On Saturday night, Denmark will hold the grand final of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix — and will select the Danish act for Eurovision 2020. But whoever wins won’t be met with an arena full of cheering. Following advice from the Danish government, broadcaster DK has confirmed that the DMGP grand final will not involve a live arena audience.
The advice comes straight from the top. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced this morning that the government was recommending that events with an audience larger than 1000 be cancelled or postponed.
This precaution has been taken following the emergence of the coronavirus in Denmark, to help prevent the virus from spreading. When announcing the decision, the Prime Minister said, “None of us should panic in this situation. But we must act. Rather sooner than later.”
Broadcaster DR moved swiftly into action, confirming that Saturday night’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix would be held without an audience.
DR spokesperson Gustav Lützhøft explained, “We obviously had a dream of thousands of people in the auditorium as it gives a special atmosphere for such a show, but we are still going to make a big TV production, which we can gather about at home in the living rooms.”
Lützhøft also dismissed the suggestion that the show could have been held with a smaller audience of less than 1000. He said, “I’m annoyed on behalf of our audience, and I’m sorry to have to disappoint them. But our first priority is to adhere to the recommendations we get from the authorities.”
The DMGP production team will now have to reformulate the show to compensate for the empty Royal Arena. After all, a camera shot set up to capture an audience reaction isn’t going to work when there’s no audience.
It will be up to hosts Hella Joof and Rasmus Bjerg as well as the ten competing acts to provide the energy on the night.
DMGP fan club president Hanne Bjørn-Klausen was disappointed but understanding. She explained, “It is the highlight of the year for us fans, so it is very annoying. But you do it because you are asked for it and because it is necessary. You can’t have a whole population getting sick.”
Sweden in discussions
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that broadcaster SVT and event operator Live Nation are currently in talks regarding Saturday’s Melodifestivalen grand final. However, an SVT spokesperson has confirmed that at the moment, the broadcaster still intends to hold the show with the usual Friends Arena audience.
The news follows reports that a number of delegates will not physically attend Monday’s Heads of Delegation meeting. Broadcasters were given the option of staying in their home country and following the meeting remotely.
The Swedish and Israel delegations were previously confirmed to be staying home, while Greek broadcaster ERT has today confirmed it will also be staying home. However, Cyprus’ broadcaster CyBC still has plans to attend the HoD meeting.
What do you think? Are you sad that DMGP won’t have an audience? Will the empty arena favour different styles of music? Tell us your thoughts below!