With the construction of the Eurovision 2021 stage underway, more and more details of what to expect next month are being revealed. This week, the city of Rotterdam has decided to cancel plans for an in-person Eurovision Village due to the ongoing pandemic. A virtual alternative will take place instead.
On Wednesday, a Rotterdam city council meeting determined that the planned Eurovision Village at the Binnenrotte will not go ahead. Originally, this was intended to be a Fieldlab event, to be used as part of the Netherlands’ re-opening strategy. While the contest itself is still expected to have a small audience as part of a large event test, this was ultimately not agreed upon for Eurovision Village.
Instead, the Eurovision Village will be held as a virtual event. This will offer a “high-quality, virtual and interactive 3D world” that will ‘open up’ the city of Rotterdam to visitors from across the globe. The municipality hopes for 1 million virtual visitors for the online platform.
Heading for Scenario B?
The staging is set to be complete on 28 April. After that, technical and stand-in rehearsals will start. The first delegations are expected to arrive on 8 May. Even under a Scenario B situation, delegations will be spending most of their time in hotel quarantine outside of rehearsals in order to minimise transmission risks.
We have asked them to stay in the hotel and only use our official transport. In this way we hope to keep the virus out as much as possible.Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
Bakker also confirmed that the current plan is for 3,500 spectators to be in the audience, with 4,500 seats remaining empty. However, in practice this means that the second tier of seating will not be visible on the broadcast.
We think that those 3,500 people can also create a fantastic atmosphere.Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
However, with the news of Montaigne and the Australian delegation opting to not travel to Rotterdam, we may end up with something closer to a Scenario C. Under this model, some live-on-tapes will be used whilst other acts perform live on the AHOY Stage.
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