Eurovision planning live event in Rotterdam; In-person audience unknown
Organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest said they will focus their attention on having all or most of the participating music acts perform live at the Ahoy Rotterdam during the 2021 edition of the event. The organization said there was still a chance that the participants would have to perform remotely, but no matter what the event will take place on May 18, 20 and 22.
A "normal" event with all participants, a stadium filled with audience members, side events, and a fully hosted press center to accommodate 1,500 accredited journalists will not be possible. Instead, they hope to have a socially-distanced live event with some people attending the competition in the audience, a modified schedule of additional events, and 500 reporters on location.
They expect to hold nine shows on the May dates, including six dress rehearsals, two semi-finals, and the Grand Final. The ability to allow a live audience will depend on local, regional or national safety restrictions. Current ticket holders will be given refunds later this month, and then will be given the option to repurchase tickets for the same shows if audience members will be allowed to enter the arena.
Because of the reduced capacity at Ahoy, ticket buyers will again have to contend with an online queue when attempting to obtain tickets.
“The security, health and safety of all participants at the Eurovision Song Contest, from the crew to the artists, is our top priority. We are following international developments closely and continuing to explore and plan for 3 revised scenarios (B, C and D) first announced last autumn,” said Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
To make the event happen live and in-person, the competition will provide for frequent coronavirus testing, and a strict protocol for everyone involved. Any performer not able to travel to Rotterdam will submit an unedited recording of their song as it was performed live.
"We very much hope to be able to gather in Rotterdam in May and will do all we can in the coming weeks to achieve this. With an ever-changing situation we are taking our time to ensure that we can host the Eurovision Song Contest in the best and safest way possible."
Performers subject to an entry ban due to coronavirus travel restrictions will be granted an exemption by the Dutch government, Eurovision said.