‘Eurovision will come back stronger than ever’
The Eurovision 2020 song contest is the latest victim of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as worldwide travel slows.
This year’s Eurovision was scheduled to take place May 12-16 in the Netherlands, however, The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) issued a statement on Thursday (March 19) saying it had taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event.
It marks the first time in its 64-year history that the live event won’t proceed.
“We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe,” said executive producer, Jon Ola Sand. “And we are deeply disappointed about this situation.
“The EBU, together with the Host Broadcaster NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue to talk to see if it’s possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process of staging a great Eurovision Song Contest this year.
“Unfortunately, that was not possible due to factors beyond our control. We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever.”
Australia’s entry came via singer-songwriter Montaigne, who won the Australian decider with her track ‘Don’t Break Me’.
Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled. I’ve had my cry. I spent a couple of hours paralysed in bed, despondently scrolling through the many lovely tweet mentions from people expressing love and support. pic.twitter.com/vemHvCNlKx
— Montaigne (@actualmontaigne) March 19, 2020
Just days ago, an official statement from the EBU said it is still “continuing to work together as a team on preparations to host the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam,” and that it is “closely monitoring the situation.”
But with a lot changing day-to-day, including advice from the World Health Organisation and national health authorities, the EBU tweeted on Wednesday that a decision over the viability of the 2020 Eurovision song contest would be made imminently.
“We know you are anxiously awaiting news about the future of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest,” came a tweet from Eurovision’s official account.
“With a constantly changing situation regarding coronavirus and a large number of people to consult, every important element needs to be taken into consideration.
“Please bear with us. We hope to have more information shortly.”
Some options that the EBU floated – with cancelling the event reportedly not the table at the time – included no audience, a TV studio and remote broadcasting.