Preparations are continuing for the Eurovision 2021 which is planned to be held in Rotterdam in May. The organizers came up with different scenarios to make the event as flexible as possible. Inevitable changes will touch upon the number of guests and will somewhat alter the atmosphere as well.
“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,” said Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
According to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, next years Eurovision is going to take place in the winner’s home country. Following the victory of Duncan Laurence in 2019, this is going to be the Netherlands in 2020.
However, the uncertainty created by the pandemic throughout Europe left the organizers with the only choice of cancelling.
Their primary goal in this year is to be able to welcome the 41 artists in Rotterdam in the Ahoy Arena, to all perform on the same stage, and journalists to cover the Contest.
Máté Papp, a Hungarian journalist, who contributed to the Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm as a videoblogger, says “I realized that the biggest drive is actually the audience. Sure, the professional crew works with high-tech equipment accurate to seconds, but what gives the whole thing a charm is the audience.”
However, with the uncertainty of the corona measures the presence of the audience is dubious. The organizers are well-prepared for three scenarios for the course of events. Either it will be social distanced, travel restricted or lockdown. These are better explained in this presentation below. (click on the picture)
The slogan of this years contest is “Open up” which is can be interpreted in several levels as Sieste Bakker, Executive Producer Event of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 says. “We have looked for a theme and slogan that reflect what the Netherlands stands for and which the Dutch can identify with; a country with an open mind to the world, where we speak our mind, with respect for each other.” She also finds it important to choose a theme reflective of the increasing polarization and freedom becoming non self-evident.
According to Papp, the Eurovision is a diverse and large family gathering from all around the globe. He talks about companionship, support and togetherness. These will be redefined this year even if the best-case scenario comes into play.
“Not a question, that the mood and atmosphere of the show will greatly change without a live audience. Online live streaming wouldn’t be even close to the energy of thousands pulsating in the arena,” says Papp.
On the other hand, Daphne Jansen, who has never participated in the contest before but watched it every year, says the atmosphere wouldn’t change. “My focus was never on the audience itself. I feel the cheering is mostly for the artists performing there, so it can change their attitude.”
From the three possible scenarios, explained above, only one allows the artist to perform live on stage, otherwise all the participants will be “live on tape” from their home countries.
Cover photo is AFP/ Getty Images