Eurovision Song Contest 2021 organisers say full-scale event is 'impossible'

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
Duncan Laurence (C) representing the Netherlands poses with the trophy as he wins the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
Duncan Laurence, representing the Netherlands, poses with the trophy as he wins the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. (Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via Getty Images)

This year's Eurovision Song Contest won't be a full-scale spectacle, organisers have said.

The 2020 competition was scrapped altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is set to go ahead this May in Rotterdam following the Netherlands’ 2019 win.

The contest’s executive supervisor Martin Osterdahl said: “The Eurovision Song Contest will definitely make its welcome return this May despite the pandemic but, in the prevailing circumstances, it is regrettably impossible to hold the event in the way we are used to."

Read more: Glastonbury cancelled for 2021

There are now three potential ways the competition could play out just three months away from the date of the contest, with efforts focused on Scenario B.

Supporters wave flags ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND via Getty Images.
Supporters wave flags ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark. (AFP Photo/Jonathan Nackstrand via Getty Images.

This would see the event become socially distanced at the Rotterdam venue with "strict safety measures" in place.

Each contestant would also record a "live-on-tape" performance ahead of the event to be used if artists cannot travel because of the pandemic.

Watch: Graham Norton says there will ‘definitely’ be Eurovision in 2021

Scenario C would see the show, featuring hosts and interval acts, presented from Rotterdam but the delegations and artists would submit recorded performances, while scenario D would be entirely remote and would be likely in the event of a new lockdown in the Netherlands.

Read more: Liam Gallagher and ex-wife Nicole Appleton mourn dog’s death

Osterdahl added: “We very much hope to be able to gather in Rotterdam in May and will do all we can in the coming weeks to achieve this.

“With an ever-changing situation we are taking our time to ensure that we can host the Eurovision Song Contest in the best and safest way possible.”

James Newman was the UK's Eurovision entrant for 2020. (Eurovision Song Contest. Youtube)
James Newman was the UK's Eurovision entrant for 2020. (Eurovision Song Contest. Youtube)

All 41 acts slated to perform last year did appear in a non-competitive virtual show on the weekend the final would have taken place.

The UK's 2020 entrant James Newman has expressed hopes to have a second chance, but it hasn't yet been revealed who will be competing in 2021.

The grand final of the competition is set to take place on 22 May.

With additional reporting by PA.

Watch: What is long COVID?