Artist News

Ukraine auctions Eurovision trophy to raise money for Ukrainian army

By | Published on Monday 30 May 2022

Ukraine win Eurovision 2022

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest winners Kalush Orchestra have auctioned off their trophy from the competition in order to raise money for the Ukrainian army. The winning bid of 500 Ether – roughly $900,000 – was placed by Ukraine-based cryptocurrency exchange WhiteBit.

Announced last week, the auction took place on Sunday, hosted by TV presenter Serhiy Prytula, with the band also announcing the winner of a raffle to win the pink bucket hat frontman Oleh Psiuk wore on stage at this month’s Eurovision show.

Tickets for the raffle cost five euros a pop, and raised a further $370,000. The band say that the money raised will be used to purchase three PD-2 drone systems for the Ukrainian army.

“You guys are amazing”, said the band in a Facebook post following the auction. “We appreciate each and everyone of you who donated to this auction and a special thanks to the team at Whitebit who purchased the trophy for $900,000 and are now its rightful owners”.

Kalush Orchestra, of course, won Eurovision earlier this month in a dramatic round of voting, which saw them receive far and away the biggest portion of the public vote.

Already one of the favourites to win the competition, it became widely expected that Ukraine would be Eurovision champions this year following the Russian invasion of the country in February. Although, of course, following those events, it had not been a given that Ukraine would even be able to perform at this year’s contest.

First there was the logistical question of whether Kalush Orchestra would be able to travel to this year’s host city, Turin in Italy. And then there was the political dimension, with Eurovision famously having a strict no politics rule, which is always hard to enforce when there is an ongoing political and/or military conflict between two countries competing in the Contest.

Initially, the European Broadcasting Union, which oversees the Contest, had said that it would still allow acts from both Ukraine and Russia to perform. However, following criticism from broadcasters across Europe about the EBU’s stance – including Ukraine’s state broadcaster, UA:PBC – it was subsequently announced that Russia would be barred from entering the competition.

Ukraine won with a combined jury and public vote points total of 631, well ahead of the UK in second place with 466.