EBU cancels 65th Eurovision Song Contest due to Coronavirus

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 2,693 views

The EBU has decided to cancel the forthcoming 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest was scheduled to be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy on 12, 14 and 16 May.

This is the first time in the 65 year history that the event has been cancelled, as the competition has been held every year since its birth in 1956.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has led to most of the European nations to lock down and implement drastic measures in order to contain the pandemic and combat the virus. Large events such sports events, concerts and large gatherings have all been prohibitted both in the host country the Netherlands and across Europe.

The EBU has announced today:

It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.

Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

However the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.

We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.

The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.

We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks.

We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 Members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event.

We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.

Mr. Jon Ola Sand ( Eurovision Executive Supervisor) says:

We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. And we are deeply disappointed about this situation. The EBU, together with the Host Broadcaster NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue to talk to see if it’s possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021.

I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process of staging a great Eurovision Song Contest this year. Unfortunately, that was not possible due to factors beyond our control. We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever.

Ms. Shula Rijxman (NPO CEO) says:

This decision by the EBU was inevitable, given the circumstances currently affecting all of Europe as a result of the coronavirus and all the measures that governments must now take. This is a big disappointment for the Dutch audience, the fantastic team behind the scenes, the presenters and the artists.

In recent months, a large group of people have worked hard on the Song Contest. We thank them for their great commitment and regret that the results of the efforts will not be visible in the short term.

We would particularly like to mention the municipality of Rotterdam, which has proven itself as the ideal partner in this project in the past year. This edition was an excellent opportunity to understand each other differently in a period of uncertainty in Europe, but above all an opportunity to really bring Europe together. Music is universally binding and – I am sure – it will stay that way. Even after this corona crisis.

Mr. Sietse Bakker (Eurovision 2020 Executive Producer Event) says:

For the artists from 41 participating countries, our opening and interval acts that put their hearts and souls into their performance. For the fans who have always supported us and have kept confidence until the last moment. And not least, for the fantastic team, which has worked very hard in recent months to make this 65th edition a great success.

We understand and share that disappointment. Some perspective is appropriate because, at the same time, we also realize that this decision and its consequences don’t compare to the challenges faced by people affected, directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus and the difficult but necessary measures.

More information on the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest and if Rotterdam will play host to the competition next year, if the 2020 ESC candidates will be invited back to the competition next year etc. will be unveiled by the EBU in the coming weeks.