Four scenarios for Eurovision 2021: From a full venue to performing from studios

Ahoy Arena — Photo: Rotterdam Ahoy

The organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 has presented their plans to make sure the contest will take place in May 2021, no matter what happens. To make this happen, the EBU are working with four scenarios.

The scenarios vary from a “worst case scenario” (Eurovision in lockdown), to a “best case scenario”. If a vaccine or reliable testing is available, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in full capacity. The organizers are aiming for this positive scenario. However, if the Netherlands takes strict corona measures, the Eurovision Song Contest will still go on. Countries will then perform from home, and their performance will be broadcast.

Read more about the four possible scenarios below:

Scenario A: A normal Eurovision Song Contest

In this situation, the Eurovision Song Contest will be organized as normal with all participants performing live from Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena. There will be 9 shows (including the dress rehearsals) in a packed venue, with delegations and artists from all the participating broadcasters. Also numerous activities will take place in and around Rotterdam.

“The feasibility of this scenario largely depends on the roll-out of a possible vaccine for COVID-19 or the availability of reliable testing,” says EBU.

Scenario B: Socially distant Eurovision Song Contest – at 1.5 meters

This is the scenario most likely if Eurovision would happen today, in the current corona-situation. Everyone present at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam would need to remain 1.5 meters from each other at all times. Again, there would be 9 shows, with an audience in the arena, but with limited capacity. In terms of tickets: a fair draw will decide who can still attend each show. There will be more information about this in the first months of 2021. Anyone who is unsuccessful in the draw will, of course, be refunded the full purchase amount for their tickets.

There would be limits on the number of people in each delegation and on the number of press who could attend. Activities in and around Rotterdam would be adapted accordingly.

Scenario C: A Eurovision Song Contest with travel restrictions

This scenario resembles scenario B. However, if there are any delegations who cannot travel to Rotterdam, their artists will perform from their own country. All performances in the shows will be brought together in Rotterdam. The entries of the countries that are allowed to travel and the opening and interval acts will still be performed live.

Scenario D: Eurovision Song Contest in lockdown

Should the Netherlands end up in a lockdown-like situation again, there will be a Eurovision Song Contest without an audience and probably without activities in and around Rotterdam. The performances of the participants will all come from their own country and be brought together from Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena, much like we will see at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in November.

During the press conference, Executive Producer Sietse Bakker said that this scenario “seems less and less likely every day. However, we still need to prepare for it, because Eurovision needs to go in no matter what.”

Definitely historical, and definitely in Rotterdam

“The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will go on no matter what. And it will take place in Rotterdam,” Executive Producer Sietse Bakker stated during the press conference today. “We will make it happen. It will also be a historical contest, because it is a comeback. Eurovision had never been cancelled until this year.”

Theme and hosts remain the same

It was confirmed that the theme for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest will remain the same – Open Up.

Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley will return as presenters in 2021. They were set to host Eurovision 2020, and presented Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light in May.