The eruption of the EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano in Iceland continues to cause concern in Oslo where delegates continue to arrive for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. Today's closure of airports in Ireland, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands is causing concern about whether performers and delegations will arrive in time for their rehearsals.
Yesterday, esctoday.com exclusively revealed that the Irish delegation were planning to leave 48 hours ahead of schedule, facing a mammoth road and sea journey from the north of Ireland to Norway. You can read the full story here. Today, aiprort closures across the United Kingdom and The Netherlands puts both countries' Eurovision Song Contest schedules at risk.
esctoday.com can confirm that the British delegation have prepared a back-up travel plan to reach Oslo in time for their first rehearsal on Saturday 22nd May.
Sieneke, representing The Netherlands, is due on stage this Wednesday 19th May and is due backstage at 7am to begin prepar. Due to the closure of Amsterdam and Rotterdam airports today and probably flight delays and cancellations over the coming days, the Dutch delegation have prepared a back-up plan.
esctoday.com has been told that there are two back-up plans in place to ensure that Sieneke and at least one colleague will be in Oslo in time for the rehearsal. The less extreme plan would see the whole delegation arrive ahead of their first rehearsal.
Sietse Bakker, Head of Communications and PR for the Eurovision Song Contest told esctoday.com that "it is the responsibility of the delegations to arrive in time to meet their schedule obligations". He explained that "when the volcano first erupted, all delegations were contacted and advised to put back-up travel plans in place in the event of air space closures".
esctoday.com will continue to monitor the delegations arrivals and the path of the ashcloud.
The EBU have made the following announcement in a press release at 14:15 CET:
"Weeks ago, we asked the participating delegations to consider alternative ways of transportation to Oslo, to make sure that all contestants arrive in time for their rehearsals," said Svante Stockselius, the Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the European Broadcasing Union (EBU).
Many of the 39 participating delegations have already arrived in the host city of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, the others are scheduled to arrive in the days ahead.
"We are keeping a close eye on the forecasts, as a lot of journalists will be heading for Oslo in the days ahead. In case some journalists cannot make it to Oslo, we will setup additional online services to provide them with the necessary information to cover the event," said Sietse Bakker, Manager Communications & PR of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Fans from abroad who are planning to attend the shows live have over a week to make it to Oslo. The organisers recommend them to look for alternative ways of transportation, should the ash cloud misery continue.