Eurovision 2020

Cities present their Eurovision 2020 bidbooks to NPO

Pastry, cycle couriers and brass bands to convince NPO

Now we know for sure which cities are bidding to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. There are no surprises, with Rotterdam, Den Bosch, Maastricht, Arnhem and Utrecht handing in a bidbook this morning. In this article, we’ll go through the details of this morning’s ceremony!

Bikes and buses

The delegations for each of the five cities arrived this morning in Hilversum to present their bidbook to NPO president Shula Rijxman. Four of the cities opted for a bus to take their delegation to the Mediapark. Utrecht however did not: They hired a courier with a bike to ride from the city centre to Hilversum. As the courier left Utrecht, the carillon player at the Dom Tower played several Eurovision songs.

Each of the buses was decorated. World famous violin player André Rieu sponsored the buses for the Maastricht bid. On board was an entire brass band, as well as Governor of Limburg Theo Rovers and the Mayor of Maastricht Annemarie Penn-te Strake.

The only other city to send their mayor to Hilversum was Arnhem. Mayor Ahmed Marcouch was part of their delegation. The Arnhem delegation however arrived much later than anticipated due to traffic. For Den Bosch, alderman Mike van der Geld attended, as well as Brabanthallen owner Jeroen Dona. They were accompanied by several girls, who were dressed in Addy van den Krommenacker creations. The local fashion designer designed those especially for the bidding process.

Venue issues ‘solved’

Two of the bids had issues with their venues. The GelreDome in Arnhem is home to Vitesse, a football club at the highest level in the Netherlands. At first, Vitesse refused to leave their home for eight weeks at the end of the season. The club has now however released a statement which says they are willing to move, if the city constructs a temporary stadium elsewhere. Pascal van Wijk, general director of Vitesse, says the Eurovision Song Contest is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the region and that that is why they’ve decided to cooperate.

Utrecht has a much bigger problem. The Jaarbeurs venue isn’t high enough to host the contest. Therefore, they do not have an inside venue to actually broadcast the shows from. Instead, the infamous tent idea is there! On the parking lot of the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht will build a large tent to host the Eurovision Song Contest from. They will use the Jaarbeurs itself for the other necessary equipment: Press centre, dressing rooms and so on.

Promoting yourself

Each of the cities presented itself with a slogan. Yesterday, we already reported the Maastricht campaign choosing ‘Come Closer‘ as their slogan. They are going for a complete contest with an intimate atmosphere.

Rotterdam have gone for a promotional video, just like Maastricht. Their double slogan features heavily in it: “Rotterdam for real” and “Rotterdam. Make it happen”. You can see the video here:

Den Bosch have opted for a slogan in Dutch. Their slogan is a word play: Douze de groeten uit Brabant. It translates to ‘Say hi to them from Brabant’, but we can all spot the obvious Eurovision reference in there. They too have more slogans in their bidbook. Those refer to the unofficial anthem of the province, “Brabant” by Guus Meeuwis: And then I think of Brabant, because the lights are still on there. A few, at first sight unimportant lines, but with great impact and legacy in the region.

The Arnhem bid has gone with a slogan referring to history: Celebrate Freedom. In their bidbook, the city speaks of the Second World War, which ended in 1945 – meaning Arnhem will celebrate 75 years of freedom in 2020. Their logo involves a bridge, with the introduction text also mentioning Eurovision isn’t ‘a bridge too far’ for the Arnhem committee – a clear reference to the film with the same title.

Utrecht’s promotion is the least extravagant. Their bidbook is titled ‘Making your mind up’. Furthermore, the city has said they weren’t going to fulfill all criteria set by the NPO and EBU. The Utrecht City Council is not willing to provide the delegations with the necessary touring cars, instead claiming they’d be better off using bikes or public transport.

Later today, we’ll be publishing an editorial where we check out who actually put in the best bid today! Stay tuned!

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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