Rotterdam 2021

Artists to record “live-on-tape” performances as back-up for Eurovision 2021

As the pandemic still goes on and the Eurovision 2021 comes closer, many of us wonder if the contest would take place as planned. Hopefully, EBU got something in store to ensure nothing is going to be cancelled.

As EBU states, every broadcaster will create a ‘live-on-tape’ recording prior to the event which can be used if a participant cannot travel to Rotterdam due to the current pandemic, or in the unfortunate instance of an artist having to quarantine on site.

What is the “live-on-tape” performance?

EBU asked all the participating broadcasters to record a live performance of their act in their own country. This recording will be delivered prior to the event and will take place in a studio setting. The recording will take place in real time (as it would be at the Contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording.

Open Up to variety

“Open Up to variety” stands for the artistic freedom, creativity and style for any country who would have to provide their “live-on-tape” performance. The Host Broadcaster will not require a strict format of staging. However, countires will get a set of production guidelines to ensure fairness and integrity during the performance. They also include:

  • no audience present at the live-on-tape performances
  • the recording should be unique and remain unpublished before the event in May
  • no augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, use of chromakey or green screen
  • countries can submit no national final performances, though they can record on the same set.
  • the “live-on-tape” recordings have to be delivered by the end of March.

Fairness guarantee

This sounds great but how do we know everything is fair enough? Every country which is going to make a “live-on-tape” performance will have to follow the rules below:

  1. Before the recording each participating broadcaster will meet with a co-ordinator from the Host Broadcasters. During this meeting they will submit a recording session schedule, studio set up and camera plan.
  2. On a recording session day the Head of Delegation should be onsite to supervise the whole process and choose one of 3 permitted takes.
  3. A live connection will be set up during the recording to allow the ESC Executive Supervisor and a representative from an independent voting observer (E&Y) and the Host Broadcaster to join the recording session. Their online presence is necessary to provide assistance and support, also to ensure the integrity of the Contest.

If you have any questions regarding “live-on-tape” performances, EBU answered the most frequent of them here.

We do hope all the participants will be able to make it to Rotterdam in May 2021. However, such way ensures all the participants will have their chance to shine at the contest no matter what happens.

Eurovision 2021

The countdown to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has officially begun. The EBU and host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have confirmed that the two Semi-Finals will take place on 18 May and 20 May and the Grand Final on 22 May, 2021.

Do you think the “live-on-tape” performances is a good idea for the upcoming Eurovision? Comment below or share your opinion with @escxtra on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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