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Eurovision will 'definitely take place' this year with contingency plans in place, organisers say

The announcement was made this afternoon.

Jedward performing at the 2012 contest.
Jedward performing at the 2012 contest.
Image: DPA/PA Images

ORGANISERS OF THIS year’s Eurovision Song Contest have said this afternoon that the event “will definitely take place” this May under three potential scenarios.

In a statement, Eurovision said the event will take place with semi finals on 18 and 20 May, with the final on 22 May. 

“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,” Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said.

Last year’s Eurovision was due to take place in Rotterdam following the Netherlands’ victory in 2019. 

In December, it was announced that Lesley Roy would represent Ireland should this year’s competition go ahead.

Roy was due to perform the ‘Story of My Life’ in The Netherlands last year but the song contest was cancelled for the first time in its 65-year history. Instead, a virtual ‘song celebration’ was hosted in May featuring Roy.

Ireland has won the Eurovision song contest seven times, which included three-in-a-row in the early 1990s.

Organisers of the 2021 Eurovision want to host a socially-distanced event in line with health guidelines in the Dutch city of Rotterdam with the goal of having every act performing on stage.

Under this hoped-for scenario, a protocol to protect artists, delegations and crew on and off site will be developed and adhered to. 

If there are countries who cannot travel to Rotterdam, that artist can use a recorded performance as their entry. For those who can travel, they can perform their songs live on stage.

The events will be held either with no audience at all, or a reduced audience to allow for social distancing, depending on local government guidelines. 

Under the second scenario, hosts and interval acts will be the only ones in attendance in the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam. All acts will use a recorded performance for their entry, or “live-on-tape”. 

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This scenario would allow for some attendees, pending local government advice, and there would also be some events in the Dutch city to mark the contest. 

Under a lockdown scenario, the Eurovision will still go ahead without an audience with everything conducted virtually. Again, all acts will use recorded performances. 

Organisers said that their health and safety plans has drawn on those already used by the likes of Formula One and Uefa. 

It added that the Dutch government has given assurances that in the event a socially-distanced event can take place, as is hoped, all participating artists and delegations will be able to enter the Netherlands. 

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Sean Murray

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