The EBU sheds more light on ESC 2021: tickets, refunds, dates and format [UPDATED]

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,537 views

The EBU has unveiled further details regarding the upcoming 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam and shed some light on key issues such as the 2021 Eurovsion tickets, format of the show, dates, refunds etc.

Following the untimely cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, Eurovision fans are eagerly waiting for more details regarding next year’s Eurovisio edition as many of them  had bought tickets for the 2020 ESC shows. What will happen to their tickets? Will they get a refund? Will their 2020 ESC tickets be valid for next year?

Will fans who didn’t get a chance to get a ticket in 2020 be able to grab one next year? How and when will the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest be held? Will it be with a limited audience or behind closed doors. Taking into account the current world COVID-19 pandemic events and things are changing very fast and quickly, it is therefore early days to predict what the world will be like come May 2021. Hence the EBU along with Dutch public broadcasters NPO, AVROTROS and NOS will be evaluating various options and formats in order to hold the event in accordance to the situation.

Both Rottermdam and the Netherlands aim to host the event in the best of ways next year.  The EBU has answered several key questions regarding Eurovision 2021.

The EBU answers…

Which city will host Eurovision 2021?

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS are excited to have reached an agreement to stage the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands at the Ahoy Arena

Do we know the dates of the event?

The event is scheduled to take place on 18, 20 and 22 May 2021

Which venue will house Eurovision 2021?

Preparations are underway for the 2021 Contest to be staged at Ahoy venue in the Dutch city of Rotterdam

Which broadasters will host ESC 2021?

The contest will be hosted by the EBU’s Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS.

How many countries will take part in the Contest?

It is currently too early to say. Over the coming months, EBU Member broadcasters will be invited to express their interest. A full list of participating countries won’t be known until the autumn of 2020. According to the existing rules, a maximum of 44 broadcasters can take part in the Contest.

Why aren’t the ESC 2020 entries eligible for 2021?

The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, agreed that the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest should be upheld for the 2021 competition. This means that the songs that compete in 2021 cannot be commercially available before 1 September 2020, which excludes the current selection of songs chosen for this year’s cancelled event..

How will the coronavirus affect the organization of ESC 2021?

We understand that people are eager to know how the current COVID-19 crisis will affect the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. Of course, the health of participants, employees and visitors will always be paramount.

The EBU, together with its Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam, will work in close collaboration over the coming weeks and months with the Dutch health authorities mapping out the impact of COVID-19 on next year’s event. It is our intention to ensure the 2021 Contest can take place in circumstances that protect the health and safety of everyone attending the event.

Is there a plan B if the contest doesn’t take place in Rotterdam?

It was with great regret that we had to cancel the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020.

In an ever-changing and challenging environment, the EBU and its Members are more than aware of the difficulties of planning a complicated global broadcast with many international stakeholders 12 months from now.

The EBU will, therefore, work with its Members and the host broadcasters of 2021 to ensure the continuity of the event in a number of different scenarios.

Could the contest be held without an audience?

The current situation across Europe is likely to remain uncertain for the coming months and at this stage, we cannot comment on the final organization for the Eurovision Song Contest next year.

Are the 2020 ESC tickets valid for 2021?

The tickets you have bought for Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will remain valid for 2021. The tickets will be valid for the same show you have booked (for example, if you booked for the 1st Semi-Final Jury show 2020, your tickets will be valid for the 1st Semi-final Jury show 2021). We hope to welcome you to the show in 2021.

What are the dates for ESC 2021 Shows?

The new dates are:
1st Semi-Final Jury show: Monday evening 17 May 2021
1st Semi-Final Family show: Tuesday afternoon 18 May 2021
1st Semi-Final Live show: Tuesday evening 18 May 2021

2nd Semi-Final Jury show: Wednesday evening 19 May 2021
2nd Semi-Final Family show: Thursday afternoon 20 May 2021
2nd Semi-Final Live show: Thursday evening 20 May 2021

Grand Final Jury show: Friday evening 21 May 2021
Grand Final Family show: Saturday afternoon 22 May 2021
Grand Final Live show: Saturday evening 22 May 2021

Will you receive a new ticket for ESC 2021?

We will inform you about this in a later stage if your ticket layout will be adjusted or not.

Will there be a refund if you can’t go to Eurovision 2021?

Yes, if you cannot attend the show in 2021, you are able to return (all) your ticket(s) and receive a refund.

You can now apply for a refund here until 29 June 2020 23.59 hours (CEST).

Only the main buyer can ask for a refund. The refund process starts no later than 30 June, after closure of the refund request window. It can take 4 to 6 weeks before you receive your money back on your credit card or to the bank account you used to pay for your ticket(s).

It is not possible to ask for a partial refund of your order.

Will more tickets go on sale?

It is currently too early to discuss ticket sales for next year’s show. It depends on how many tickets are returned and what capacity will be available next year.

How will the ESC tackle the COVID 19 pandemic?

At this point in time, it cannot be ruled out that developments surrounding COVID-19 could affect the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU will therefore work with NPO/NOS/AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam to ensure the continuity of the event in a number of different scenarios. In case measures affect you as a ticket buyer, you will be informed in due course.

More questions about tickets….

If you have another question about your ticket(s), we kindly ask you to please contact Paylogic via [email protected]. Please note, you cannot request a refund via this e-mail address. For a refund request, please use the link on which will be available on 25 May.

More details regarding Eurovision 2021 will be disclosed in the coming months.