On March 20, the EBU confirmed that the Eurovision 2020 songs can NOT be held over until the next edition of the song contest.
The Eurovision Reference Group decided that “in accordance with the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, this year’s songs will not be eligible to compete when the Contest returns in 2021.”
This news was disappointing to some broadcasters and artists who had hoped to carry over their 2020 entries for the next edition. After all, they had made significant investments into their production, songwriting camps, music videos, staging ideas and more.
Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2020 singer VICTORIA had earlier written on Instagram, “we, the 2020 #Eurovision artists, should be allowed to perform our songs in 2021.” Following the official decision from the EBU, VICTORIA quoted from the song, writing “In time my wound will be a scar”.
Cesar Sampson says exclusion of Eurovision 2020 songs was a “thoughtless” decision
Well now Cesar Sampson — a member of the esteemed songwriting collective The Symphonix — has issued a statement on the matter. Cesar, who wrote Malta’s Eurovision 2020 entry and who famously won the jury vote as a competitor in 2018, didn’t mince his words. He most definitely disapproves. He, along with Austrian, Bulgarian, German, English, Lithuanian and Swiss songwriters, are joining forces to express their dismay with the EBU’s decision.
In a statement on his Facebook page, he wrote:
“Not letting the delegations & artists choose which song they are going to send to ESC2021 was in my opinion a poor decision on behalf of the EBU, a rather thoughtless and careless one.”
“The way this was announced so swiftly and over the heads of so many people involved, shows how we are all still rattled by recent events and the crisis we are in. On every level administrations are only trying to react fast, to present solutions, in an effort to self-stabilise. But all too often this brings a whole other set of problems with it, namely when entire groups of people are being overlooked in the process. And in a format that calls itself “Songcontest”, that was built on the songs and their creators, but nowadays hastily hands out songwriter-awards backstage, it is not surprising that it’s the creatives that will suffer now.”
“Because make no mistake, this is about economic survival just as much as it is about creative freedom. The teams behind each ESC2020 song conceded a large share of their rights to the EBU, the trade-off was supposed to be the international exposure & marketing that Eurovision provides.”
“True, it is not the EBU’s fault they cannot keep their end of the agreement this year. But it will be the EBU’s fault if they deny those songs the chance of a second life in 2021.”
“At this point only a very small percentage of the European viewers/listeners have even heard the songs that would have been performed at ESC2020. It is not too late — let delegations decide how they want to move forward in 2021.”
“The songs that were particularly strong this year will be just as strong next year, and the countries that could have done better will get the chance to do so – and we all win.”
Borislav Milanov says the decision disrespects songwriters
Borislav Milanov has given Wiwibloggs an extensive interview on the matter, and he reads many of the comments from his colleagues in our interview. Boris believes that — given the unprecedented situation — countries should have the option to reuse their Eurovision 2020 songs. He discusses what that might look like for him. He also discusses the decision-making process at the EBU Reference Group and wonders why delegations weren’t consulted.