Earlier this month, Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to precautions surrounding the coronavirus epidemic. Today, the EBU have revealed plans for an alternate show that will be broadcast instead of the grand final on 16 May called Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light.

When Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, many had begun to wonder what would fill the slot in TV schedule. Many national broadcasters have already been planning ideas of what to show in each of the time slots.

Now, the EBU and Dutch broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have revealed Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light. They hope all countries originally set to compete at Eurovision 2020 will broadcast this alternative show in order to honour the 41 entries submitted for the contest.

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – What is it?

This new programme is set to air in place of the Eurovision 2020 grand final on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST. It will be hosted by Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley (Eurovision 1998 and 2007) and Jan Smit, who were originally set to be the hosts of Eurovision 2020.

The EBU intends for the two-hour long show to honour the 41 selected songs for Eurovision 2020 in a non-competitive format.

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will also bring the artists selected for Eurovision 2020 together. The 41 acts will jointly perform a past Eurovision hit, each from their own location. The selected song is said to be one with unifying lyrics that are appropriate for the current situation across the continent.

It won’t just be the 2020 acts that make an appearance. Former Eurovision stars from recent contests will also be invited to take part and perform iconic Eurovision songs.

Dutch make-up artist and YouTuber NikkieTutorials will also create online content leading up to this alternate programme. The online media mogul was originally appointed to do this in the run-up to Eurovision 2020.

More details about Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will be revealed in due course.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Contest, encouraged broadcasters to show this alternative programme on 16 May:

“Sadly there will be no Eurovision Song Contest this year. Instead, we intend to unite Europe on 16 May with a unique prime-time TV programme. We are encouraging all broadcasters who were due to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and EBU Members in other countries, to air this show in the spirit of unity and togetherness.”

Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer Event of Eurovision 2020 added that he hoped Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light would inspire audiences at home across Europe:

“We want to make a show that puts a spotlight not only on the 41 artists that were due to appear in Rotterdam but also inspire those at home and connect people from across Europe and beyond in these difficult times. Of course, we will also honour those who are affected by the coronavirus crisis and those who work so hard to fight it. Let’s make this an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history!”

Naturally, this only fills the slot left by the grand final of Eurovision 2020. National broadcasters will be able to show what they want during the evening of 12 and 14 May, when the two semi-finals were originally set to take place.

However, the EBU has also declared the week of 10-16 May to be ‘Eurovision Week’. They are encouraging radio stations that are also part of the EBU to dedicate airtime to this year’s contestants as well as to previous Eurovision hits.

What do you make of Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light? Will you be watching this alternative show on 16 May? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

For detailed information about the coronavirus/COVID-19 and how to stay healthy, please visit The World Health Organisation web site.

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Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Why couldn’t they do the competition with the official video performances of all the songs. The juries could vote as normal and the public could also televote. No reason to cancel the competition.

Ketevan
Guest

Tornike???????c’est magnifique ??????

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Will this be livestreamed on youtube though?

robert
Guest
robert

yess it will be on the official eurovision youtube

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I hate to say it, but this sounds lame. The best way to honour these doomed songs would have been to let them compete in some way. All over the world we are seeing examples of artists performing live, but remotely. The EBU could have done something along those lines. That really would have been an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history.

btw
Guest
btw

I don’t understand, will they sing their songs or some old songs?
It would be extremely stupid to sing old songs when they have their own songs, which EBU doesn’t appreciate.
They put so much time, work and love in these songs.
It is true that this wasn’t the best year when it comes to song quality but there were some real masterpieces, like Switzerland on example.

Trixer
Guest
Trixer

April fools?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Why couldn’t it be something like Eurovisio: In Concert or something where all songs gets to be performed and heard? From their current location being linked? Instead of this lame cover show no one cares about. It should really be about the 2020 entries, nothing else. No history or anything. These songs deserve better than snippets. They should be heard and seen, instead of bing thrown away and lost!

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

Stefan Raab (ESC 2011 Host) ist organising also an alternate contest – The Free European Song Contest on Grand Final night

Mia
Guest
Mia

Make something like “Musica che unisce” with all ESC 2020 artists, I watched it last night on yt live stream and it was beautiful.

Kobe
Guest
Kobe

There are a lot of eurovision fans who really need a lesson in positivity. I’m also really going to miss the real Eurovision Song Contest, but can’t we just enjoy what we get? And especially in this very difficult and dark times…

Lily
Guest
Lily

You are satisfied with playing 41 snippets? I can watch it on Youtube whole songs by myself.

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

All I am saying is, wait for the show begore judging it as if it were a bad thing already.
I know trying to keep up the positivity hard, I guess ???

Sandrine
Guest
Sandrine

Waiting for Eurovision Song Contest 2021 patiently. I pray The Roop comes back in 2021. That’s all I want to hear right now.
I don’t care what France, my country, decides whom to represent France in Rotterdam in May 2021, I want Lithuania at ESC 2021 with The Roop. Lithuanian audience please hear my prayer.

Bart
Guest
Bart

Why everybody likes this song so much of the roop?

Ben R
Guest
Ben R

Because it’s great!

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

It still amazes me everytime how people can react in such a negative way when news arrives. Yes, there will be no Eurovision this year, decisions have been made and a show has been offered.
Why not wait and see before crying about it?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Because they said songs will be honoured and now they will be snippets instead? Instead they offer us a cover show. No thanks, I take my money elsewhere..

Milanolich
Guest
Milanolich

Where did they say that it’s gonna be just snippets?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Dutch broadcaster site and Eurovoix site. Plus it’s fairly obvious with a 2 hour show it will be snippets only.

ESCJudge
Guest
ESCJudge

Why not doing the voting? Why not to choose the winner (with Netherlands as host next year and honorable apperance of this years best)

Why not?
So many people willing for that kind of thing. Why not??
I can’t understand why not.

W H Y N O T.

nuno silva
Guest
nuno silva

Stage is stage easy 15 minutes of vote in stage online no.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Plus, it’s one thing to do televoting for 26 entries, or 17/18 in the semis. It would be a disaster to try and do an online vote in fifteen minutes for 41 entries.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Well, yes, but instead of a televote there could be a simpler vote of dedicated Eurovision fans and experts. A glorified jury. It would still be exciting.

Diego
Guest
Diego

It just wouldn’t be Eurovision. Listening to a music video and voting would not only be unexciting, but also lame, frankly. It wouldn’t be doing the songs OR the artists OR Rotterdam justice for the hard work they’ve put into this year. I’d much rather honor the songs in the non-competitive format they’ve planned and have an exciting and lively contest next year in Rotterdam to take advantage of and enjoy that stage they’ve had planned and the space of the Ahoy.

conortje
Guest
conortje

I think they’d be better off just changing their mean-spirited and pointless rule that this year’s entries cannot be used next year. I can’t think of a single reason why they wouldn’t allow each country choose for themselves if they want to stick with this year’s or pick another for next year. The world needs kindness right now not sticking rigidly to arbitrary rules. Eurovision has never before been cancelled. This is a new situation. Show compassion for the artists and songwriters from this year
Whyever not?

Victoria Stan
Guest
Victoria Stan

Some artists wouldn’t want to do esc 2021 (like ulrikke) and you can’t force a singer to go in eurovision so it would be very unfair if some countries had songs out in 2020 when others were out in 2021.

conortje
Guest
conortje

But my point is to offer the choice, whyever not? Obviously nobody should force anybody to do anything here. Offer up the choice for heaven’s sake. It’s the only decent thing to do. Ulrikje wasn’t offered the choice to represent with the same song in 2021 That choice was not given to her, or anybody. Needlessly mean spirited by the EBU.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Hi Victoria. I just wanna point out that Ulrikke has been saying that she would love to go, but with attention or as a handpicked act, she just dont wanna compete in MGP as a “regular” contender. 😉

Erik
Guest
Erik

I’m really happy we get SOMETHING. I was actually under the impression we would get nothing at all before. I like the idea of the “live from home” videos. They will work well. I think maybe they could involve fans by telling them to upload a video of them handing out their personal jury points. So in the Shine a light show, the songs gets an introduction saying: twelve points go to, [insert county] . And we get to see 41 (or more) fans. And of course an imporovement would be to include the full songs. Yes, it takes forever… Read more »

Oy oy
Guest
Oy oy

You know it’s 31.March today and not 1.April? If they can do this, why can’t they do a video-contest with all the 41 songs? Would fill all the free slots on May 12, 14 and 16!

Michael
Guest
Michael

If they can go full-show next year and honour the win, Duncan made last year, why choose to go with a cheap video-contest?

Oy oy
Guest
Oy oy

Some scientists say it wil take 12-18 months do develop a vaccine and some countries try to supress the virus and try the pandemi to «burn out» without most of the inhabitants being affected. I can see restrictions for such big crowds as Eurovision for a long time and I’m not sure we will see Eurovision as we know it in 2021 either..

Ieva
Guest
Ieva

Will this be shown on youtube live?

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

Still disappointed though not gonna lie :/

Sandrine
Guest
Sandrine

It’s very disappointing.

Darren
Guest
Darren

As long as Rotterdam is host city in 2021 too, they can show whatever they want. I will watch it.
But Rotterdam and the Netherlands cannot lose this moment. All the work, the amazing stage design and artwork cannot be for nothing.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

So they are doing what they said they cant. But without competion. This is a joke.

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

I don’t know what they’re planning yet but I really don’t see the point of doing a competition now that the official contest is not happening. Seems pretty depressing to me.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

But they are doing everything else apart from the voting. Its pathetic.

Dzordz
Guest
Dzordz

Here’s my idea: because they want to bring Europe together why not all the artist mix their songs from this year’s contest? And at the end make every competing country a winner of this year’s Eurovision?
Of course it can still be arranged for the Netherlands to host next Eurovision and just proceed as normal…

Dzordz
Guest
Dzordz

So they will honour 41 contestants by making them honour songs of previous contestants? What kind of an idiot you have to be to come up with idea like that?
If I were an artist who spent god knows how much time, money and effort into making a song for ESC 2020 and not being able to sing it in this alternative show, I’d be pissed.

Mia
Guest
Mia

Sounds so boring and cheesy.

Tobi E
Guest
Tobi E

Do they sing the Songs from 2020 or not? I dont get it 😀

Sandrine
Guest
Sandrine

It seems that the 41 contestants will not perform their entries in that Europe Shine A Light replacement show. What a pity! All this hard work for nothing.

willchrisiam
Guest
willchrisiam

Two hours? That’s not enough for 41+the joint+past artists’ songs. Not to mention that there has to be some chit-chat otherwise they wouldn’t need the presenters. I hope I’m wrong, but that doesn’t sound very thought out. They better not air snippets only.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Fun fact: Now that there’s no Eurovision this year, the 100th Eurovision Song Contest will take place exactly 100 years after the first one (in 2056).

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Hm, let’s not tempt fate by getting ahead of ourselves! I hope the contest lasts another uninterrupted 35 years, and I hope the planet is not in an even worse mess than it’s in now. Maybe they will have underwater LED technology by then.

Hipp
Guest
Hipp

You would give honour to the artists if you let them to participate next year in the first place.

Citizen of Memel
Guest
Citizen of Memel

But these artists are not banned from participating next year, huh.

Malcolm Cuschieri
Guest
Malcolm Cuschieri

Some artists can’t compete unless they win again like Norway, Sweden and Lithuania

Josh
Guest
Josh

But that is not up to the EBU, rather up to the national broadcasters.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

I need more information. It sounds a bit vague and confused.

SVW
Guest
SVW

Sad to see so many fans crying about this show having no voting…
They do this to please us, the fans of Eurovision. So be happy with what you get!
Big well done to AVROTROS and EBU for making a show like this ?.

Denis
Guest
Denis

You must have low standards if a cheap cover show makes you happy.

ccc
Guest
ccc

Previous eurovision hits? Omg, those artists had their moment. It has to be about 2020 and thats all!! What a mes…

James
Guest
James

We will have to watch it then to see.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

I wonder which “unifying and appropriate” Eurovision hit they’re gonna choose. “Love Shine The Light”, like the title suggests?
“Halleluyah” (it worked in 1999)? “Volare”? “A Million Voices”? “Ein bißchen Frieden”? “Heroes”? “Rise Like A Phoenix”? “Fly On The Wings Of Love? “Insieme: 2020”?

Citizen of Memel
Guest
Citizen of Memel

“We are the worlds people, different yet we’re the same/Praying for peace and healing, I hope we can start again.” Was my first thought when I read about the song with unifying lyrics. (:

Denis
Guest
Denis

As much as I love it it’s not going to be Fairytale. Or Hard Rock Halleluja. Or Euphoria. Probably Love Shine a Light or another rendition of Hallelujah

Sam
Guest
Sam

I would particularly think about “Volare” for being a timeless European (and Italian) anthem as well as a song
that everybody, also outside the esc world, knows.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Is there active bots on this site or something? Voting down every comment being negative about this and voting up every comment being positive about it. Are you working for EBU?

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

I guess it’s a good idea to make something like this but I don’t know if I’ll watch it. I just kinda feel meh about this, like what’s the point? Too depressing. But that’s just me. Maybe I’ll change my mind by may

Sandrine
Guest
Sandrine

I don’t think I will watch either, not on the night of the 16th May 2020. I may catch up on YouTube or BBCiplayer later once the disappointment has faded away.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I am not watching it either. Period. A cover show? Yawn..

SWV
Guest
SWV

Great that NPO and EBU agreed on making an alternative!
Sad to see so many “fans” here crying that this show doesn’t have voting.
They organize this for US, the fans. Be happy with what you get, they could’ve also given us nothing. In times like this, unfortunately, ESC is not possible.

Go EBU and Netherlands on this effort! Glad that we have at least someting the 16th of May!

Denis
Guest
Denis

You must have low standards if a cheap cover show makes you happy

Joe
Guest
Joe

OK, if we’re going country by country, allow me to be indulgent and follow the theme: * this year’s song would probably fit the country better, but if we’re talking relevant covers, this is what I’d go with – Albania – Hear My Plea (2007) – Armenia – Not Alone (2014) – Australia – We Got Love (2018)* – Austria – Rise Like a Phoenix (2014) – Azerbaijan – When the Music Dies (2012) – Belarus – Story of My Life (2017) – Belgium – Rhythm Inside (2015) – Bulgaria – Beautiful Mess (2017) – Croatia – Don’t Ever Cry… Read more »

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

I believe Slovenia 2012 had the potential to become a winner or at least almost winner song had they developed it a bit more and a bit differently. I loved Eva’s parts but the wailing parts of the backing singer were awful to me.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

agree, but don’t know why we ended up 17th, like I’m not delusional and we usually get the result we deserve, but in 2012 and 2013 we didn’t deserve last and second to last place imo…

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

2012 deserved the top 10. 2013 was a well-deserved bottom, imo. I actually thought it was a ‘we don’t care anymore’ protest reaction to the outrageous non-qualification of 2012. I don’t think Slovenia always gets what it deserves, though. 1997 and 2001 deserved nothing less than the victory.

John
Guest
John

I can see 180 mil people shining a light from their balconies or windows at a set time. That could be a iconic moment.

Aron
Guest
Aron

So, are the artists going to be singing their own songs as well as a past song or just a past song, because if it’s the latter option, it’s very disrespectful towards the artists’ hard work on making their songs

tvescfan
Guest
tvescfan

I think it will be more snippets of the 2020 songs with some interval acts of older songs.

Xoxoxo
Guest
Xoxoxo

Does the coronavirus travel across telephones? Or why they cant make show with voting? Make contest with video clips or performances in national studios. It is the honour for 41 songs. There is nothing complicated with this.

PuppetOnAString
Guest

What a awful idea, have you even thought about before commenting? Yikes

Barry
Guest
Barry

And what to do with the winner?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Exactly. It would be a bittersweet victory. Just imagine if Iceland or Lithuania won – their first-ever Eurovision victory but knowing that they won’t be able to host the contest next year.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Performances in national studios would only work if all 41 countries didn’t have lockdown restrictions by mid-May. If an artist can’t leave their home, that means they can’t travel to a TV studio. The reverse also applies – a TV crew wouldn’t be able to travel to their home for an outside broadcast. The only way it could work if is the artists were Skyping in to do their performances!

Denis
Guest
Denis

There could be an honurable winner..

ANDREW BROWN
Guest
ANDREW BROWN

This is a wonderful alternative. However I bet here in the UK the BBC turn their noses up and ignore it in favour of their take the p**s show with Graham Norton despite the title being a UK winning song and a loyal fan base. Fortunately it is available online so for UK fans we will have access to hopefully a wonderful show.

James
Guest
James

The main special is set an hour later, at 9pm CET so the BBC may just slot theirs at 8pm most probably as a lead-in.

Joseph Mendy
Guest
Joseph Mendy

Problem: 9:00pm CET = 8:00pm GMT. That’s the issue.

ANDREW BROWN
Guest
ANDREW BROWN

which is exactly what I was getting at. well spotted

James
Guest
James

I stand corrected. Anyway, what does the BBC usually slot the hour before 9pm CET? I reckon, whatever they have in mind would be a 60-minuter like in their past couple of documentaries they did about the song contest.

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

Sorry to be a pedant but 9pm CET = 7pm GMT = 8pm BST. The UK is only on GMT during the autumn and winter months.

MartyMcCu
Guest
MartyMcCu

The concept and empathy behind a remote Eurovision would have been well received accross Europe and probably something that Europe needed!!!!! to be honest the EBU would have had over 400 million alone watching the contest if it was remote, centred from a live TV studio in Rotterdam. This is purely filling in a TV schedule time with this added show. Sack the reference group someone!

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

Agree that some program is far better than nothing at all. To honour the songs and performers you have to play the full songs. With added guests and performers the songs can only be one minute pieces at best. We really don’t need any segments from previous contests. It’s all about this year. All songs in full. Anything else is an insult to the singers and songwriters. The EBU are trying to do something positive so fair play for that. I would gladly sit through two separate two hour shows. That’s the only fair way to showcase the songs.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

What does this mean for esc 2021. Will it still be held in rotterdam?

James
Guest
James

It’s highly likely that NPO-NOS-AVROTROS will try to keep their hosting rights intact for next year. It’s the question of securing additional funding that will potentially make or break that bid.

SWV
Guest
SWV

Most likely :). So we will see Chantal, Edsilia and Jan hosting a Eurovision-show twice!

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

As long as the city can get the money it needs to host it, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be held in Rotterdam.

EuroSluuuuuutty
Guest
EuroSluuuuuutty

Can you get any dumber? If there was no winner in 2020 then who tf has the right to host besides NL? *facepalm*

James
Guest
James

Hosting rights can be lost if a host broadcaster could no longer hold it due to unaffordability, especially in such circumstances.

The EBU might open a bid to interested broadcasters who can if that happens.

James
Guest
James

There would be an open bidding just in case.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

Okay, well, at least it’s something with original content. I’m not excited without the competitive element, I just ain’t, but I’m aware that it’s pointless to have a competition without live performances so this is probably like the best option left.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Eurovision Online wold have been a choice. Or even Eurovision in Concert where all acts get to perform. Instead of this half-arsed attempt to entertain that won’t even get 50 million viewers..

Denis
Guest
Denis

Why isn’t EBU getting that we want a contest, not compensation? It’s 2020, they could have organized a stripped down contest or a studio shoot. NPO could have been praised as thinking forward doing the best in a unconventional year. Instead we will get a sad variety show where the artists won’t even appear together. Basically the linked version alternative but without the voting aspect or the songs..
Thank you next, I prefer Austria’s take on it!

Barry
Guest
Barry

A striped down contest is a contest that nobody wants and deserve to organize. Who knows this alternative might be a fantastic.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I think I skip it. The contest part is what makes it show n and why people watch it live. Without it I either watch it later or in this case skip it. I mean who wants a ESC cover show? With presumably another cover version of Hallelujah..

Hector
Guest
Hector

So will they perform their songs? It’s not explicit, all they say it’s “honour the entries”.

Denis
Guest
Denis

No, snippets only will be heard!

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

So they’ll be linking to eash artist in their country so they’ll perform their song for 2020, and another of their choice? Or will the former songs be the official video clips/national final performances?

Denis
Guest
Denis

No, they will only perform previous ESC hits. their 2020 songs will only be snippets..

Joey
Guest
Joey

Eh, idk…

James
Guest
James

This is almost exactly what I had in mind 2 weeks ago when the possibility of cancelation became ever more evident. Making it non-competitive levels the playing field and the acts won’t have the added pressure of impressing an audience but simply have fun and share the music in this time of uncertainty. I’m curious though how the program will flow as this will not be a 3-hour show (8pm will be filled by other broadcasters with their own Eurovision-branded preprograming) and it’s likely the songs will not be played in full as they total to nearly 2 hours alone… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

No thanks,without a winner would be boring
#sorrynotsorry

Erik
Guest
Erik

comment image

MBV123
Guest
MBV123

“The show will last approximately 2 hours…”
41 songs x 3 minutes each = 2 hours 3 minutes
I think it’s fair to say that when you add on all the many other things they’re planning to include in this show, we won’t be getting to hear the songs in full on the night. Awful decision tbh, there’s no reason they couldn’t show every song in full now that the whole voting segment is gone, wouldn’t hurt to make the show last the usual 3 hours instead of just 2…

Denis
Guest
Denis

It¨s been confirmed only snippets of the songs will be heard..

James
Guest
James

It seems like the broadcasters were given the 8pm CEST slot to serve as a lead-in to the main special, especially based on what the schedules for several broadcasters are shaping up for that particular week.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr Vanilla Bean

I suppose snippets will be enough for non-fans to check out a song online later if it peaked their interest.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

In a way that makes sense. At a regular grand final when there’s only 26 songs, even for a devoted Eurovision fan, it can start to feel like a bit of a marathon by the last performance. Having to sit through 41 three-minute songs would be a lot to ask of an audience!