Eurovision

Covid causes Söngvakeppnin delay

Icelandic broadcaster RÚV have today announced a one week pushback of all Söngvakeppnin 2022 shows.

Organisers say it has not been an easy decision, but performers, songwriters and RÚV’s staff have all supported the move. Covid-19 levels in Iceland are currently leading to restrictions on gatherings such as concerts and shows, but RÚV are hopeful that more time will mean a better chance that covid protocols will not need to be so strong by the time Söngvakeppnin comes around.

How is covid affecting events in Iceland?

Current Icelandic restrictions and precautions are confirmed only to 2 February, but event organisers have consulted with epidemiologists and determined that a one week delay should help preparations and delivery of Söngvakeppnin run as planned. Currently in Iceland, gatherings of over 200 people are not permitted, and gatherings with 50-200 people can take place only if everyone has taken a rapid covid test beforehand.

Söngvakeppnin’s managing director, Rúnar Freyr Gíslason, said today that organisers’ preference would have been to delay the national final even further to give the very best chance of it taking place without impactful infection controls, but the EBU’s submission deadline means no further pushback can be made.

What are the new dates?

5 February: TV show presentation of songs and artists

26 February: First semi-final

5 March: Second semi-final

11 March: Family show (dress rehearsal)

12 March: Grand final

A new venue for Söngvakeppnin this year

After many years of Iceland’s national final taking place at Háskólabíó and Laugardalshöll, this year Söngvakeppnin will have a new look as it moves to a new venue. Each show will be in the large Studio One at RVK Studios, just outside the capital. Rúnar Freyr Gíslason says,

“With this, we hope that the competition can be presented in the normal way, with an audience in the venue. The Söngvakeppnin shows have been very popular in recent years, sold out at most shows. The competitions have done a lot for viewers both at the venue and at home. Anything can happen but we move forward and we are going to bring people the joy bomb that is this competition.”

Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 contest in Turin!

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