Rotterdam 2020

Gerben Bakker and Babet Verstappen added to Eurovision 2020 team

NPO have added two more names to the team organising and producing the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Gerben Bakker has been named Head of Show, with Babet Verstappen taking on the role of Head of Communications for Rotterdam 2020. Make sure to read to the end for more names!

Completing the team

Sietse Bakker, the Executive Producer Event for next year’s contest, posted an image on Twitter with the entire team organising the contest next year. It’s a fairly large group of people. Not every name has been given as of yet. We, so far, know some of the key roles, though. The Core Team is made up of four members. Besides Sietse Bakker, we have Inge van de Weerd as Executive Producer TV and two deputy Executive Producers: Jessica Stam and Emilie Sickinghe. The latter has been part of the EBU Reference Group for a few years as well.

Furthermore, we know that Marc Pos and Marnix Kaart will co-direct the contest. Kaart’s job will be to direct the performances from each of the participating nations. Pos on the other hand will focus on show structure and entertainment inbetween segments, such as interval acts. They will receive help from Cornald Maas. The long time commentator for the Netherlands has been given the role of Creative Advisor.

Recently, the names of Gerben Bakker and Babet Verstappen were added to the list. Both of them have plenty of experienc in working for television, broadcasters or events.

Gerben Bakker: Creative leadership

The Head of Show for next year will be Gerben Bakker. For those wondering: He is not related to Sietse Bakker, as the latter confirmed on Twitter. It will not be his first journey to the world of Eurovision. At the Junior Eurovision Song Contests in 2007 and 2012, he also took on the job of Head of Show. Both of those contests were in the Netherlands, with Ahoy Rotterdam hosting the 2007 one.

When it comes to Dutch television, Bakker works for Pos Media, the company owned by co-director Marc Pos. He has also worked on shows such as The Voice of Holland, Dance Dance Dance and more. About his role for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, he said:

I have given substantial creative leadership to live shows such as The Voice of Holland, Dance Dance Dance and the international finals of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It is wonderful to make a good TV program through creativity, teamwork and experience.

Gerben Bakker to Eurovision.tv

Babet Verstappen: Head of Communications

NPO have given the role of Head of Communications to one of their own. Babet Verstappen has worked at NPO for over five years now. Her job there was Corporate Communication. She’ll be leaving that role in two weeks to take a dive into the Eurovision bubble.

Having studied in Rotterdam, Verstappen is no stranger to the city. For 2020, her task will mostly be to coordinate the press. This goes for the press centre and accreditations, as well as the press releases and communication to the press.

Other names who seem to be part of the team organising the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 are Marianne Engel (Executive Assistant), Richard van Vught (Head of Security), Joyce Casteelen (Head of Event Logistics) and Peter Mooiweer (Head of Finance). Dave Geensen will be the Host City Project Manager of behalf of the city of Rotterdam, with Arnaud Hordijk doing the same for the venue, Ahoy.

The team for Rotterdam 2020 is taking shape! How excited are you for May, now the new season has begun?

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