As you’re all well-aware, the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was cancelled for the first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Broadcasting Union rightfully said it wouldn’t be possible to host the contest properly with all the uncertainty that’s been gripping the world. However, as they re-iterated during the recent broadcast of Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, this does not mean the show is over.
Ahead of that broadcast, outgoing Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand gave an interview with the Norwegian broadcaster NRK. Amid all the excitement for Europe Shine a Light we missed it, but are happy to share some of the details below.
Jon Ola expressed that he’s optimistic that the show will take place next year. The executive said that the EBU is already working to make the international contest happen in 2021. Rotterdam has, of course, been confirmed as next year’s host city. But fears have been in place over the Health Minister’s recent comment that no large events can take place until a vaccine is available. (Sietse Bakker recently gave us important context on that, stressing that the Health Minister’s words were just two sentences in a rather large report).
Jon Ola said that the EBU is aware of the restrictions in place and is studying measures to make the contest happen in a variety of scenarios. With the possibility that some of the limits and rules on public gatherings will still be in place for May 2021, he says preparations will take place in accordance. As he states in the interview, the EBU is better prepared to carry out the festival than it was this year. The fact is the entire world — from German football clubs to the Japanese baseball league to the Eurovision Song Contest — have learned a lot in recent months.
For Eurovision 2021, the new Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest will be Martin Österdahl, from Sweden. Martin is notable for being the creative director of the critically acclaimed editions of Eurovision in 2013 and 2016. Jon Ola will return to his native Norway to work at the national broadcaster NRK.
What do you think? Do you think that Eurovision will be even stronger in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!