Eurovision 2021: Scenario A is scrapped with Scenario B in focus

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,443 views

The EBU and the Dutch national national broadcasters NPO, AVROTROS and NOS have given an update on the possible scenarios viable to hold the forthcoming 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Scenario  A has been scrapped given the current circumstances caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.  Thus the EBU and the Dutch Eurovision 2021 host broadcasters (NOS, NPO, AVROTROS) have decided not go to ahead with plan A (a Eurovision edition in its normal format) in order to secure the safety and health of those attending. Hence this leaves 3 scenarios (B,C and D) on the table. We should note that the remaining three potential scenarios have been tweaked and updated too.

Martin Osterdahl says:

The Eurovision Song Contest will definitely make its welcome return this May despite the pandemic but, in the prevailing circumstances, it is regrettably impossible to hold the event in the way we are used to.

We’re grateful for the renewed commitment and backing from the City of Rotterdam and the ongoing support of all the participating broadcasters. We very much hope to be able to gather in Rotterdam in May and will do all we can in the coming weeks to achieve this. With an ever-changing situation we are taking our time to ensure that we can host the Eurovision Song Contest in the best and safest way possible.

Eyes set on Scenario B

Rotterdam Ahoy (photo credit: ahoy.nl)

The organizers are currently focusing on Scenario B (a Eurovision Song Contest with social distancing) with the option to downscale the event if the circumstances worsen in the coming weeks. A further decision regarding the format used in May will be taken in due time.

Mr. Martin Ostedahl (ESC Executive Supervisor/EBU) says:

The security, health and safety of all participants at the Eurovision Song Contest, from the crew to the artists, is our top priority. We are following international developments closely and continuing to explore and plan for 3 revised scenarios (B, C and D) first announced last autumn.

Mr. Sietse Bakker ( ESC 2021 Executive Producer) says:

By staying flexible for as long as we can, we are aiming to make the best possible Eurovision Song Contest under the circumstances. Our primary goal is to get the 41 artists to Rotterdam, to all perform on the same stage, and to welcome journalists to cover the Contest.

The 3 potential scenarios

  • Scenario B–  A Eurovision Song Contest with social distancing
  • Scenario C- A Eurovision Song Contest with travel restrictions
  • Scenario DA Eurovision Song Contest with a lockdown

Scenario B

The Eurovision Song Contest would be held with a social distancing of 1.5 meters and delegations would be able able to travel to Rotterdam in smaller numbers.

EBU says:

Everyone attending the Eurovision Song Contest at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena would need to practice social distancing.

Strict health and safety measures (including frequent COVID testing) would be in place at the venue. A protocol to protect artists, delegations, and crew on and off site would be adhered to.

If there are any delegations who cannot travel to Rotterdam, their artists will perform “live-on-tape” with a recorded performance being used.

Those who can travel to Rotterdam will perform their songs live on stage.

There would be 9 shows (6 dress rehearsals, 2 Semi-Finals and a Grand Final), either with no audience or a reduced audience to allow for social distancing. The final capacity would be dependent on local government guidelines.

There will be activities in the city of Rotterdam held in a safe and responsible way.

Scenario C

A Eurovision Song Contest with restrictions.

EBU states:

A Eurovision Song Contest, from Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena but no delegations or artists will travel to Rotterdam.

Hosts and interval acts will still be live from the Ahoy.

The performances of ALL the participants will be “live-on-tape”.

Strict health and safety measures (including frequent COVID testing) would be in place at the venue.

A protocol to protect crew on and off site would be adhered to.

There would be 9 shows (6 dress rehearsals, 2 Semi-Finals and a Grand Final), either with no audience or a reduced audience to allow for social distancing. The final capacity would be dependent on local government guidelines.

There will be reduced activities in the city of Rotterdam held in a safe and responsible way.

Scenario D

A Eurovision Song Contest during a lockdown

EBU states:

A Eurovision Song Contest without an audience and virtual activities will be considered to explore the host city of Rotterdam.

The performances of all the participants will be “live-on-tape”.

There would be 9 shows (6 dress rehearsals, 2 Semi-Finals and a Grand Final), but no audience.

Rotterdam continues to prepare for Eurovision

The City of Rotterdam will continue to maintain its support and commitment in order to the host Eurovision 2021 regardless of the circumstances the event is to be held in.

Mr. Said Kasmi (Rotterdam City Councilor) says:

The Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, live from Ahoy, is a ray of light to look forward to together. As Host City, we are optimistic, enthusiastic and realistic. Within the available possibilities, we will make the best of this situation together with our partners! Let’s hope that this Eurovision Song Contest, which will be different from all 64 previous Contests, will offer great new opportunities for partners and entrepreneurs in the city. One way or another: Rotterdam will Open Up again!

Dutch government gives reassurance for Scenario B

The Dutch governnment has reassured the Eurovision 2021 organizers that artists and delegations from the 41 competing countries will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands if Scenario B is implemented.

Ticket Refunds

With the 3 remaining scenarios on the table, the audience capacity at the Ahoy will be reduced, hence the ESC 2021 organizing body has decided to refund all current ticket holders in February with the option to repurchase tickets to the same shows subject to the capacity of the venue, availability, circumstances and Dutch government guidelines in reference to social distancing and COVID 19 restrictions and measures.

The EBU adds:

The number of tickets available for each show will be dependent on government guidelines regarding social distancing. Organizers are keen to emphasize that, if circumstances allow, there will be opportunities to sell more tickets later.

Sietse Bakker says:

By pushing the decision regarding the audience towards, at the latest mid-April, we hope we can responsibly Open Up to welcoming fans in Ahoy for this year’s shows.

Health and Security

Regarding the health and security measures implemented to host the event, the EBU states:

An extensive health and safety plan has been developed for all scenarios to guarantee the maximum protection of everyone present at the Eurovision Song Contest. A special coronavirus protocol has also been drawn up that reflects those already in use by Formula 1 and UEFA for example.

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

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