Eurovision 2020 has been CANCELLED – what happens now?
The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled amid the ongoing global crisis.
The 65th Eurovision Song Contest was set to take place in Rotterdam throughout the second week of May this Spring with a final on May 16.
However the ongoing lockdown restrictions across the world have seen it cancelled completely.
In a statement, the European Broadcasting Union announced in March: “Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.
“However, the uncertainty created by [the current situation] throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned.
“The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision.
“We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of you around the world, are extremely saddened that it can not take place in May.”
Eurovision’s Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. 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.”
Eurovision is set to return in 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where this year’s contest was to be hosted.
The European Broadcasting Union previously revealed plans for “alternative programming” in 2020 which will “honour the songs and artists which have been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020”.
Consequently, any song submitted for this year’s contest will not be eligible for next year.
However participants are welcome to return, with the EBU leaving it up to each broadcaster to decide who they want to represent them in 2021.
The UK Eurovision entry for 2020 had been confirmed as James Newman with his new song My Last Breath, co-written with James with Ed Drewett, Iain James and Adam Argyle.
Reacting to the news of the cancellation, UK Eurovision host Graham Norton said: “I was very upset, we all were but people’s safety has to come first of course. I always enjoy arriving in the host city and getting the chance to fully immerse myself in the excitement of the competition, there’s always a Eurovision fever that has taken over.
“No matter how many rehearsals I might have watched, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere on the night. Something special happens when it all kicks off and that winning spot is anyone’s for the taking. I’m disappointed for the artists too and the teams that work behind them.
“They all work for so long to make this wonderful night of TV happen so it’s sad that the songwriters will also miss out on their time to showcase their songs to the audience.”
In place of Eurovision, the BBC will air a night of specials on Saturday, May 16 from 6:25PM on BBC One, BBC 2 and Radio 2.
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