ESC 2021: Competing acts to record ‘Live On Tape Performances’ prior to the contest

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 502 views

The EBU has announced today that all the 41 competing acts at the forthcoming 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be recording a ‘Live On Tape Performance’ prior to the competition in order to guarantee their respective participation in the contest in case they can’t travel or are in quarantine.

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will definitely take place in one way or the other, the EBU has got a total of 4 different scenarios lined up to hold the event in Rotterdam next year.

All 41 Eurovision competing nations will be submitting a special live peformance of their respective acts to the EBU by late March in order to guarantee that both the country and act will been showcased in the competition next May in case there are restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the artist and delegation can’t travel or are in quarantine on site.

How will the ‘live on tape performance’ take place?

The EBU states:

All the participating broadcasters have been asked to record a live performance of their act in their own country. This recording will be delivered prior to the event and will take place in a studio setting. The recording will take place in real time (as it would be at the Contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording.

Which is the concept and guideline for broadcasters to record these performances?

The EBU states:

The Host Broadcaster’s creative concept for the live-on-tape backup recordings is OpenUp to variety. Rather than having a strict format, the Contest will fully embrace the artistic freedom, creativity, ambition and style of each of the 41 countries.

A set of production guidelines will ensure fairness and the integrity of the Song Contest. There will be no audience present at the live-on-tape performances. The recording should be unique and remain unpublished before the event in May.

Delegations are allowed to use similar technical possibilities and dimensions that would be available on-stage in Rotterdam, but are also free to opt for a more down-scaled production setup. The live-on-tape recordings should not contain any augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, use of chromakey or green screen.

How will the EBU guarantee fair play for all competing broadcasters?

The EBU states:

Normally at the Eurovision Song Contest all the artists would perform on the same stage under the same circumstances providing them all with the same opportunity to shine. For the live-on-tape recordings the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest has approved additional measures to guarantee the fairness of the competition.

Before the recording each participating broadcaster will meet with a co-ordinator from the Host Broadcasters and submit a recording session schedule, studio set up and camera plan.

The Head of Delegation must be onsite during the 60-minute recording session of the permitted three takes and, either alone or together with someone who has the appropriate mandate, make the final decision on which take is selected.

A live connection will be set up during the recording to allow the ESC Executive Supervisor and a representative from an independent voting observer (E&Y) and the Host Broadcaster to observe the recording session, to provide assistance and support, but also to ensure the integrity of the Contest.

No national final performances can be submitted but each country can record on the same set. The “live-on-tape” recordings have to be delivered by the end of March.

Hopefully, all or most artists will be able to travel to Rotterdam in May but having the live-on-tape recording ensures that their performance will be seen by millions of viewers come what may.

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be held on 18, 20, 22 May at the Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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