When Eurovision 2020 was cancelled as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it raised more questions than in answered in regards to Eurovision 2021. While the EBU are slowly rolling out decisions about the fate of the artists and their songs, we’re still not certain where Eurovision 2021 will be held.
The obvious choice would be Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The city was the would-have-been host of Eurovision 2020 following Duncan Laurence’s win for the Netherlands at the 2019 contest with his entry “Arcade”.
However, one Dutch political party, the Rotterdam Socialist Party, does not agree with providing the extra funding required for the contest to be held in their city next year.
In order to host Eurovision 2021, the city of Rotterdam would need to pay a further €6.7 million. That amount is in addition to the €15 million the city has already spent on the organisation of the 2020 edition, because the cancellation of Eurovision this year was not covered by the city’s insurance.
According to the Rotterdam Socialist Party, that €6.7 million would be better spent dealing with poverty across the city. They also want to support the culture industry during the more immediate effects of coronavirus, such as the upcoming summer season without any festivals. They argue that Eurovision should not be at the expense of regular maintenance in the city.
The Rotterdam City Council will vote tomorrow, 23 April, on whether to provide the €6.7 million for hosting Eurovision 2021. It’s not yet clear whether the Dutch Government or public broadcaster NOS will make a contribution to the costs of hosting.
Rotterdam Socialist Party chairman Aart van Zevenbergen warns the city that they shouldn’t get too excited about hosting Eurovision 2021, as even the fate of Eurovision next year is uncertain.
He advises that the city council should take advice from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health on whether hosting such a major event is feasible in 2021, and whether the mass movement of Eurovision fans from across the world could pose a risk to residents of Rotterdam next year:
“We think it is unwise if we give the green light now for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam. There is so much uncertainty and the problems just pile up. It is precisely now that we must make informed choices in the interest of the people of Rotterdam. The Corona pandemic has proven that structural changes are needed quickly and taking risks for a Song Festival is therefore inappropriate.”
What do you think? Are you optimistic that we’ll see Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments!