The most northern bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest has been approved by its city council. Leeuwarden can now officially prepare its bid to send to the organisers of the contest in 2020. The city council supported the motion unanimously.
Is it feasible?
The motion in the city council meeting clearly asks the Mayor of Leeuwarden to research the feasibility of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 there. City council members Otto van der Galiën (Lijst058) and Femke Molenaar (PAL-GroenLinks) submitted the motion. Eventually, every single city council member approved. With the unanimous decision, there now is a clear mandate for Mayor Ferd Crone to see whether an official bid can be made.
Whether the Leeuwarden bid is feasible is far from certain. As soon as muncipal councillor Sjoerd Feitsma announced the city’s candidacy, companies in the area shared their doubts. Such doubts arose over topics such as infrastructure and hotel capacity. The WTC Expo has the Friezenhal, which seems to be big enough when it comes to the size of the hall. However, sound technicians have said the roof is too low for a Eurovision Song Contest to take place. It is an interesting statement, considering the Wiener Stadthalle is the same height as the WTC Expo. The Wiener Stadthalle served as the venue for Eurovision in 2015.
However, the people of Leeuwarden are upbeat about their chances to bring the contest there. The province of Fryslân support the bid as well. They become the third province to support a bid from their city, after Limburg already did so yesterday. The initiative to host Eurovision in 2020 isn’t new, as the mayor already sent a letter out to Shula Rijxman, CEO of NPO, as soon as Duncan Laurence won the contest. Arno Brok, the King’s Commissioner in Friesland, signed the letter as well.
European Capital of Culture
Last year, Leeuwarden was one of the cultural capitals of Europe. The European Union chooses a few cities every year to become the European Capital of Culture. Valletta in Malta shared the honorary title with the capital of Friesland in the Netherlands.
Friesland, or Fryslân in Frisian, is the most northern province of the country. It holds a special status in the Netherlands, with the language (Frisian) being officially recognised as their language. All villages and cities in the province have two names: one in Dutch and one in Frisian. Leeuwarden is the capital, called Ljouwert in their regional language.
Will we be hearing ‘Wolkom yn Ljouwert!’ next year? Should NPO pick Leeuwarden as the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020? Let us know what you think!