The Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest has reiterated that the 2020 Eurovision entries will be not eligible to partake at next year’s Eurovision edition following the unprecedent cancellation of the event due to the coronavirus global pandemic.
The EBU has released the following statement yesterday shedding further light on the reason behind the decision of the fate of the 2020 Eurovision songs:
The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, agreed that the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest should be upheld for the event when it returns in 2021. This means that the songs that compete next year cannot be commercially available before 1 September 2020, which excludes the current selection of songs chosen for this year’s cancelled event.
However, participating broadcasters can choose to send the artist selected for this year’s Contest should they wish, or choose a new one. We know the decision is disappointing for many, but the EBU and its Members intend to celebrate this year’s songs in the coming months in the absence of a Contest in 2020.
In making the decision the Reference Group took into account that the EBU, the 41 participating broadcasters and Universal Music would be showcasing this year’s songs and artists in alternative programming, on a tribute CD and on all our digital channels as much as possible in the coming weeks.
They also looked at the fact that bringing the same songs to the ESC 2021 would not be in the spirit of the Contest and the excitement and engagement created every year during “selection season” would be lost. This would impact the build up to the event on social media, online and on air for the participating broadcasters during the national finals and the preview shows.
They agreed, that abandoning the 1 September rule for commercial release, even in these unprecedented circumstances, would lead to an unfair competition in 2021, where some broadcasters could choose to submit this year’s song or choose a newer song.
A number of artists, broadcasters, composers, producers and production teams are quite dissapointed with the decision as much hard work, time, effort has been invested in their respective competing entries.
The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was scheduled to be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam on 12, 14 and 16 May.
The EBU and Dutch broadcasters NPO, AVROTROS and NOS will be producing a special show Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light in order to honour the forty one 2020 Eurovision act and entries. The show will be broadcast on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CET instead of the cancelled 2020 Eurovision Grand Final.
The EBU has answered further questions regarding the cancellation of the 200 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam here.