On 3 February, the Dutch organising broadcasters for Eurovision 2021 and the European Broadcasting Union revealed more details about how the 2021 contest will most likely look like. Read this article for more information…
Eurovision Song Contest during the pandemic
In September 2020, the EBU and the Dutch broadcasters assured us that the 2021 edition will take place no matter what. To keep that promise, the organisation team worked on four different scenarios for hosting the contest in 2021. Here you can read a little summary of the four scenarios:
Everyone can experience the Eurovision Song Contest in the usual way. The 9 shows will take place in Ahoy Rotterdam. The public and all delegations are very welcome in the host city and the arena. There will also be a lot of peripheral activities in Rotterdam. All this to give Eurovision enthusiasts the time of their lives. This is, of course, the scenario we all prefer to see, but seems rather unimaginable at the moment.
Scenario B mainly focuses on social distancing. This means that the competition will largely continue in its normal form, provided some measures are taken. The organization will ensure that everyone can keep 1.5 meters away from each other in Ahoy. The audience will therefore be spread out, which means that fewer places will be available. A fair draw will make it clear who can go to Rotterdam and who cannot. The delegations all travel to Rotterdam, but with a limited number of people.
Scenario C takes travel restrictions into account. Chances are that not every delegation will be able to travel to Rotterdam if their home country would not allow it or if there is a major outbreak of COVID-19. To make it easier for those delegations, they can record their performance from their own TV studio. In an earlier article we explained what the acts would look like.
This scenario will get used when The Netherlands would still live in a full lockdown. Ahoy Rotterdam won’t allow audience or delegations. Every performance will take place from the participants’ home country. If the organisation team chooses this scenario, we will see a similar show as we saw during Junior Eurovision 2020.
Scenario A now ruled out…
With just 3 months to go, the organisation team hasn’t ruled out that every delegation can travel to Rotterdam in May. However, ticket holders will now receive a refund, and will be able to repurchase tickets if scenario B is chosen.
By staying flexible for as long as we can, we are aiming to make the best possible Eurovision Song Contest under the circumstances. Our primary goal is to get the 41 artists to Rotterdam, to all perform on the same stage, and to welcome journalists to cover the Contest.– Sieste Bakker, Executive Producer of Eurovision 2021
Something we now know is that Rotterdam Ahoy will have a capacity of between 0% and 80%. Bakker added that:
By pushing the decision regarding the audience towards, at the latest mid-April, we hope we can responsibly Open Up to welcoming fans in Ahoy for this year’s shows.– Sieste Bakker, Executive Producer of Eurovision 2021
Extensive health and safety
With scenario A ruled out, it has now been confirmed that only scenario B would see participants and press present on site in Rotterdam. If scenario B is selected, the Dutch government has confirmed that all participating artists and delegations will be allowed to enter the Netherlands. This is regardless of travel restrictions at the time.
An “extensive health and safety plan” has already been drawn up by organisers to ensure that everyone at the contest feels as safe as possible. This plan is similar to the plans drawn up by sporting events, such as Formula 1 and UEFA.
In September, our editors discussed their thoughts on the possible scenarios for the contest in Rotterdam. You can watch the video below:
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