The City of Rotterdam held a meeting today in order to discuss the potential hosting of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam after the untimely cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rotterdam has approved the extra budget required to host the event and has given the nod to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon in the city next year.
An ovehelming majority of Rotterdam’s City Council agreed on hosting the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam next year. The Rotterdam Ahoy will now have to clear its agenda for next May.
Extra budget approved
Rotterdam wants to organize the Eurovision Song Contest again next year. Rotterdam’s City Council has set aside another 6.7 million euros for this. The Rotterdam City council approved this proposal this afternoon. The amount is in addition to the 15 million euros that the Eurovision Song Contest has already cost the municipality.
The Eurovision Song Contest would was set to be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam in the coming weeks, but that was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic. Rotterdam has already incurred millions of euros in costs for organizing the event. As the City of Rotterdam only got part of it back, the Rotterdam City Council had to stand behind the candidacy again and release more money. That has now happened.
The EBU had put pressure on the city to make a decision regarding hosting Eurovision 2021 by end of April.
It is still early days yet to yet to determine what kind of format will we see the Eurovision Song Contest adapt if the COVID-19 pandemic still persists and subsequent measures and restrictions and measures are still in place.
The City of Rotterdam told Dutch newspaper NU.nl:
We are pleased with this decision of the city council. We started this process last year together with the municipality of Rotterdam and other partners and would like nothing more than to welcome the Eurovision Song Contes in 2021 at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam!
Mr. Said Kasmi (Rotterdam City Councilor for Education Culture and Tourism) says:
The most important thing for us is that we can make a party for everyone. We have been working hard lately and we are ready to welcome the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 in our city.
The EBU, the broadcasters and Ahoy can be assured that Rotterdam will still be the host city in 2021.
Spokesperson from the Municipality of Rotterdam commented:
We are very grateful and proud that Rotterdam and Ahoy once again firmly say yes to welcoming the event again.
In recent weeks, the Organizing Committee of Eurovision Song Contest from the public broadcaster has focused on the settlements surrounding this year’s canceled event. At the same time, we are preparing for the possible organization of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 in Rotterdam.
Definite answer in May
It is yet uncertain if the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam next year as there are some more issues and details to be solved and put in place.
The Dutch national broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS are yet to answer and resolve some key organizational, production and financial issues regarding the hosting of the event next year. They hope to have all these issues resolved and have a definite answer by mid May.
A spokesperson from the Eurovision Organzizing Committee told NOS:
In order to be able to give a definitive answer about this, we must first answer a number of organizational, productional and financial issues.
NPO’s spokesperson told AD.nl:
We understand that the Netherlands, Rotterdam, Ahoy, the participating countries and of course the fans want to know as soon as possible whether this means that the 65th Eurovision Song Contest will actually take place in Rotterdam.
In order to carefully lay the foundation for the successful organization of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, we still need some time on our side. We hope to give a definite answer in May.
NPO, NOS and AVROTROS are very grateful and proud that Rotterdam and Ahoy once again firmly say yes to welcoming the event again next year.
Rotterdam will do its level best to retain the competition on home soil next year.
The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was set to be held on 12, 14 and 16 May at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam.
Source: NOS/NU.nl/ AD.nl/Parool.nl