Last Friday the Dutch organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 gave a press conference with a very hopeful message. There will be a Eurovision in May next year, no matter what!
In this editorial, ESCDaily’s chief editor Steef van Gorkum explains why he thinks EBU deserves praise for preparing for every Eurovision 2021 scenario: the very worst, but also the very best.
Eurovision in lockdown
With this press conference, EBU shows that they are extremely well prepared. While the world seems more pessimistic about the coronavirus and its grip on the world every day, the Eurovision team comes with a message of hope. They show the world: We will not be surprised again. Eurovision had never been cancelled until this year – and it will not happen a second time, not even if the whole world is in lockdown next year.
So how can the EBU guarantee a Eurovision in 2021, regardless of any coronavirus measures? By allowing artists to perform from tv-studios in their own country. Only a couple of days before the press conference, EBU announced that Junior Eurovision 2020 will be organized in that way. Executive Producer Sietse Bakker told Dutch broadcaster RTV Rijnmond that this is indeed a test for a potentially worst case scenario in May 2021. “No Eurovision is not on the list, that scenario is not negotiable,” Bakker said.
We will make it happen.
Dream scenario A: Eurovision without corona measures
But there is more. EBU does not only prepare for the worst – they also prepare for the very best: a dream scenario in which Eurovision can take place without any corona measures whatsoever.
A lot of event organisers nowadays do not even speak about a scenario in which the world is back to normal. Perhaps they are pessimistic about a possible coronavaccine, or they are just being cautious. The EBU, however, still prepares for Eurovision as it should be; with a packed venue, parties and full press coverage. And not only that – they dare to present this as their “Scenario A”, their primary plan. Or as Sietse Bakker said: “This is what we are going for and we think it is not unrealistic.”
We have to think of how we can make the Contest happen no matter what. It brings new challenges, but the ambition to make it happen and to make the best Contest to date, that ambition is definitely still there.
– Executive Producer Sietse Bakker –
Eurovision: a bright light at any time
Eurovision started in the 1950’s as a bright light in a dark and divided continent. And in these difficult times, the event can be that bright light once again. The Olympic Games of Music, a fraternizing event in a time when people need eachother.
If the world stops turning, Eurovision will be the one thing that will go on. And if the world opens up again, we will be the first to celebrate like never before. EBU appears ready for both scenarios and everything in between. And they deserve a lot of praise for that.