Eurovision Song Contest Contestants Must Travel To Rotterdam

Last year's event was canceled due to a coronavirus pandemic. The contest is expected to take place in Rotterdam in May this year.

Eurovision Song Contest Contestants Must Travel To Rotterdam
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Artists from 41 countries will appear live at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands under the programs set by the event organizers.

Chief executive Martin Osterdahl told the BBC it was “necessary” for participants to visit and come to Rotterdam.

‘This Is Not A Holiday Trip’

“This is not a holiday trip, it is actually a task that needs to be done,” he said, adding that a decision had yet to be made by the live audience.

Last year’s event was canceled due to a coronavirus pandemic.

The contest is expected to take place in Rotterdam in May this year. Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won the competition in 2019 with the song Arcade.

Speaking to the BBC Newscast, Mr Osterdahl said the latest programs had been developed following discussions with organizers of other live events around the world.

Plans

“We were very close to organizations like Formula 1, tennis tour, golf clubs, and we learned from great experiences,” he said.

“We have compared our plans with the IOC [International Olympic Committee].”

Duncan Laurence, representing the Netherlands, wins the Grand Final of the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest held at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, 18 May 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel

Mr Osterdahl said it was unclear whether the audience should attend the live event, but organizers were optimistic about the “standard Eurovision song contest we could”.

“Hopefully we will have some listeners, it makes a big difference to the spirit of the singer and the show as well when there are certain people present.”

He said the audience would be smaller than usual – it would be limited to 20 people, down from about 38 people – and that health and safety measures would be “well done”.

41 Countries To Compete

Eurovision presenters like Graham Norton, who commentates for the UK’s BBC coverage, will broadcast from ventilated commentary booths under the plans.

Contestants had earlier been asked to produce a “live-on-tape” performance ahead of the competition, with the videos to be used if artists were unable to travel due to the pandemic, or forced to quarantine at the venue.

All 41 countries scheduled to compete in 2020 will return this year, as many of the contestants will be competing in last year. However, all artists will have to perform a different song.

Contestants include Lesley Roy of Ireland and Dad Freyr of Iceland, who was promised the winner.

New cases of coronavirus have been falling in many European countries, but some are seeing an increase in infections.

Lockdown measures – including travel restrictions and segregation requirements – were tightened in many countries most affected during winter, but some restrictions are now being lifted.

The Netherlands has recorded more than a million cases of Covid-19 deaths and 15,775 since the outbreak, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.