The Eurovision logo projected on a screen during the Ukrainian national selection, in February 2020. - Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / Sipa / SIPA
Rotterdam (Netherlands) could not host Eurovision 2020 last May. The event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The port city with 625,000 inhabitants was however renewed for the organization of the next edition. This Monday, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) formalized the dates of the competition. The semi-finals will be held on May 18 and 20 and the final - for which France is automatically qualified - on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
The competition will take place precisely at Ahoy Rotterdam, a hall with a capacity of 16,400 seats which, last May, had 88 beds to relieve the burden of Dutch hospitals on the coronavirus front.
In a statement, the organizers say that the evolution of the situation regarding the Covid-19 will clearly have an influence on the work of setting up the event in the coming months. The EBU, the Dutch channels NPO, NOS and AVROTROS, as well as the City of Rotterdam would consider different scenarios.
" Go forward "
"Today more than ever, it is important that as a public broadcaster, we ensure the continuity of the Eurovision tradition," said Shula Rijxman, President of NPO. We will do our best to organize a very special contest. "
“We are happy to move forward. It is essential that Eurovision returns next year, said Martin Österdahl, the event's executive director, quoted in the press release. I firmly believe that all those involved in Eurovision will face, united, the challenges and changes necessary for the competition to come back stronger than ever and to ensure its sustainability for decades to come. "
At least eighteen artists renewed
Artists who should have participated in Eurovision 2020 will be able to participate in the 2021 edition, but with new songs. For the time being, out of the 41 countries supposed to be in the running this year, eighteen have formalized the renewal of their artists. Among them, Belgium and Switzerland, which will be respectively represented by Hooverphonic, and Gjon's Tears. A handful of other countries, including Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Cyprus, have announced plans to nominate new candidates.
The French delegation has not yet decided the fate of Tom Leeb. The singer, who should have defended the tricolor chances with My Allie , said last month that he "would very much like" to represent France again in 2021.
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