Live Orchestra or Playback

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Even though the answer is obvious towards the live orchestra and the magic surrounding this, it is highly debatable whether is also worth it.
On one side the audience and the viewers get to enjoy the experience of the live orchestra and the sheere volume of it, and on the other side we have the practicality of playback music which allow the composer and the technicians to "play" with their sound as much as possible and to minimise rehearsals.
Noone can say that TV audience actually care much whether participating countries choose live band or not, due to the fact that over the years the actual so called "quality" of songs is going downhill or to put it nicely, it follows "the rhythm of the times".
In fact the Eurovision song contest should actually promote live orchestra and not playback. That of course would be ideal if the production level of the contest could be kept to a high music level instead of the high commercial exposure. Lets face it. Is all about the money. It seems that the accountants have the final say of what to do and what not to. And seriously, who can blame them. With the way things are going, I really dont believe that we can ever go back to the majestic live orchestra, unless some serious issues are resolved.
We must also acknowledge the fact that most singers and performers couldnt give a damn about such "detail". As long as more attention is paid to "show" (Spain 2008, Greece 2002, Ukraine 2007, Ireland 2008, U.K 2007) are just a few examples of a "show" gone badly wrong as they forgot that it is a song contest thus resulting into bad positions for their countries. 
Of course not even the presence of a live orchestra would have been able to save a bad song but at least it would push composers into writing actual music instead of sounds mixed together to offer a noise!
To conclude, it is obvious that the live band is probably not coming back to the Eurovision song contest due to the lack to feature a value-for-money and time solution.
So over the next few years we would have to settle with less presence of music into the contest, and more noise. Of course we need to understand that for the time being this is how things stand and maybe it is time for countries to pay more attention to the music/performers instead of a 3 minute try to impress audiences and viewers which have probably seen it all.
By Alexis Sofocleous (producer)