Sietse Bakker: “Artists in Rotterdam makes the competition as fair as possible”

Sietse Bakker

Now that Scenario A is off the table, the organisation focuses on getting the participating artists to Rotterdam for Eurovision 2021. Executive Producer Sietse Bakker has told several Dutch media that “this is now our first priority”.

Over the last few months, Sietse Bakker has done his best to send a positive message. Not long ago, he told ESCDaily that he wanted to “keep Scenario A on the table for as long as possible”. With several corona developments going into the wrong direction, however, Bakker and the EBU had to face reality. On Tuesday, they announced that they had cancelled Scenario A.

Getting artists to Rotterdam for Eurovision 2021

The organization now sets its sights on Scenario B: A socially distanced Eurovision. The main element of this scenario is to get all/most participants to perform live from Ahoy, Rotterdam.

Sietse Bakker: “The essence of Eurovision is all participants coming together on the same stage. It is first and foremost a competition, so you want to keep this competition as fair as possible.” By letting the artists perform on the same stage, the tv-shows would also be much more similar to the Eurovision experience we are used to.

Bakker is optimistic about this goal. “You see it in other sports: Formula 1, international football, tennis (Australian Open). We watched these events closely and we have an extensive protocol. It has to be responsible and safe.” Bakker wants the Eurovision Song Contest to send a message. “Getting everyone together in one place sends a signal to the world, an important message in these difficult times. That is what Eurovision is all about.”

Decision about fans in April

While the artists are the number 1 priority right now, Bakker also hopes to have fans in Ahoy. “Last year 9.000 people bought tickets, they will get a refund. The capacity within corona measures will be 6.500 people maximum. We hope we can make something like this happen. The people who received a refund for their tickets, are first in line to buy new ones if possible.”

It is not certain that the organization will manage to get people into Ahoy. Bakker: “At this point, you can’t say anything about the situation in May. We hope that vaccines, tests and better weather will improve the situation. Thankfully, we will be able to postpone our decision about fans in Ahoy until the middle of April.”