Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Eurovision Song Contest 2020
Open Up
Eurovision Song Contest 2020.svg
Dates
Semi-final 1 12 May 2020 (cancelled)
Semi-final 2 14 May 2020 (cancelled)
Final 16 May 2020 (cancelled)
Host
Venue Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Presenter(s)
Directed by
  • Marnix Kaart
  • Marc Pos
Executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand
Executive producer
  • Sietse Bakker
  • Inge van de Weerd
Host broadcaster
Website eurovision.tv/event/rotterdam-2020 Edit this at Wikidata
Participants
Number of entries 41 (planned)

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was planned to be the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest would have taken place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country's victory at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the song "Arcade" performed by Duncan Laurence. It would have been the fifth time that the Netherlands hosted the contest, the last time having been the 1980 contest. It was due to be held at Rotterdam Ahoy. The contest was cancelled on 18 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first time in the contest's 64-year history that it has been cancelled.[1] Rotterdam is due to host the 2021 contest,[2] although the songs selected for the 2020 contest are not eligible for the competition.

It was scheduled to consist of two semifinals on 12 and 14 May, and a final on 16 May 2020.[3] Forty-one countries would have participated in the contest; Bulgaria and Ukraine would have returned after their absences from the 2019 contest, while Hungary and Montenegro had confirmed their non-participation after taking part in the previous edition. All forty-one competing artists and songs were confirmed by the relevant broadcasters by early March 2020.

Following its cancellation, the European Broadcasting Union began discussions of potential carryovers for the 2021 contest, such as host city and participating artists, with various parties. In place of the cancelled contest, the EBU and its Dutch members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS organised a replacement show, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, to showcase the selected entries in place of the Grand Final on 16 May.[4]

Location

Rotterdam Ahoy, the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

The 2020 contest was to be held at Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It would have been the fifth time the Netherlands hosts the contest, following the country's victory at the 2019 edition with the song "Arcade", performed by Duncan Laurence. Rotterdam Ahoy had previously hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007.[5]

Preparations

Preparations for the 2020 contest began on 19 May 2019, immediately after the Netherlands won the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. Jon Ola Sand, the executive supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the contest, handed AVROTROS, the Dutch participating broadcaster, a stack of documents and a USB drive with tools to begin the work needed to host the next contest.[6] AVROTROS was co-organising the event with sister broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and their parent public broadcasting organisation, Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO).[7][8]

Bidding phase

Already prior to the 2019 contest, when bookmakers expected Duncan Laurence to win, several Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, The Hague and Maastricht, announced their intent to host the contest should The Netherlands win.[9] A spokesperson for NPO also stated that the broadcaster had a rough plan for how they would select the host city in the event of a Dutch victory.[10] When Laurence won the contest, mayors of various municipalities immediately began lobbying Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, through text messages.[11] Public figures, including Laurence, Esther Hart, Getty Kaspers and André Rieu, publicly voiced their support for their respective favourite host cities.[12]

The hosting broadcasters launched the bidding process on 29 May 2019.[13] In the first phase of this process, cities were to formally apply to bid.[14] Nine cities—Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht—did so and received a list of criteria they and their venues needed to meet on 12 June 2019.[14] Initially, Zwolle had also considered launching a bid to host the event but the city ultimately decided against doing so because it deemed its venue, the IJsselhallen, to have unsuitable proportions.[15] Enschede could have been a potential host city as Enschede Airport Twente considered bidding to host the event in its eleventh hangar, however, it later learned that Enschede's municipality executive board had decided against financially supporting such a bid.[16][17]

From this point on, these nine cities had until 10 July 2019 to compile their bid books to demonstrate their capabilities to host the contest.[14] Further cities were still able to join in on the bidding race by applying prior to the deadline.[14] During this period, four cities withdrew. Amsterdam could not host the contest because it was preoccupied with hosting other events during the contest's time frame.[18] Breda dropped out due to financial concerns.[19] Leeuwarden ceased bidding due to the insufficient height of the ceiling of its WTC Expo.[20] The Hague dropped its bid because both of its potential venues were unsuitable for the event.[21] The local Cars Jeans Stadion football stadium would have been large enough but lacked a roof, and installing such a roof would have made the bid financially unviable.[21] Its other option would have been spanning a tent over the Malieveld field, but after reviewing the hosting conditions, this option fell out of favour.[21] Following its withdrawal, The Hague turned to support Rotterdam's bid instead.[21]

The five remaining cities—Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht—delivered their finished bid books to a ceremonial event held in Hilversum on 10 July 2019.[22] The hosting broadcasters reviewed the bids presented and on 16 July 2019 announced that it eliminated those for Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht, shortlisting only Maastricht and Rotterdam.[23] Utrecht was specifically eliminated because its proposal to span a tent over its Jaarbeurs offered limited possibilities for testing on location and had a questionable suitability for events like the Eurovision Song Contest,[24] while 's-Hertogenbosch was dropped due to an insufficient ceiling height in its Brabanthallen and too few hotel rooms blocked for potential visitors of the contest.[25]

To review and discuss the location, venue and surrounding events for the remaining bids, NPO visited Maastricht on 17 July 2019 and Rotterdam on the following day.[26][27] By late July, additional visits to the two shortlisted cities were deemed necessary to review production logistics.[28] The EBU did not pay visits to either city.[29] Maastricht and Rotterdam were to hand in revised versions of their bid books by 9 August 2019 to add details involving the cities' social programmes, side-events and programme licensing.[30] A "concept agreement" was put before the organisers in both Maastricht and Rotterdam in August 2019.[31] While Rotterdam signed this agreement, the city council of Maastricht discussed and rejected it.[31] Within the same council session, it was also clarified that the MECC would not receive additional renovations.[31] On 30 August, Rotterdam was announced as the host city during a special broadcast on NPO 1 and NPO 2.[3][32]

Key:  †  Host venue  ‡  Shortlisted venues

City Venue Notes Ref.
Arnhem GelreDome Joint bid with the city of Nijmegen and the Veluwe region. [33]
Maastricht MECC Maastricht Candidacy was supported by the province of Limburg and surrounding cities. [33][34]
Rotterdam Rotterdam Ahoy Candidacy was supported by the province of South Holland and the cities of Dordrecht and The Hague. The venue previously hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007. [33][34]
's-Hertogenbosch Brabanthallen Candidacy was supported by the province of North Brabant and the cities of Breda, Eindhoven, Tilburg and Helmond. [33]
Utrecht Jaarbeurs [33]

Other sites

The Eurovision Village would have been erected to serve as the official Eurovision Song Contest fan and sponsors' area during the events week. There, it would have been possible to watch performances by local artists, as well as the live shows broadcast from the main venue. The Binnenrotte was the planned location for the Village.[35] The Binnenrotte is one of the largest open spaces in the centre of Rotterdam. It is located in the heart of the city, next to some of Rotterdam's most famous architectural marvels, such as the Markthal.

The EuroClub would have been the venue for the official after-parties and private performances by contest participants. Unlike the Eurovision Village, access to the EuroClub would be restricted to accredited fans, delegates, and press. It would have been located at the Maassilo. Maassilo is located on Rotterdam's waterfront at Maashaven Zuidzijde, a 10-minute drive from Rotterdam Ahoy.[36]

The "Golden Carpet" and Opening Ceremony events, where the contestants and their delegations present themselves in front of the accredited press and fans, would have taken place at the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal on 10 May 2020.[37]

Production

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 would have been a co-production between three related Dutch television organisations—AVROTROS, Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), and Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO)—of which each assumed a different role.[7] Sietse Bakker and Inge van de Weerd would have served as executive producers, while Emilie Sickinghe and Jessica Stam would have served as deputy executive producers.[38] In August 2019, Marnix Kaart and Marc Pos were announced as the directors of the three live shows,[39] as well as Gerben Bakker as head of show.[40] Cornald Maas would have been creative advisor.[41] Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of the contest, would keep his role as he had done since 2011, though he planned to step down following the 2020 contest.[42]

Format

Visual design

The contest's slogan, "Open Up", was unveiled on 24 October 2019.[43] The official logo and branding was unveiled on 28 November 2019. Designed by CLEVER°FRANKE, it is "an abstract representation of the flag colours of the 41 countries participating in 2020 by first appearance to the contest".[44]

Postcards

The concept of the 2020 postcards was based on the "Open Up" theme of the contest. Each artist would have visited a different part of the Netherlands and connect with locals by participating in a Dutch activity, tradition or hobby.[45]

Stage design

The EBU revealed the stage design for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in December 2019. The design is inspired by the slogan "Open Up" and the typical Dutch flat landscape. The Eurovision stage was designed by German stage designer Florian Wieder, who also designed the stages for the contests in 2011–12, 2015, and 2017–19. Unlike the previous contest, the green room was placed inside to the main performance venue.[46]

Presenters

Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley, planned to be the presenters of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

The contest would have been hosted by three presenters: actress and television host Chantal Janzen, singer and commentator for the contest Jan Smit, and singer Edsilia Rombley, who represented the Netherlands in the 1998 and 2007 contests.[47][48] Beauty vlogger Nikkie de Jager (NikkieTutorials) would have been the presenter of the contest's online content, including a behind-the-scenes YouTube series to be recorded with the participating artists.[49] She would have also reported from the red carpet during the opening ceremony and was scheduled to make an appearance in all three live shows on 12, 14 and 16 May 2020.[50] Roos Moggré and Andrew Makkinga would have hosted the contest's press conferences.[51]

Semi-final allocation draw

The draw to determine the participating countries' semifinals took place on 28 January 2020, at Rotterdam's City Hall.[52] The thirty-five semifinalists were divided over five pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest's official televoting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called "bloc voting" and increases suspense in the semifinals. The draw also determined which semifinal each of the six automatic qualifiers – the Big Five plus the Netherlands – would have to vote in. The ceremony was hosted by contest presenters Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley, and included the passing of the host city insignias from Zippi Brand Frank, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv (host city of the previous contest) to Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.[52]

Voting

The Spanish Head of Delegation revealed on 22 October 2019 that the EBU was consulting with delegations on potential changes to the voting system.[53] The Greek Head of Delegation revealed on 30 October 2019 that the majority of delegations (80%) voted in favour of maintaining the current voting system.[54]

Opening and interval acts

The second semi-final would have opened with a performance by breakdancer Redo. The final would have been opened with a flag parade, introducing all twenty-six finalists, accompanied by music produced by 15-year-old DJ Pieter Gabriel.[55] A symphony orchestra of sixty-five young musicians from across the Netherlands, specifically formed for this occasion, was scheduled to perform in the final, together with DJ Afrojack and singer Glennis Grace, the latter who had represented the Netherlands in the 2005 contest.[56][57] This interval act would have also featured forty dancers and a twenty-five-piece gospel choir.[56]

Furthermore, the final was scheduled to include performances from eight former Eurovision winners: Gigliola Cinquetti would have performed "Non ho l'età", Lenny Kuhr would have performed "De troubadour", Getty Kaspers (of Teach-In) would have performed "Ding-a-dong", Sandra Kim would have performed "J'aime la vie", Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan would have performed "Rock 'n' Roll Kids", Alexander Rybak would have performed "Fairytale", and Duncan Laurence would have performed "Arcade" once again.[58]

Countries set to participate

  Countries that would have participated in the first semi-final
  Countries that were pre-qualified for the final and would have voted in the first semi-final
  Countries that would have participated in the second semi-final
  Countries that were pre-qualified for the final and would have voted in the second semi-final

The EBU announced on 13 November 2019 that forty-one countries would participate in the contest, with Bulgaria and Ukraine returning after their absence from the 2019 contest, with Hungary and Montenegro withdrawing mostly due to financial reasons.[59] Following the cancellation of the contest, artists who would have participated in this edition may be chosen to participate in the following year,[60] but they have to enter with new songs in accordance to the Eurovision rules.[61]

Semi-final 1

The first semi-final would have taken place on 12 May 2020 at 21:00 (CEST). Seventeen countries would have participated in the first semi-final. These countries, plus Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, would have voted in this semi-final.[62]

Draw[63][a] Country[63] Artist[63] Song[63] Language(s)[63]
01  Sweden The Mamas "Move" English
02  Belarus VAL "Da vidna" (Да відна) Belarusian
03  Australia Montaigne "Don't Break Me" English
04  North Macedonia Vasil "You" English
05  Slovenia Ana Soklič "Voda" Slovene
06  Lithuania The Roop "On Fire" English
07  Ireland Lesley Roy "Story of My Life" English
08  Russia Little Big "Uno" English, Spanish
09  Belgium Hooverphonic "Release Me" English
10  Malta Destiny "All of My Love" English
11  Croatia Damir Kedžo "Divlji vjetre" Croatian
12  Azerbaijan Efendi "Cleopatra" English[b]
13  Cyprus Sandro "Running" English
14  Norway Ulrikke "Attention" English
15  Israel Eden Alene "Feker libi" (ፍቅር ልቤ) English, Amharic, Hebrew, Arabic
16  Romania Roxen "Alcohol You" English
17  Ukraine Go_A "Solovey" (Соловей) Ukrainian

Semi-final 2

The second semi-final would have taken place on 14 May 2020 at 21:00 (CEST). Eighteen countries would have participated in the second semi-final. These countries, plus France, Spain and the United Kingdom, would have voted in this semi-final.[62]

Final

The final would have taken place on 16 May 2020 at 21:00 (CEST). Twenty-six countries would have participated in the final, composed of the host country, the Big Five, and the ten best-ranked entries of each of the two semifinals. All forty-one countries participating in the contest would have voted in the final.

Artists that would have returned

Three previous entrants were set to return in the 2020 contest. Several more entrants had previously taken part in the contest as backing singers and/or had entered the Junior version of the contest.

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Natalia Gordienko  Moldova 2006 (alongside Arsenium)[66]
Senhit  San Marino 2011[67]
Sanja Vučić (member of Hurricane)  Serbia 2016
Ksenija Knežević (member of Hurricane) 2015 (as backing vocal for Knez)[68]
Destiny Chukunyere  Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015
2019 (as backing vocal for Michela Pace)[69]
Stefania  Greece Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (as a member of Kisses)[70]
Vincent Bueno  Austria 2017 (as backing vocal for Nathan Trent)[71]
Vasil  North Macedonia 2019 (as backing vocal for Tamara Todevska)[72]
The Mamas  Sweden 2019 (as backing vocal for John Lundvik)[73]

Other countries

Eligibility for potential participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership that will be able to broadcast the contest via the Eurovision network. The EBU issued an invitation of participation in the contest to all active members. In contrast to previous years, associate member Australia did not need an invitation for the 2020 contest, as it had previously been granted permission to participate at least until 2023.[74]

Active EBU members

  •  Andorra – In March 2019, Andorran broadcaster Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra (RTVA) stated that they would be open to co-operating with Catalan broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) to participate in future contests. The two broadcasters had previously co-operated when Andorra debuted in 2004.[75] In May 2019, RTVA confirmed that they would not participate in the 2020 contest.[76] In November 2019, the ruling party of Andorra (Democrats for Andorra) stated that RTVA would eventually return to the contest, with a cost assessment being a prerequisite. Andorra last participated in 2009, after which the broadcaster has not participated due to financial issues.[77]
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina – In December 2018, Lejla Babović, an executive with Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), stated that returning to the contest was BHRT's primary goal, but also that their financial situation made it difficult to return to the contest in 2020.[78] In July 2019, BHRT confirmed that they could not return due to sanctions imposed by the EBU as a result of the broadcaster's outstanding debt with the organisation. Bosnia and Herzegovina last took part in 2016.[79]
  •  Hungary – In October 2019, Hungarian broadcaster MTVA stated, that A Dal, which had been used as the national selection process since 2012, would not be used to select Hungary's entry to the 2020 contest, and instead of focusing on Eurovision, the creators of A Dal wanted to focus more on supporting the Hungarian pop scene.[80] Hungary's absence was confirmed with the release of the full list of participants by the EBU.[81] The non-participation came during a rise of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment among the leadership of Hungary and MTVA; while no official reason for the non-participation was given by the broadcaster, an inside source speaking with the website Index.hu stated that the contest was considered "too gay" for MTVA to participate.[82] This was later denied by MTVA.[83]
  •  Luxembourg – Because Luxembourg had not participated in the competition since 1993, there were increasing calls on them to return to the contest by 2019. In May 2019, Anne-Marie David, who won the 1973 contest for Luxembourg, called on the nation to return, while a petition from fans demanding a Luxembourgish return to the contest was sent to the Luxembourgish broadcaster RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg (RTL) and the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg. In previous years, RTL had stated they would not return to the contest due to financial concerns and the belief that smaller nations could not succeed in modern Eurovision events.[84] In June 2019, the Chamber of Deputies opened a petition of its own, which accepted signatures through 1 August 2019.[85] In July 2019, the broadcaster stated that they would not participate in the 2020 contest because the contest would be a financial strain on the broadcaster and because they focused on news content instead of music and entertainment.[86]
  •  Monaco – Monégasque broadcaster TMC confirmed in August 2019 that it would not take part in the 2020 contest. Monaco last participated in 2006.[87]
  •  Montenegro – Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG confirmed its preliminary participation in September 2019.[88] However, the broadcaster informed website ESCToday in November that its participation in the 2020 contest would not be possible.[89] RTCG's director general, Božidar Šundić, challenged this statement, stating that a decision on the participation had yet to be made by RTCG's council.[90] Montenegro did not appear on the final list of participants, and RTCG later stated that they had decided not to participate due to "modest results" and financial issues.[91] The money that would have otherwise been used for the contest participation fee was instead allocated to purchasing new cars to be used by RTCG staff.[92] Montenegro's non-participation was confirmed with the release of the full list of participants by the EBU.[81]
  •  Slovakia – In June 2019, Slovak broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) announced that it would not participate in the 2020 contest due to a lack of interest from the Slovak public. Slovakia last took part in 2012.[93]
  •  Turkey – In September 2019, the EBU stated that Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) had not signed up to compete in the 2020 contest. Turkey last took part in 2012.[94]

Associate EBU members

  •  Kazakhstan – In November 2018, Jon Ola Sand, the executive supervisor of the contest, stated that Kazakhstan's participation in the contest needed to be discussed by the contest's reference group. Kazakhstan, through its EBU associate member Khabar Agency, had previously been invited to participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by that contest's reference group, though that would not affect their participation in the main contest.[95] The EBU stated in September 2019 that they had no intention to invite Kazakhstan to the 2020 contest.[96]

Non-EBU members

  •  Kosovo – In June 2018, Mentor Shala, the then-general director of Kosovan broadcaster Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), stated that the broadcaster was still pushing for full EBU membership and that it hoped to debut at the 2020 contest.[97] In June 2019, at the EBU's 82nd General Assembly, members of the EBU voted against the abolishing of an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) membership as a requirement to join the EBU, thus RTK cannot join the EBU in time for the 2020 contest.[98]
  •  Liechtenstein – In August 2019, Liechtensteiner broadcaster 1 FL TV announced that they had ruled out debuting in the 2020 contest. The broadcaster had attempted to become an EBU member in the past but halted its plans when its director, Peter Kölbel, unexpectedly died. It would also need the backing of the Liechtenstein government to be able to carry the cost of becoming an EBU member and paying the participation fee for the contest.[99]

Broadcasters and commentators

Before the contest's cancellation, countries had started confirming their broadcasting plans and who would provide commentary either on-location or remotely at the broadcaster during the contest. The role of the commentators was to add insight to the participating entries and the provision of voting information.

Country Show(s) Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
Participating countries
 Australia All shows SBS Not announced [100]
 Austria All shows ORF1 Not announced [101]
 Belarus All shows Belarus 1 and Belarus 24 Evgeny Perlin [102]
 Finland Final Yle TV1 Not announced [103]
 France Final France 2 Not announced [104]
 Germany Both semi-finals One Peter Urban and Michael Schulte [105][106]
Final One, Das Erste, and Deutsche Welle
 Greece All shows ERT Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis [107]
 Israel All shows Kan 11 Geula Even-Sa'ar and Asaf Liberman [108][109]
 Italy Both semi-finals Rai 4 Not announced [110][111]
Final Rai 1 Not announced
Rai Radio 2 Not announced
 Norway All shows NRK1 Marte Stokstad [112][113]
 Romania All shows TVR1 and TVRi Not announced [114]
  Switzerland All shows SRF info German: Sven Epiney [115][116]
Semi-final 2 SRF zwei
Final SRF 1
 United Kingdom Both semi-finals BBC Four Scott Mills and Rylan Clark-Neal [117]
Final BBC One Graham Norton
BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce
Non-participating countries
 Canada Not announced Omni Television Not announced [118]
 United States All shows Netflix Not announced [e]

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation

Starting late February 2020, the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from China to other countries around the world raised concerns and the potential impact over staging the Eurovision Song Contest.[120] On 6 March, the Dutch broadcaster NPO stated: "Eurovision organisers would follow the advice of health authorities in deciding what form the event, due to be held on 12–16 May, would take."[121] In March, authorities in Denmark urged the cancellation of events with more than 1,000 spectators to limit the spread of the virus. This resulted in the Danish national final being held with no live audience.[122] Representatives from Sweden, Finland, Israel, Switzerland, Italy and Greece pulled out of the Heads of Delegation meeting on 9 March.[123] Jon Ola Sand attended the meeting remotely after a travel restriction was placed on EBU staff until 13 March after an employee contracted the virus.[124][125] Eden Alene, the Israeli representative, revealed that she would not travel to the Netherlands to film her postcard as a precaution to COVID-19. The broadcaster noted they would try to find another way to film her postcard.[126] The Lithuanian representatives The Roop also cancelled both the travel plans to film their postcard and their participation in pre-contest parties in London and Amsterdam.[127] The Bulgarian representative Victoria also cancelled her participation in pre-contest parties in London and Amsterdam.[128]

On 13 March, Eurovision-Spain, organisers of the pre-party planned for 10–11 April in Madrid, announced that it would be postponed due to threats of the virus until further notice.[129] On the same day, the organisers of Israel Calling, a pre-party planned in Tel Aviv, announced that it would be cancelled.[130] On 16 March, the organisers of Eurovision in Concert, a pre-party planned in Amsterdam, announced that it would be cancelled.[131][132] On the same day, the organisers of the pre-party London Eurovision Party announced that it would be postponed due to threats of the virus until further notice.[133][134][135]

It was ultimately decided that the contest itself would be cancelled as a result of the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding it, which was announced on 18 March 2020.[1] On that same day, the EBU explained the reasons for which the alternative options that were planned - postponement of the show, show without audience and remote show - were discarded. The first option was impossible to use because at that time it was unknown when the pandemic would have stopped and also because the winning country would not have enough time to organize the event the following year; the second option was also discarded because regardless of audience participation, the presence of production crews, delegations and relevant personnel was needed, which would constitute a breach of social distancing guidelines; the third option was also discarded because holding a remote show would create an imbalanced competition. By then, the Dutch government had decided to prohibit all gatherings with more than 100 attendees until further notice.[136] The reference group for the contest explored the option of letting the artists selected for the 2020 contest instead take part in the following year.[1] It decided on 20 March 2020 that, in accordance with the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest disqualifying songs released publicly before 1 September of the preceding calendar year, none of the 2020 songs would be eligible to compete in the 2021 contest.[61]

Of the Eurovision pre-parties, only PrePartyES was held. The organisers gathered artists to perform at home in a YouTube concert.[137]

The Ahoy Arena itself, with most events and gatherings in the Netherlands now being prohibited until at least 1 September 2020,[138][139] now serves as a temporary care facility to cover the nationwide shortage of hospital beds.[140][141] Construction of the stage would have started on 6 April.[142]

Alternative programming

Eurovision Song Celebration 2020

The EBU announced on 30 April 2020 that Eurovision Song Celebration 2020 would be released as a replacement for the semi-finals on the contest's official YouTube channel. The shows, presented by Janouk Kelderman and premiered on 12 and 14 May, honoured all 41 participants and their songs in a non-competitive format.

The first episode showcased the participants of the first semi-final, as well as those of host country the Netherlands and two of the Big Five, Germany and Italy, who would also have voted in this semi-final. The second episode featured the participants of the second semi-final, as well as those of France, Spain and the United Kingdom, who would also have voted in this semi-final.

The running order was determined by the producers of the show as if the contest were actually held, while fans were asked to contribute to the show by sending videoclips of their favourite entries.[143][144]

Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light

The EBU and the host broadcasters worked on a replacement show, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, after the contest's cancellation. From Hilversum's Studio 21, the show was broadcast live on 16 May 2020, the date the contest's final was planned to take place, with Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit, and Edsilia Rombley serving as the hosts.[145] Forty-six countries broadcast the show, including all of the countries that would have participated.[146]

Eurovision Home Concerts

The Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel broadcast Eurovision Home Concerts every Friday from 3 April 2020 featuring planned and past artists performing their Eurovision hits, as well as one of their favourite other entries from their homes.[147] For their cover, the act gave a shortlist of 2-4 entries for fans to choose in a poll on Twitter or Instagram, and covered the song (or songs if there was a tie) that won the poll.[148]

#EurovisionAgain

Upon hearing about the contest's cancellation, journalist Rob Holley launched an initiative to watch a past contest on YouTube every week.[149] #EurovisionAgain quickly became popular, so the EBU itself decided to join the initiative. Every Saturday at 21:00 CEST, the Eurovision YouTube channel re-broadcasts a final of a previous contest, revealed by the #EurovisionAgain team 15 minutes before the start.[150] Contests prior to 2004 are available for a limited time. The initiative was generally received as a welcome distraction for fans. On Twitter, #EurovisionAgain regularly became a trending topic and received positive reactions of past participants.[151] As part of the initiative, Holley has collected over £24,700 for charity.[152]

From 18 July 2020, a second season of #EurovisionAgain began with a replay of the 1999 contest from Jerusalem and it will air every third Saturday of the month leading up to the 2021 contest.

National programming

Besides the Europe-wide replacement show, broadcasters were left to make plans to fill the rest of the gaps themselves. Most broadcasters provided their television audience with replacing Eurovision-related programming.[153][154] Examples include holding an alternative song contest by offering people the chance to listen to Eurovision 2020 entries and vote for their favourites,[155][156][157] with some countries holding a ranking of (their own) songs throughout Eurovision history,[153][158][159][160] and re-broadcasts of already existing Eurovision specials[161][162] and previous contests which are significant for their country, such as the contest they last won.[162][163][164]

Big Night In

Big Night In was organised and broadcast by the Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Der kleine Song Contest

Der kleine Song Contest was organised and broadcast by the Austrian broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF). The competition consisted of three semi-finals between 14 and 18 April 2020 and a final on 18 April 2020, and was hosted by Andi Knoll. All shows were broadcast on the television channel ORF 1, as well as on the streaming platform ORF-TVthek.

Eurovision 2020 – das deutsche Finale

Eurovision 2020 – das deutsche Finale was organised and broadcast by the German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). The competition consisted of a pre-qualifying round on 9 May 2020 and a final on 16 May 2020.

Eurovision: Come Together

Eurovision: Come Together was organised and broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Hosted by Graham Norton on 16 May 2020 and broadcast live on BBC One, an online vote determined the UK public's most popular Eurovision entry in its 64-year history, from a selection of 19 previous competing songs.[165][160]

Okkar 12 stig

Okkar 12 stig was organised and broadcast by the Icelandic broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV).

Pesem Evrovizije: Najboljših 25

Pesem Evrovizije: Najboljših 25 was a Eurovision-replacing broadcast produced by RTV SLO. The ranking of all Slovenian Eurovision entries (songs on behalf of Yugoslavia excluded), decided by over 30.000 online votes, was revealed on the show.[166] Slovenian artists and presenters associated with Eurovision gave their opinions on the 25 songs, and interviews were held with several past Slovenian participants.[158] During the broadcast, it was revealed that Ana Soklič, who had been selected to sing for Slovenia in Eurovision 2020, would represent her country in 2021.[167]

Sveriges 12:a

Sveriges 12:a (Sweden’s 12 [points]) was organised and broadcast by the Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT). The competition consisted of a pre-qualifying round on 9 May 2020, hosted by Christer Björkman and David Sundin, and a final on 14 May 2020, hosted by Christer Björkman and Sarah Dawn Finer. Both shows were broadcast live on SVT1, as well as on the streaming platform SVT Play. The winning entry - the hypothetical recipient of Sweden's 12 points - was the Icelandic entry “Think About Things”.

Official album

Eurovision: A Tribute to the Artists and Songs 2020
Compilation album by
Released 15 May 2020
Genre Pop
Length 2:03:36
Label Universal
Eurovision Song Contest chronology
Eurovision Song Contest: Tel Aviv
(2019)
Eurovision: A Tribute to the Artists and Songs 2020
(2020)

Eurovision: A Tribute to the Artists and Songs 2020 is the official compilation album for the contest, containing all 41 songs that would have taken part in the contest. It was originally scheduled to be released by Universal Music Group physically and digitally on 17 April 2020 but was delayed to 8 May,[168] and later to 15 May.[169]

Charts

Chart (2020) Peak
position
German Compilation Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[170] 2
UK Compilation Albums (OCC)[171] 2

See also

Copyright