Following the turmoil of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Europe and many countries locking down and taking drastic measures in order to combat and contain the virus, many Eurovision fans are asking if the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest will be cancelled, postponed or will be held on schedule. The EBU has released a statement regarding this issue stating that currently everything continues as normal.
The EBU has released the following statement today:
The EBU is closely monitoring the situation concerning the spread of the coronavirus and keeping abreast of the latest advice and guidelines from the WHO and national health authorities.
We are working closely with Dutch Host Broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam to explore different potential scenarios for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
However, with 2 months to go until the 3 live shows on 12, 14 and 16 May, and a rapidly changing situation both in the Netherlands and the countries of the participating broadcasters, it is still too early to make any final decisions.
With this in mind, we’re continuing to work together as a team on preparations to host the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.
Lockdown and travelling restrictions
We should note that currently there is a total lockdown in many of the competing countries including the host nation, and it is yet uncertain how long will these measures last, with travelling restrictions implemented in most countries.
Soccer matches, sports and cultural events, musical concerts have all been cancelled or postoponed throughout the continent. Museums, tourist landmarks and sites, art galleries, schools, universities etc have all been closed.
Many governments have adviced their citizens not to travel and have implemented restrictions.
Earlier this week the Heads of Delegation Meeting was held in Rotterdam with several delegations not attending the event including Sweden, Greece, Israel, the EBU team from Geneva.
Some countries have also cancelled their trips to the Netherlands in order to film their respective ESC postcards ie Lithuania and Israel.
Different scenarios on the table
The Dutch media has reported that the EBU and the 2020 ESC Organizing Committee have several potential scenarios on the table in order to hold the competition which include:
- Postponing the event to a later date
- Holding the contest behind closed doors with no audience
Final decision by early April
The Mayor of Rotterdam stated yesterday that a final decision regarding if the competition being cancelled/postpooned or held in a different format will be made circa 5-6 April when the stage construction is set to kick to off.
The Mayor of Rotterdam told Dutch newsportal Rijnmond:
The deadline for that decision for me is the moment when the organzing body and the Rotterdam Ahoy start building the stage. The decision to proceed with the Eurovision Song Contest will be made by early April.
If the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam is postponed or cancelled it will be first time in the 65 year history of the competition that the competition would suffer such a fate.
We have to wait until early April to see how things develop in Europe in the coming weeks and to what length the coronavirus is contained.
The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 12 , 14 and 16 May at the Rotterdam Ahoy. The event will be co-organized by Dutch broadcasters NPO, NOS, AVROTROS in liason with the EBU.