While the good people of Maastricht are cheering themselves up with vlaai and Brandt beer, Rotterdam is celebrating its win in the race to host Eurovision 2020.

And it’s not just folks in Rotterdam who are happy that the music contest is heading to the harbour city in May 2020. The second city of the Netherlands was a long-term favourite among Eurofans, including the many who commented on any and all of our host city posts expressing their love for it.

And now, following the official host city announcement, Eurovision 2020 directors Marnix Kaart and Marc Pos have revealed that both of them also preferred Rotterdam over Maastricht for artistic reasons.

The city’s location and its previous experience hosting major international events seem to have been the key factors when the organising committee decided which city had the better bid — and so it was for the two directors in charge of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

The Ahoy in Rotterdam has vast experience hosting international music and sport events, including the 2007 edition of Junior Eurovision, which was immortalised in the documentary Sounds Like Teen Spirit.

Maastricht, on the other hand, was always an underdog in the bidding process…owing mostly to challenges with its venue the MECC, which had no tribunes to hold up the immense lighting rigs and also the issue of its low roof. But anyway: you could not be fault the city for its enthusiasm.

Marnix Kaart, who will be responsible for the cinematography of the contest, told NOS:

“[Rotterdam] was my personal preference. I know Ahoy very well, so I know its capacities. Especially the height of the arena is great.”

And he definitely knows his stuff. He’s previously been in charge of entertainment juggernauts like Holland’s Got Talent, The Musical Awards, Friends of Amstel live, Toppers in Concert and Armin van Buuren in the Amsterdam Arena. He’s prime time, y’all.

The directors were not involved in the decision-making process per se, but they told NOS that they nonetheless advised the organising broadcasters and the EBU.

Marc Pos, who will be the man in charge of the design and sets, and also the structure of the show, told NOS that the venue in Rotterdam will be perfect to create a “legendary opening ceremony”.  It’s pretty clear that both directors are hoping to showcase Dutch innovation in the contest.

Pos has done it before. He rose to fame at home for directing the first series of Idols in 2003, and he founded the popular Dutch TV shows DWDD, Nieuwsuur and De Lama’s. He told Eurovision.tv: “Eurovision is one of the largest and most complex directional assignments that exists, which I will sink my teeth into. We will show the world what the Netherlands is made of.”

Are you looking forward to a Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam’s Ahoy? Let us know in the comments below!

Read all our Eurovision 2020 news here

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Max
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Max

Am I the only one that cannot help but think about Steve and Robin from Stranger Things when they read the word “Ahoy”? LOL

Rob
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Rob

@Deban: You’re from 1970? I want to be you when I grow up (which, apparently, I am already doing). 😀 How do you keep looking so young? Please spill the secrets!

Eurovision Online Contest
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Wanna play Eurovision? Join our ESC Online Competition (Click my name)

JawnBC
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JawnBC

entertainment juggernauts like …Toppers in Concert. Whoa, easy now.

jack
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jack

i adore how confident they are because they know their job really well and they dont need swedish assistance. Eurovision needs a Bjorkman -free perspective

Joe
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Joe

Everybody better knock on wood that they’re right about this and not being presumptuous and Bjorkman’s there anyway.

jack
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jack

oh hell yes, the danger that he would be involved still exists, lets hope dutch team wont allow any interference

esc1234
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esc1234

i trust dutch people, they will do a great show, hopefully with a lot of humor and suspence too

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

I honestly believe that we will pull of a show with matching quality and profesionalism as the two prime examples: 2014 and 2016. Great stages, great and actually charismatic hosts and an amazing vibe. I’m sooooooo glad Rotterdam and the Ahoy can get this oppurtunity.

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
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BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

ik ook

Joe
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Joe

I am sooooo pumped. I was very impressed with how Kan pulled Eurovision off last year after all the initial hiccups (it definitely looked impressive in the arena), but the Dutch folks have just been efficient and professional right from the start. Great venue, strong (and all-national!) production team, and a beautiful city. Rotterdam 2020 looks to be great from a production standpoint. Question is, will the songs be any good? Always a crapshoot, but the last few years have been excellent, so I have high hopes. Long as my little buddy San Marino finds another song good enough to… Read more »

Skiwalko
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Interestingly, I lately noticed a strange pattern – during the past decade the editions I considered stronger were those in the years ending with an even number (’10, ’12, ’14, ’16, ’18), and those I thought were a tiny bit worse in the years with the last number being odd (’11, ’13, ’15, ’17, ’19). So if this strange pattern continues, 2020 should be a great year.

Loin dici
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Not gonna lie, I also thought the same. Odd years were for more serious and ‘stale’ competition, and even years for some lively show.

Joe
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Joe

Varies. I thought ’15 and ’19 were pretty good by and large.

Skiwalko
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These guys seem to know what they’re talking about and they have A LOT of experience with music shows. If everything goes right, this might be something like ESC 2014 – a fresh look at the contest with hundreds of technical improvements, amazing production, fantastic graphics and clever directing. And equally great songs (hopefully).

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

I always thought Denmark’s great production was not valued enough by the competiting countries. Apart from a couple of good entries and one amazing one, the rest of the song material was rather dire that year. For me at least. I wish some of my favorites in later years could have had the Copenhagen stage to perform on.

Skiwalko
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It’s such a pity that we only had 37 songs that year. But musically it was a pretty solid edition, there wasn’t really any entry I disliked, maybe 3 or 4 I was “meh” about, the rest varied from “OK” to “masterpiece”. And I’d say acts like the Netherlands, Armenia, Austria or Sweden used that gorgeous stage to the full extent.

Joe
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Joe

Not quite as huge on Sweden or Armenia but they were both quite strong as well. Austria and the Netherlands were spectacular, an impeccable top two. Besides them, I also really liked Montenegro, the UK, Ukraine, Poland (yes, really), Switzerland, Slovenia (very underrated), Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland (strong year for the Nordics, it seems – last time every single one of them qualified together), and of course, the spectacular finish to the Valentina Monetta trio with her first qualification. Shame she never came back since then. No sir, no more Eurovision for her after that. Maybe someday, but not since… Read more »

Skiwalko
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I agree with all the listed, I’d also add Malta, Azerbaijan, France and Latvia (yes, really). I was always uneasy about “My Slowianie” – I’m from Poland, and I wasn’t really sure if that’s how my country should be represented and seen by 200 million people, cause that was more like a caricature of our culture, than what it really stands for. And I don’t think “Spirit Of The Night” was that bad… it was better than “Face… I mean The Social Network Song”.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

You do realize she came back in 2017? With an awful song. I loved Crisalide. Man, this could have been staged so much better. I wanted it to be top 3. Ralph Siegel is apparently capable of writing good songs, but then he had to go back to his old, sloppy way again in 2017, something that would sound dated in any period in time.

Joe
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Joe

I have been very deliberately pretending Spirit of the Night was just a bad dream. And Skiwalko, I like all the ones you mentioned but Azerbaijan, and it’s cool getting a perspective on My Slowianie from an actual Polish person (BTW you guys were robbed blind this year).

Skiwalko
Guest

Yep, that 2-point difference really hurt, and seeing your country not advancing the first time you watch the contest in the arena is not very pleasant, but at the same time it was kinda predictable and I’m over it by now. “My Slowianie” is still an insanely catchy tune, it became a big hit in Poland and it was also a boost for Cleo’s career (now she’s producing hit after hit, like “Lowcy gwiazd” or “Za krokiem krok”).

Guilbert
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Guilbert

2016 Stockholm for me is the standard. From hosting to venue, staging & songs it was almost perfect. Except for Jamala of course. Not the artist per se but that highly politicized & dark message of her song. With the new year, new venue, new culture, artists & songs, I’m sure ESC 2020 will be exciting. It is going to be a perfect euroVISION. 20-20. ?

Skiwalko
Guest

2016 was pretty much my favourite Eurovision edition, but 2014 was more of a breakthrough compared to the previous contests, hence I used it here. And “1944” to me is the best ESC winner ever 🙂

Motzkie
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Motzkie

But on Youtube ESC 2014 videos from official Eurovision page sound terrible!!! Somebody should fix the sound issues there.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Looks like there’s finally some competent people in charge. They shouldn’t just advise the EBU, they should tell them what’s what. Someone has to.

Joe
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Joe

What I’m seeing is a competent crew with a strong sense of national identity, as opposed to one (Sweden, by and large) or the other (Azerbaijan).