In his Eurovision 2019 winning song, Duncan Laurence describes himself as small town boy lost in a big “Arcade”. Now that he’s made his way out of it — and into the international spotlight — he wants to bring Eurovision 2020 as close to his home as possible.

The revelation came during an interview with local news channel 1Limburg, which covers Limburg — the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. Its capital Maastricht is known for its world-renowned university and stunning medieval architecture. But also for being the site of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, which led to the creation of the European Union and the euro. Those are some reasons why locals think their city should host the song contest next year.

Duncan was in the province on Monday to perform at Pinkpop — considered the oldest and best-known of all pop festivals in the country. A reporter offered Duncan a t-shirt that said, “Douze Points Maastricht.” But, as they point out in their report, it’s unlikely he’ll be wearing it any time soon.

Speaking to 1Limburg he said: “I prefer the city near to where I come from and that is Rotterdam.”

Duncan was born in Spijkenisse, a small town in South Province, and grew up in the even smaller city of Hellevoetsluis, also in South Province. While The Hague is the capital of the region, Rotterdam is the largest city and considered a major contender to host Eurovision 2020.

Rotterdam or Maastricht?

While it’s known as The Netherlands’ “second city” after Amsterdam, Rotterdam is riding a wave of cool. In recent years it has been a staple of travel magazines. Bombed heavily during the Second World War, it’s had the chance to re-invent itself with experimental architecture. It’s now known for a vibrant restaurant and food scene and cutting-edge design, as seen at its iconic Markthall.

Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena has a capacity of 15,000 and a winning track record for hosting large scale events. Among other things, it has hosted the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007.

Both Rotterdam and Maastricht have officially confirmed their intent to submit a formal bid to NPO/AVROTROS. They’ll compete against several other cities, including Arnhem, Utrecht, and Leeuwarden.

Maastricht is very keen to host. On May 21 it revealed its intent in a press release uploaded to the web site of the Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre.

Annemarie Penn-te Strake, the mayor of Maastricht, said:

“It goes without saying that as the most European city in the Netherlands, Maastricht is putting itself forward as a candidate to host the Song Contest. MECC Maastricht has repeatedly demonstrated its abilities as an excellent organiser of major international events. Thanks to its renowned hospitality and location in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, with Belgium and Germany literally just around the corner, Maastricht is the ideal city to represent the Netherlands and proudly welcome artists and fans from all over the world in 2020.”

Rob van de Wiel, General Director of MECC Maastricht, said:

“We have everything we need to facilitate a production like Eurovision, and Maastricht has sufficient lodging capacity and an excellent international reputation. Maastricht is the perfect fit for the Eurovision Song Contest; after all, the city is located in the heart of Europe. We’re only a few kilometres away from Germany and Belgium. I sincerely believe that the event will be held in our city for this very reason. I’m already even having dreams about it.”

As 1Limburg reports, MECC’s general director has already made sure 3,000 hotel rooms in and around the city will be available in the event it secures hosting duties.

While initial hype in the fandom suggested that Amsterdam was the obvious choice, momentum has shifted away from the most famous Dutch city.

Following Eurovision the Dutch Tourism Board — the NBTC — said they do not want Amsterdam to win this race.

The NBTC, whose aim is to promote The Netherlands, argued 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 wrote 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.”

Do you want Duncan’s wish to come true? Are you #TeamRotterdam or #TeamMaastricht? Let us know down below!

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HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

This reminds me of 2013, when Copenhagen was the most logical choice (for access, hotels, catering), but received plenty of tourists like Amsterdam, and we all thought ‘let another Danish city have it!’, but nowhere else could meet requirments- now the Netherlands has many options outside Adam so let’s go for it!

Can anyone post a picture of Maasstricht’s venue?

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Good point, but Amsterdam has far more tourists than Copenhagen so the whole tourism overflow is more pronounced

Robert M.
Guest
Robert M.

I hope for Maastricht. Netherlands, Belgium and Germany coming together. True Eurovision spirit.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

On one hand it is a cool thought, but on the other hand it would be a pitty. Then it would become a NL-BE-DE party, while the Netherlands finally after decades gets the chance to do it on it’s own, so why immediately “share”? Germany already had its piece of cake in 2011. If it becomes a NL-BE party I can understand, because of the friendly relationship, and because Belgium might or might not win in the short term future. But I doubt that the Belgians would use that friendly and kind gesture towards the Netherlands (make it a BE-NL… Read more »

R*D
Guest
R*D

I am pretty sure it will be either Maastricht or Rotterdam. I am happy with both of them! 🙂 I will be there anyway! I live close to Maastricht and would love to see them hosting the event. But I am a bit concerned about the venue (they are in the middle of a renovation when the contest takes place) and transportation.

David F
Guest
David F

Whichever major city ends up winning the bidding process, it’s very nice to see how much enthusiasm and energy there is across the Netherlands to host Eurovision 2020.

Kendrik
Guest
Kendrik

Tel Aviv, Malmö & Düsseldorf produced amazing shows so Rotterdam can do it without any doubt.

Taker
Guest
Taker
Edu
Guest
Edu

Tell him please that is the Eurovision Song Contest and not the Duncan’s Song Contest…

stommie
Guest
stommie

The amount of vileness coming from the, so called, fandom is sometimes unbelievable.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

He’s the reason the Dutch get to host next year. He’s not going to have the final say on the matter obviously, but he’s more than entitled to state his opinion.

H*n
Guest
H*n

AMSTERDAM please! such a lovely vibe

Martin
Guest
Martin

South Province is not a province, it’s South Holland.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

makes sense, rotterdam is the best option imo

Cath
Guest
Cath

Not sure which team i’m on yet.. Love RTM and love Maastricht but AMS is great too. As far as I know AMS region already has a huge event to organize during the same time as ESC2020: F1 GP Zandvoort! It’s a very challenging event when it comes to infrastructure ..

Loin dici
Guest

I’m certain Amsterdam is a good host, but there are far much more reasons to pick Rotterdam. I hope the officials won’t mess up big time.

Tato_51100
Guest
Tato_51100

Does someone know here Duncan’s shirt comes from ? I absolutely want the same one for me ?

Christian Smith
Guest
Christian Smith

You can buy it from the suburbs, sell on blankets by contrabandists and smugglers. Actually it’s a good business. Seriously.

Cocooo
Guest
Cocooo

I’ve seen some shirts looking like that, although with different patterns, from H&M.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

looks like sumthin u could find at pull&bear, they usually use those patterns

Micho
Guest
Micho

I hope ESC2020 will be Dutch TV-Production … since 2016 the show made always swedish productions team and sorry it’s stil boring.

Tom
Guest
Tom

You mean …Bjorkman and he always put Sweden in good spot in semi or final, buy

Mvaneijk97
Guest

A great song can win or do well at any spot. Stop whining

Simba
Guest
Simba

Where can I bet that the neighbour Florian Wieder will do the stage again?

Kim
Guest
Kim

I wanna see a collab between florian and a dutch designer 🙂

Tom
Guest
Tom

Dare to dream

Jack
Guest
Jack

I pray not, had enough with his stages. Dutch people are creative, they can make a great stage

Mvaneijk97
Guest

We have our own designers

Jack
Guest
Jack

Let them do whatever they want as long as they don’t have the Swedish mafia producing it

Mvaneijk97
Guest

SVT actually only stepped in with Kiev but okay

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

THEY WERE INVOLVED EVERY YEAR SINCE 2016.

rocco
Guest
rocco

Jon Ola Sand Have to visit every single city… It will be take a long time

Klingande
Guest
Klingande

You cab literally visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Maastricht in a day.

Loin dici
Guest

^positive, these cities are pretty excited to host so it’ll be quite quick.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Everyone is pointing at Rotterdam and I still have the funny feeling that our broadcaster will mess up and host it in Maastricht.

Zachary
Guest
Zachary

But they don’t have enough Hotel capacity…

Cocooo
Guest
Cocooo

It’s not necessary since towns like Aachen, Liege and Cologne are all very close to Maastricht which means that it’s not necessary

DJronnieDJ
Guest
DJronnieDJ

And let other countries benefit from the Dutch effort….. Doesn’t seem to be a great solution.

DJronnieDJ
Guest
DJronnieDJ

One of the EBU’s requirements from the last couple of years was a venue with a minimum height (free) of 15 metres. The largest hall in the MECC in Maastricht has a maximum net height of only 12,5 metres. When a country doesn’t have an available venue that meets all the demands EBU can adjust them. The Netherlands however have three venues available that are high enough and capable of holding at least 10.000 people. – Gelredome (Arnhem) – Ziggo Dome (Amsterdam) – Ahoy (Rotterdam) I would be surprised when the organisation will choose an unsuitable venue for hosting Eurovision… Read more »

Simba
Guest
Simba

” MECC’s general director has already made sure 3,000 hotel rooms ”

Oh dear, The Netherlands will do it with help from neighbors. 3000 hotel rooms is not enough. You are blinded by the landscape, but The Netherlands doesn’t have what it takes.

James
Guest
James

“Whatever it takes…I know I can make it through.”

Simba
Guest
Simba

Great, but if were a country like Ukraine or Israel, everybody would say ‘what a mess’, but Portugal and Netherlands seem more loved, they can do nothing wrong. Double standard about hosts.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Simba, many of those complaints you’re talking about are mostly about issues occuring far after the start of the new Eurovision-season. Technical and organisation issues which could have been avoided such as wide angles and bad communication with the delegations. In this case the 2020 season hasn’t even started yet since we don’t even know the host city yet, or other details. Those “issues” aren’t even comparable. You pretend as if there will be huge logistical problems next year because only Maastricht might not have enough hotel beds, but ignore that there are far larger cities which are more probable… Read more »

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Oh yeah, because the most southern city of the country which is only the 23rd city in population size equals (the organisation of) the entire country, indeed…

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

The South province is called South Holland.

Rrjym
Guest
Rrjym

No it’s called Limburg

Creydey
Guest
Creydey

There are 12 provinces, but they’re mentioning Duncan is from the “South” province, which doesn’t exist. He’s from the province of South Holland

Frysk
Guest
Frysk

I would love to see it in my hometown Leeuwarden. Live in France now and it would be great to go back and see all the changes since the city was Cultural Capital of EU. But it is my emotional choice, not a wise one> It is still a rural capital, the province of Fryslân is beautiful. But is it realyy suitable for this event??? I fear not. Same for Maastricht. Most beuatiful City of ten Netherlands for sure but still a provincial city, although Aachen and Liège just round the corner. Probably a better choice, but I agreewith Duncan.… Read more »

Jake
Guest
Jake

The Netherlands sounds like an amazing country, everywhere! I’m so happy that they get to hold it again, and don’t really care where. Just hope they send a good song, to try and break the streak of hosts finishing bottom 5. 🙂

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It looks like it’ll be Rotterdam. I remember Jamala saying that Kyiv should host when it looked like Odessa was looking hot for the bid, and that helped shift the tide. Netta also saying that she didn’t mind where the contest was being held also helped Tel Aviv edge out over Jerusalem (when you host Eurovision for the first time ever, you put it in your biggest/capital city- so there was never any serious chance of any Portuguese city save for Lisbon hosting last year). Since it looks like we’ll have two consecutive contests hosted outside capitals, (which I don’t… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Actually, the first three contests were in Lugano, Frankfurt and Hilversum, so we had 3 contests hosted by non capitals consecutively

KESC
Guest
KESC

Sydney would be a dream, but there is no way that the contest is ever going to take place in Australia.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sydney would be a nightmare. Both logistically and environmentally.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

The contest has been held in non-capitals on consecutive occasions before, apart from the first three which you mention. 1989, 1990 – 1992, 1993 – 1982, 1983 – 1985, 1986.

Australia should never host – the broadcasters of Europe do not pay a premium to the EBU just for their flagship show to be handed over to a non-member. Not to mention schedules would be seriously disturbed with huge implications for ratings. The EBU aren’t that crazy…are they?

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It depends- if Australia win in the near future, probably not. But if they win after their participation in the contest has been normalised, maybe after about a decade of participation, the EBU may be more inclined to let them host, given that hotel capacity and venues are not a problem. It’s a pipe dream, but I think when you let the contest go in war zones (Ukraine and Israel, where security was a legitimate issue) or into countries with dubious human rights records (Azerbaijan, and at the moment countries like Hungary and Poland if they win given their current… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

True but an Aussie can still dream

Loin dici
Guest

Well…
It was already mentioned before, that with the chances are Australia wins, they will choose to host in either Germany, or the United Kingdom. We will comfortably conclude that hosting in Australia will never be put as consideration.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

So no Kazakhstan hosting the Junior either? It’s kinda of a bummer but I truly understand your point.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Eurovision will never be hosted in Australia because of the time difference. It’s not a matter of shifting Eurovision to an afternoon slot – some broadcasters rely on big prime time audiences to generate high ad revenue which in turn helps fund their Eurovision participation. Broadcasters would not want to miss out on that. As well, while it’s reasonably cheap to fly within Europe, a flight to Australia ends up being pretty pricy. Multiply that by the number of members in a delegation, and that is going to start being prohibitively expensive for the smaller broadcasters who are already on… Read more »

Robbert
Guest
Robbert

What you need first is a good song.

Darren
Guest
Darren

The odds really are in Rotterdam’s favour, I’m sure it would be an excellent host city.

But my heart is still saying Amsterdam for 2020 host city.

Rovan
Guest
Rovan

Yeah I support Rotterdam, but something’s telling me that officials will pic Amsterdam over Rotterdam 🙁

Darren
Guest
Darren

I’m not so sure. It seems nearly everyone in a position of influence, even the mayor of Amsterdam is saying that it will probably be a different city.
I will be shocked if Amsterdam is chosen.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I would like it to be Amsterdam too. It would be fifty years since they last hosted, when Dana won for Ireland. Maybe if it is chosen, RTÉ can send her again…what have they got to lose at this point? Okay, maybe not, but at least get her to give the Irish jury votes. I love it when the contest acknowledges its long history.

Rovan
Guest
Rovan

Rotterdam would be great, a city that has given Duncan so much music wise. And the city has never hosted Eurovision. Rotterdam 2020!

Nathan Anthony Pace
Guest
Nathan Anthony Pace

Rotterdam (according to Duncan himself) actually helped him overcome his aversion to large, crowded places caused by the extreme bullying he went through during his childhood and adolescence. Hence it is a really special place for him. If he wants Eurovision in Rotterdam, I want it there too.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I also want Rotterdam, so you’re not alone Duncan 🙂

Joseph Mendy
Guest
Joseph Mendy

Rotterdam have staged Junior Eurovision in 2007 so why not Eurovision 2020? I’d say Rotterdam