After weeks of chatter, behind-the-scenes strategising and, in some instances, a bit of political in-fighting, the Eurovision 2020 host city candidates finally submitted their bidbooks. These are their portfolios explaining why they deserve to host and proving that they have the capacity to pull it off.

Officials from Maastricht, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch) delivered their bidbooks in style. Officials from Maastricht arrived with champagne and pink cakes, while the good folks from Den Bosch brought a local speciality — the Bosche Bollen (essentially profiteroles filled with whipped cream and coated with chocolate fondant icing). Arnhem, which is running with the slogan “Celebrate Freedom”, even brought a former contestant from The Voice.

But rest assured: Dutch broadcaster NPO won’t be basing its decision on sweets or guest performances. They’ll be looking at the cold hard facts within the bidbooks. As AD.nl reports, NPO will tell those cities that don’t have a realistic chance of hosting the bad news by the end of July. They’ll then conduct site visits in the remaining candidate cities in early August.

Executive producer Sietse Bakker stressed some of the key criteria. He said: “You produce perhaps the most complex TV show worldwide. It is important that you have a location where you have the space to do that. And then the city itself: do you have the hotel rooms and can you handle the logistics so that not only the visitors but also all kinds of other people who attract it can stay in the city center?”

Another big issue is money. He pointed out that the host city benefits from the mass exposure and influx of tourists — not just during Eurovision, but also in the years that follow. As such there’s a heavy financial burden that the host city is expected to pay.

Our sources in Hilversum tell us that Maastricht has been working on a plan to host Eurovision since as far back as 2014, when The Common Linnets made it clear that the country was back in the song contest game. They’re also known to have deep cash reserves available to fund the event. The mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake attended the event and stressed that it is a “compact city and it’s very intimate,” which would give the event a unique feel.

Their candidate city promo video “Come Closer” captures the intimacy and beauty of the region — taking us through nature to a wedding, a university and even an outdoor festival. The video nods to the EU flag, the region’s famed vineyards, fashion shows and more.

Rotterdam, which is considered the greatest challenger to Maastricht, has the best music venue in the Ahoy. It also has pledges of financial support from the surrounding province, and has been endorsed by Den Hague and Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence.

Its delegation arrived in black-and-green scarves that said: Rotterdam. Make it happen” and “Rotterdam. For Real.”

Their promo video channels a distinctly urban vibe, which it describes as “the new Netherlands.”

Elsewhere Arnhem has convinced the Vitesse football club to let them borrow the massive GelreDome for the song contest. And Utrecht wants to hold the festival in a tent next to Jaarbeurs. That’s the exhibition and convention centre which they wanted to use, but which they later learned doesn’t meet the required ceiling height.

Which city do you think has the the most momentum? Where do you want to shimmy and shake in 2020? Let us know down below. 

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Aline van Rossem
Guest

I really want Rotterdam to host!

ESC2020NETHERLANDS
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ESC2020NETHERLANDS

What if we just tried our best to win the songcontest again and then both Rotterdam en Maastricht could get it their way?(yes this is excluding al the money it will cost the NPO and stuff) I at least hope that we send an entry that will end up higher than last place like most years with winning countries

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think the Netherlands would actually send a great host entry because unlike some other countries they could afford to host the contest in 2021 as well

Darren
Guest
Darren

It will be Rotterdam, Although I must admit I’m quite impressed by what Maastricht has to offer. Looks like s charming city and could host a decent show in 2020. Maastricht is a city I often overlook in my travels but I think I will need to visit, even if it’s not chosen. Rotterdam, as the nations second city, best venue and probably hotels transport links etc will be the winner I am sure. Dutch tourist board seems to be pushing Rotterdam as an alternative to Amsterdam, not just in Eurovision but in other media too, Rotterdam seems to be… Read more »

Loin dici
Guest

Interesting. Arnhem and Rotterdam being the ones with presumably strong bid and Maastricht being the most passionate.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think Edinburgh would definitely host if the UK winner was Scottish, or Glasgow.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Edinburgh and Glasgow have hosted Eurovision events before in the past, so I don’t see why not.
I’d love to see ‘Scotland’ participate on its own though in the future. They have a great music scene but don’t really get given the chance thanks to those in London.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Glasgow is like the scottish version of tel aviv. Their most hip city. I think they would host in that case.

fenna
Guest
fenna

I really don’t know where i want it, i mean the arena in Arnhem is great, but there’s nothing to do there for visitors who are staying there for a week. Rotterdam & Maastricht for example are more fun places to visit…. but we’ll see

Tezzine
Guest
Tezzine

Don’t discount Arnhem. It has beautiful old architecture and modern architecture, a world-class concert hall (Musis Sacrum), diverse restaurants, nightlife, a fashion district (Duncan’s stage outfit was produced here), the Sonsbeek city park and many others, the most beautiful national parks of the country on its outskirts (Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom), two of the country’s best museums nearby (the Kröller-Müller museum and the Openluchtmuseum), and the best zoo. And it has a very central location from which other interesting places can be reached in 10-30 minutes (Nijmegen, Utrecht, Deventer to name a few). Amsterdam is one hour away. Maastricht itself… Read more »

fenna
Guest
fenna

yess true!! sorry totally forgot. Im hoping for arnhem in 2020!

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Rotterdam for me. I like Arnhem too, it seems the only other city properly serious about hosting. While Maastrich, Utrecht and Den Bosch seem to be more for the lols (a tent, seriously) and the chance of attract tourists.

Zekira
Guest
Zekira

Guys imagine UK winning Eurovision next year and the same thing happening with London like with Amsterdam

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

I think it would be cool to see it in Edinburgh or Liverpool. Because those cities are less well-known globally, and everyone already knows London so it will be less predictable, and more surprises. Also London gets the biggest events and concerts on this planet already, they might treat it like any other if you know what I’m saying 🙂

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

Edinburgh actually hosted Eurovision in 1972 when Monaco declined hosting after winning the 1971 contest. Liverpool is actually famous because of the Beatles.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I feel like London and Berlin are back up locations for when a winner can’t host hence they’re not in the running when the UK and Germany win. Also London is so overbooked in terms of venues, like Amsterdam

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

What about Cardiff? It has the largest indoor arena in the whole UK I think – 80,000 capacity stadium – that would be a fantastic location for Eurovision and it might make the ticket prices more inclusive!

Joros
Guest
Joros

Realistically, only Arnhem and Rotterdam have suitable venues so the others are desk rejects. Rotterdam is the bigger city, Arnhem has the bigger venue, where the likes of Madonna, Helene Fischer, Justin Timberlake have performed. Both have good infrastucture, but Arnhem has a more central location in the Netherlands and at least 4 busy airports in a one hour radius (Schiphol, Eindhoven, Düsseldorf, Weeze) compared to one busy (Schiphol) and one very small (Rotterdam The Hague) for Rotterdam. Rotterdam has more hotel beds in the city itself, but the Arnhem area (especially the Veluwe area, including the Bilderberg hotels) should… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

I hope Rotterdam, defo! But how brilliant it would be if Amanda Lear made a stage-performance, whatever city takes the ESC-crown! I mean: it can’t be worse than Madonna. I’ll vote for her to go back to the stage: she’s an icon!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hb0tRp-Qbhk

Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting
Guest
Thunder and lightning it's getting exciting

I prefer Rotterdam…I love this city and I hope Rotterdam will host ESC 2020 🙂

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I choose Rotterdam, because it’s the easiest name to pronounce from those five lol. Just imagine if ‘s-Hertogenbosch was chosen as the host city, and the ESC2020 contestants try to say “dank je ‘s-Hertogenbosch” at the end of their performances. That would be a Luca Hänni “thank you tell-a-weave” moment lol 🙂

Tusan
Guest

It would be something completely unexpected and out of the box so thats why I wouldnt mind at all. Same with Russia. I would prefer Saint Petersburg hosting.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

They’ll just call it Den Bosch, like everybody does. That’s not hard to pronounce.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Why did Utrecht even bother ??
I am.hoping for a Surprise win , I don’t know why !! Maastricht or Arnhem for the win ??

Den Bosch isn’t winning , no one comes to watch even the tennis event

Sondra
Guest
Sondra

I only know about ‘s-Hertogenbosch because of the WTA event lol

Kris
Guest
Kris

It’s actually a combined WTA and ATP event

brunowskii
Guest
brunowskii

Maastricht pleaaase
As far as posible from Central Netherlands

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Then they might as well hold it at the beaches of Curaçao..

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

other cities: numerous delegations arriving by special decorated buses with local sweets and high fashion models, presenting reasonable projects and having financial support provided
Utrecht: one biker will do. Oh, and also, we want to host it in a tent in the parking lot. Yep.

bastian
Guest
bastian

Rotterdam. I love the urban vibe from the video. ESC 2020 could be really refreshing from all other years

RoboESC
Guest
RoboESC

Utrecht wants to host the event in a tent?… A TENT?!?!

NickC
Guest
NickC

My God, Rotterdam is a concrete jungle.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

where dreams are made of

David
Guest
David

It was severely bombed in the Second World War, that it is why the downtown area has a different, more modern feel, than other Dutch cities.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

comment image
Rotterdam used to look a lot more like Amsterdam, until it got bombed in 1940. The people in charge decided to rebuild the city in a different way.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

comment image
This was Rotterdam before the bombings.

www
Guest
www

Videos are nice but none gives real information.
That first guy was funny : Oooooh Oooooh, I’m losing this game.
I can’t stop laughing.

MTD
Guest
MTD

Video presentations alone – Rotterdam for the win.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I’m getting early vibes that 2020 won’t be a vintage year for the contest

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I’m loving all the buzz around the host city! Super glad that all the cities still running take it seriously. I however still believe that Rotterdam is the only logical option.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Is it actually a common thing each year that there is so much enthusiasm and fuzz around the submission of the bidbooks? I can’t remember any year where mayors or municipality delegations are this energetic trying to bring the event to their city. At least there is some humour. I can understand some Dutch and it was quite a funny day. The Arnhem tour bus with the delegation ended up in a traffic jam, and displayed a bridge of another city on their bus (by accident). The Maastricht delegation came with a band and people dressed as if it is… Read more »

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think more attention is being paid this year because this is the only real source of “hosting eligibility” drama this year, unlike the summers of 2016 and 2018.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Rotterdam looks like it has already won.

Mika
Guest
Mika

Rotterdam please. The venue of Maastricht (MECC) can hold up to 20.000 people.. divided in three halls. Also there’s the roof issue, it might be too low. (believe the requirement is 18m and the roof there is 17.5m). Maastricht is a beautiful location for sure, but Rotterdam has the appropriate venue. A modern city & is well connected to everything. Also has plenty of hotel rooms. People can go to Amsterdam in an hour.
My personal choice would be Rotterdam, but we’ll see what happens. 🙂

Catriona Colville
Guest
Catriona Colville

Surely Arnhem because of the stadium? We usually have arenas that are too small. It would be cool to have a venue big enough where everyone can get a ticket.

Ani
Guest

Isn’t it suspicious that maastrichts video features everything and the kitchen sink, but without the most important thing…THE VENUE…Mecc is wrong for eurovision and the EBU will see that when they visit so id be suprised if we didn’t hear Maastricht being ruled out soon. Rotterdam or Arnhem for 2020

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

True. Can’t fault their passion though.