On Wednesday Dutch broadcaster NPO/AVROTROS/NOS confirmed the process by which they’ll select the Eurovision 2020 host city.
As the EBU explains, the process will take place in three phases between now and the end of July.
Step 1. During the first half of June, NPO/AVROTROS/NOS will send all interested cities and regions the document laying out the criteria they need to meet in order to host. This set of criteria will become the basis for each city’s bid.
Step 2. After they’ve studied the package, the candidates will have four weeks to complete “bid books”. These must be submitted in the first half of July.
Step 3. In the middle of July, officials overseeing the selection process can choose to visit cities and regions that are still in the race. They will also meet with the EBU after assessing each of the bids.
The specific criteria for Eurovision host cities does change from year to year. However, there are some broad strokes that remain the same. These include having sufficient hotels to accommodate visitors; venues able to hold a minimum threshold of spectators; the ability to set up a press centre near that venue; and access to the venue between March and May 2019.
Below you can see some of the criteria used for Eurovision 2019 in Israel.
- It must have a fully covered hall or arena that can accommodate between 8,000 and 12,000 spectators. Those numbers include both seats and standing positions.
- A press centre must be located nearby to accommodate around 1,500 journalists.
- Cities must have at least 3,000 hotel rooms.
- Host venue must be available between March and May 2019 for set-up and rehearsals.
Leeuwarden wants to host Eurovision 2020
As we previously reported, the mayor of Leeuwarden said that he was interested in hosting Eurovision 2020 in the days after Duncan Laurence’s Eurovision win. And on May 29 the city council finally gave its official blessing, with a majority of members voting in favour of the proposed bid. Apparently the city is already working on its bid book.
A number of you may be rolling your eyes and saying “as if.” But the Dutch Tourism Board has already come out publicly and said that it would like to use Eurovision 2020 to showcase lesser known parts of the country. Surely Leeuwarden — and the surrounding province of Fryslân — counts as lesser known to foreigners.
The city has proven that it can host major events. In 2018 it served as a European Capital of Culture alongside Valletta in Malta. The city is home to the largest cattle market in the Netherlands and one of its largest flower markets, which comes to life on Ascension Day. It’s known for its rural heritage, efforts at environmental sustainability and organic food, which supports a healthy array of cafes and restaurants. If you fly into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, it takes about 2.5 hours to get to the city via a direct train. It costs 28 eros.
It’s not yet clear what venue they will propose to host the song contest.
Funnily enough, one of the themes of Leeuwarden’s Capital of Culture gig was “Dare to dream” — aligning it very closely with Tel Aviv and Eurovision 2019. Could it have been a harbinger of things to come? And one of its best known former residents is dancer-turned-spy Mata Hari, whose name sounds very similar to Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Eurovision 2006 act Hari Mata Hari. The connections don’t stop!