds placed Russia as joint favourites to win the contest with Spain. Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Norway and Iceland were behind in third, fourth and joint fifth respectively.[24] At the conclusion of the contest, favourites Russia placed third and Spain placed eighth, while outsiders Turkey (20-1) and Belgium (50-1) claimed the first and second places, respectively. Austria, at 100-1, were favourites to finish last, however, they scored their best result since 1989, placing sixth.[24]

The contest featured special guests that communicated with the hosts via satellite: Lys Assia, winner of the 1956 Contest greeted the hosts and spectators from Nicosia, Elton John spoke to the presenters live from the Life Ball in Vienna and one astronaut and one cosmonaut—Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko—gave their greetings from the International Space Station.[20][21][22] The interval act for the contest was a short film directed by Anna Viduleja that featured a sequence of performances by Latvian post-folklore group Iļģi, Renārs Kaupers' band Brainstorm, Marie N and piano player Raimonds Pauls.[23]

Full preparations for the 2003 contest began on 18 May 2003 at the Skonto Hall. There were rehearsals, press conferences and participants were also involved in an internet chat.[19] Two dress rehearsals were held on 23 May, in front of an estimated 12,000 people. The organisers of the contest held a press conference; one of the issues complained about was the lack of invitations for the after-party. The final dress rehearsal was held on 24 May, the day of the contest. A simulation of the voting procedure was also held, in which the presenters linked up with all twenty-six countries by satellite for the first time.[19]

The official sponsors for the contest were Latvian mobile telecom provider Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Latvian bank company Parex Banka.[16] LTV selected Latvia Tours as its official partner to provide lodging, travel and recreation for the contest delegations and other guests.[17] Riga City Council was also responsible for offering promotion and activities during the week preceding the contest.[18]

The EBU released the rules for the 2003 contest in November 2002, which detailed that twenty-six countries would participate, making it the largest number of participants to take part in the contest up to this point.[13] The rules also modified the eligibility criteria for entries, changing the date of release cut-off point for songs from 1 January 2003 to 1 October 2002.[14] There was also a change in the tie-break rule, which would now resolve such a case in favour of the nation that received points from a higher number of countries rather than taking into account the amount of top scores (12 points) received.[14] The draw for running order was held on 29 November 2002 in Riga, hosted by Marie N and Renārs Kaupers, with the results being revealed during a delayed broadcast of the proceedings later that day.[15]


City Venue Capacity
Jūrmala Dzintari Concert Hall 2,024
Riga Mežaparks Open-air Stage ~70,000
Skonto Hall 6,500
Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre 3,500-6,500
Ventspils Ventspils Olympic Center 4,500

[8] LTV ultimately chose the Skonto Hall as the venue to stage the contest.[12][8] On 15 June 2002, the [8] LTV’s organisational task force later decided to proceed with the bids from Riga and Ventspils, eliminating Jūrmala and the Mežaparks Open-air Stage in Riga.

Three cities were considered as host city of the contest: Skonto Hall and the Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre as potential venues for hosting the contest.[8] Ventspils bid to host the contest at the Ventspils Olympic Centre with a pledge of support from city mayor Aivars Lembergs, who added that Ventspils could also provide two cruise ferries that could be used to accommodate up to 8,000 guests.[11] Jūrmala City Council offered the Dzintari Concert Hall with plans to expand and upgrade the facility and surrounding infrastructure.[10]

Skonto Hall, Riga; venue of the 2003 contest
Locations of the candidate cities. The chosen location, Riga, is marked in red.

Bidding phase

[8] The


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