Eurovision 2021: Stage contruction kicks off at Rotterdam Ahoy

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,195 views

The 2021 Eurovision technical crew has moved into the Rotterdam Ahoy and the stage construction officially kicked off yesterday at the Eurovision venue.

Rotterdam is all set to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon next month when 39 delegations land in the host city for the our beloved contest. Sietse Bakker (Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer) and Jolanda Jansen (CEO Rotterdam Ahoy) officially kicked off the stage construction for Eurovision on Sunday when the first technical trucks drove into the venue.

Hence from now until the 28 of April the ESC 2021 technical team and crew will be working round the clock in accordance with the strict COVID 19 safety protocol in order to construct the Eurovision 2021 stage, the backstage area, press center and all surrounding areas for the most complex TV production in Dutch history.

Sietse Bakker (Executive Producer Event ESC 2021 /NOS) says:

After almost two years of preparation, the Eurovision Song Contest finally arrived in host city Rotterdam. Together with our suppliers and our partners, we are working hard to make Rotterdam Ahoy our home base. We cannot waiting to show everyone what we have worked so hard on with the team! 

Jolanda Jansen (Rotterdam Ahoy CEO) says:

The time has finally come and the construction of the Eurovision Song Contest in Ahoy has started. We have worked long and hard with the entire team on the preparations for this “once in a lifetime” spectacle. We are all set to welcome everyone to this largest event in Ahoy on our 50th anniversary.

Technical rehearsals  and stand in rehearsals are expected to kick off at the Ahoy on 28 April whilst the first rehearsals are set to kick off on 8 May when the first delegations will grace the Eurovision stage. The first set of delegations are expected to touch down in Rotterdam circa the 6th of May.

An audience of 3,500 spectators in the house

Earlier this month it was announced that an audience would be able to attend the contest; the event will be a so-called Field-lab event. This means that at all nine shows – six rehearsals, two semifinals and the Grand Final – 3500 spectators with a negative corona test can be present at a time.  Thus there will be 4,500 empty seats in the venue. 

Sietse Bakker (ESC 2021 Executive Producer) has confirmed that around 4,500 seats will remain empty. Thus the millions of tv viewers at home will not notice much: the second seating tier in the hall will not be visible.

Bakker adds:

We think that those 3,500 people can also create a fantastic atmosphere.

Strict safety protocol for the competing acts

The performing artists will also have to undergo the strict COVID 19 safety and health protocol when in Rotterdam.. They will be tested on arrival and wil  be retested every 48 hours. The competing acts will not be allowed to go out out of their hotels during their stay in Rotterdam, they will only be allowed to go the Ahoy for their rehearsals and the live shows.

Bakker goes on to comment:

We have asked them to stay in the hotel and only use our official transport. In this way we hope to keep the virus out as much as possible.


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

Photo credit: Nathan Reinds/NPO/NOS/AVROTROS


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