As the Eurovision 2020 host city bidding process officially kicks off now, presumed candidate and capital, Amsterdam, have dropped a bombshell – they are not willing to put up a fight to host the song contest.
Mayor Femke Halsema has expressed an interest in hosting the contest, telling media that “we would be very enthusiastic (to host Eurovision 2020), but will not stand in the way of other cities.”
With already several other cities expressing an interest in hosting the event, Amsterdam, who hosts the annual Eurovision in Concert, may be playing it smart keeping its cards close to its chest.
The city also has a lot on its plate from next year, also playing host to the quinquennial maritime event Sail 2020, as well as several games in the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship. The mayor has recognised these other events locked in in its calendar means that they will have to be responsible with their Eurovision bid, Femke says:
“We can have something, but we are a responsible capital, so we have to guard against a prestige battle with other cities. We will handle that chic. ”
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So far six cities / regions have expressed interest in hosting #Eurovision 2020: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, Leeuwarden/the province of Fryslân and Maastricht. Meanwhile, the country’s fifth largest city Groningen has said it will pass on bidding. #esc2020 #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2020
The Dutch Tourism Board — the NBTC — have recently come out swinging, releasing a statement that they do not want Amsterdam to win this race. The NBTC, whose aim is to promote The Netherlands, argues that Eurovision is the perfect opportunity to show Europe there is more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam.
“Please no images of romantic Amsterdam canals,” they write on their web site. “Use the song festival to show lesser known places in our country. In 2014 we saw Ilse de Lange and Waylon with tulips on a houseboat as an introduction to their song. In 2020, things must change.”
The NBTC says it is not necessarily the best-suited, as it “is already struggling with the pressure of large numbers of visitors.”
So, in short – showcase less tulips, less canals and less markets.
And with that knowledge, potential host cities are springing up like mushrooms. In an earlier post, we collected all of the interested cities, which included Utrecht and Arnhem, Leeuwarden and Maastricht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Regional town Enschede have also just thrown their hat – or hangar – into the mix. Surely Dutch officials are going to have a lot to think about as they try to choose just one.
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This is Hangar 11 — a former workshop used to repair and service F16 aircraft. It’s located at Enschede Twente Airport, which is used by a handful of charter flight operators. The airport’s commercial director has ambitions of hosting #Eurovision inside the hangar. He told Dutch web site @ad_nl: “The economic impact will be huge. It is the way to put this region on the map!” ??? Apparently there are plenty of other buildings for a press room and other needed facilities. #ESC2020 #eurovision2020
Eurovision 2020 host city bidding process
As the EBU explains, the bidding process for interested cities and regions 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.
How do you feel about all this? Do you have your sights – and smells – set on Amsterdam? Or would you like to see another city in The Netherlands host the event? Let us know down below.