To make sure the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will happen, no matter the situation regarding COVID-19 in the world, the EBU has released an additional rule for the upcoming contest. All participating countries need to submit a pre-recorded live performance of their song, which is used as a back-up option for certain situations in May 2021.
When an artist and delegation is not able to travel to Rotterdam, or needs to be in quarantaine while in Rotterdam, this secret back-up video will be used as the entry for that nation. All the participating broadcasters have been asked to record a live performance of their act in their own country. This recording will be delivered prior to the event and will take place in a studio setting. The recording will take place in real time (as it would be at the Contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording.
A set of production guidelines will ensure fairness and the integrity of the Song Contest. There will be no audience present at the live-on-tape performances. The recording should be unique and remain unpublished before the event in May.
Delegations are allowed to use similar technical possibilities and dimensions that would be available on-stage in Rotterdam, but are also free to opt for a more down-scaled production setup. The live-on-tape recordings should not contain any augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, use of chromakey or green screen.
How the EBU will keep it fair
A live connection will be set up during the recording to allow the ESC Executive Supervisor and a representative from an independent voting observer (E&Y) and the Host Broadcaster to observe the recording session, to provide assistance and support, but also to ensure the integrity of the Contest.
No national final performances can be submitted but each country can record on the same set. The “live-on-tape” recordings have to be delivered by the end of March.