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Eurovision Song Contest cancelled

By | Published on Thursday 19 March 2020

Eurovision Song Contest

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday announced that this year’s competition has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The event was due to be held in Rotterdam on 16 May.

In a statement, Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. And we are deeply disappointed about this situation”. He added that organiser the European Broadcasting Union was in talks with its partners in the Netherlands “to see if it’s possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021”.

Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of the event, said that news of the cancellation would be a major disappointment for “the artists from 41 participating countries; our opening and interval acts that put their hearts and souls into their performance; for the fans who have always supported us and have kept confidence until the last moment; and not least, for the fantastic team, which has worked very hard in recent months to make this 65th edition a great success. We understand and share that disappointment”.

But, he added: “Some perspective is appropriate because, at the same time, we also realise that this decision and its consequences don’t compare to the challenges faced by people affected, directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus and the difficult but necessary measures”.

In an FAQ section on the official Eurovision website, organisers explained that they had considered various other options before making the decision to cancel. Postponing to an indefinite date in the future would be impossible, they said, due to the number of people involved across so many countries.

Staging the event on its planned dates without an audience – as some had suggested – would also not be possible, due to restrictions on largescale events in The Netherlands. Even without an audience, too many people would be involved in the production to be allowed to gather in one place. International travel restrictions in the European Union would also mean some participants and their teams would be unable to attend.

It is not yet clear if artists selected to perform this year will be able to return with the same songs next year. A decision on this will be made at a later date. At least though, you can still check out all of this year’s entries on the official Eurovision YouTube channel: