Eurovision organisers remain optimistic yet realistic about event in May

Eurovision organisers remain optimistic yet realistic about event in May

In January, the organisers of Eurovision announced they would come with a more concrete plan for the 2021 event in Rotterdam in February, and would continue to monitor the coronavirus situation in the Netherlands before taking an official decision. Now, Eurovision has announced the three scenarios still on the table for this year’s event. 

Three coronavirus-proof plans for Eurovision 2021

Last autumn, organisers revealed the four scenarios in place for the 2021 Eurovision event, and announced that no matter what happened, the event would not be cancelled and would find some way to go ahead. Now, with the British B117 and other variants spreading across Europe and the Dutch coronavirus lockdown extended until (at least) March 2, organisers have taken one scenario off the table completely.

  Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
Live show from Ahoy Yes Yes Yes
Performers in Rotterdam Yes (all / most) No No
Live audience Yes (0% - 80%) Yes (0% - 80%) No
Additional events in Rotterdam Yes (adapted for COVID-19) Yes (reduced) No
Press centre Yes (500 on site, 1000 virtually) Yes (1.500 virtually) Yes (1.500 virtually)


Organisers have ruled out the option of hosting a “normal” Eurovision. The following three plans are in place as of February 3: a socially distanced Eurovision (Scenario 1); a travel restricted Eurovision (Scenario 2); and a lockdown Eurovision (Scenario 3). 

Show could be broadcast live in Dutch cinemas

Regardless of the coronavirus situation in Europe, Eurovision will definitely be taking place between May 18 and May 22. Organisers are hopeful that Scenario 1 will be viable and safe in May. Keeping the health and safety of everyone in mind, organisers say the primary goal at the moment is ensuring all 41 acts can make it to Rotterdam to perform. The possibility that artists will have to perform with a face mask has not yet been ruled out. 

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said in a statement: “In the prevailing circumstances, it is regrettably impossible to hold the event in the way we are used to. The security, health and safety of all participants at the Eurovision Song Contest, from the crew to the artists, is our top priority. 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.”

As there will be reduced audience capacity at the 2021 event, organisers have decided to refund all current ticket holders in February, and will give them the opportunity to repurchase tickets for the same show(s) at a later date. An update regarding audience size will be announced by mid-April at the latest. If you won't be able to attend the event, it's possible that the show will be streamed live to cinemas across the Netherlands so you can still get involved in the party!

Thumb: EBU / KRIS POUW via Eurovision.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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