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.
— AranBade (@AranBade) July 10, 2019
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.