Rotterdam wants to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. And the city council made that official on Thursday afternoon during a vote on the matter. A majority of councillors agreed the city should organise ESC 2021, which was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Broadcast Union (EBU) had asked for a decision from the municipality of Rotterdam before the end of this month — a practical and understandable request, given how long it would take a new host city to start preparing. If the city were to have abandoned the gig, officials would have consulted other cities in the country. The quick response also ensures that the host venue — the Ahoy Rotterdam — has time to rescheduled events in April and May 2021.
There had been questions about whether Rotterdam should proceed with the hosting, given that it will need to cover 6.7 million euros in lost investment from the cancellation of the 2020 edition. As we reported yesterday, the Socialist Party thinks those millions of euros would be better spent addressing poverty in the city.
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Bij het Eurovisie Songfestival in Rotterdam Ahoy wordt een groot semi-transparant LED-scherm geplaatst. Het scherm is 22 meter breed en 5 meter hoog en kan gebruikt worden om een achtergrond te creëren voor het B-podium. Hierdoor wordt het hoofdpodium nog meer verbonden met het B-podium en kan deze door de artiesten nog creatiever worden ingezet. Omdat het scherm semi-transparant is kan het publiek in de zaal toch zien wat er op het podium gebeurt als het scherm wordt ingezet. Mocht er geen gebruik van worden gemaakt, dan wordt het scherm hoog weggehangen en verdwijnt zo volledig uit het zicht. #openup #eurovision #rotterdammakeithappen #ahoy #rotterdamahoy
What form will Eurovision 2021 take?
The form that Eurovision 2021 will take will be determined by the ongoing pandemic. Rotterdam’s leaders hope that entrepreneurs will receive an economic boost from bringing the Eurovision Song Contest to the city. The Leefbaar Rotterdam party proposed a motion to give free tickets to those working in healthcare. This proposal has been accepted.
Alderman Said Kasmi, who oversees the Education, Culture & Tourism brief, is also pleased with the decision. He told Dutch news website Nu.nl: “The most important thing for us is that we can make a party by and for everyone. Recently we have been working hard and in that respect we are ready to welcome the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 in our city.”
VVD councillor Dieke van Groningen told Dutch newspaper AD.nl that she supports ESC, but will not close her eyes to the threat of the coronavirus. “Keep in mind that the Eurovision Song Contest will happen in more than one year,” she said. “I am hopeful that there will be a vaccine by then. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do feel that we can get rid of that virus. And you don’t offer hope to people with fear scenarios.”
Wanting to host and actually hosting are, of course, two different things, as Nu.nl points out. We’ll all have to wait for the Dutch broadcasters to give the definitive answer after they address organisational and financial issues of their own — hopefully next month.
Do you want Eurovision 2021 to take place in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comment section down below!