Two weeks ago, during the official Eurovision 2020 replacement show Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, organisers confirmed that Rotterdam will serve as host city of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. Understandably, many uncertainties still remain surrounding next year’s contest as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, this week has brought another positive sign of the Dutch broadcasters’ commitment to the show. The organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest has joined the Alliance of Event Builders — a group that will share collective knowledge and scenario plan to make events like Eurovision happen even in the age of coronavirus.
Organising events amid coronavirus
In the Netherlands, organisers of concerts, sports competitions and other events are joining forces to organise corona-proof events in the future.
The alliance is developing ideas on how visitors can enter an event, sit, use catering and toilets while still keeping sufficient distance between all visitors. Visitors will also be asked in advance whether they have cold symptoms.
Jolanda Jansen, the director of the Eurovision 2021 venue Ahoy Rotterdam, has been named the spokesperson for the new body. She says that organisers of events of all sizes and across countless locations face similar hurdles, and can collectively benefit by coming together. An example would be how people can safely move around during events.
“Whether you are in a stadium, at a football match or concert, the dynamics are the same,” she told NOS Radio 1 News. “We would very much like to be able to speak with the government with one voice about what will soon be possible.”
The Dutch government has banned events until at least September, with the possibility of an extension depending on how the pandemic unfolds. If and when events are organised again, one possible solution may be ensuring that visitors have empty seats around them. Jansen says this will create the most possibilities to organise an event in a controlled way.
This might suggest that Eurovision’s traditional standing area at the front of the stage will be turned into a widely spaced seating area – meaning that less people will be seated. However, it’s still too early to speculate about these scenarios.
Several scenarios for Eurovision 2021
Sietse Bakker, executive supervisor of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, says that organisers are well-aware that developments surrounding the coronavirus will have an impact in the coming year.
“These developments are difficult to predict at the moment,” he said. “That is why in the coming months, we will develop several scenarios with everyone who will be involved in order to meet challenges for the Eurovision Song Contest. Obviously, the health of visitors, employees and artists always comes first.”
The Alliance of Event Builders will start negotiations with the Dutch government in mid-June.
Are you happy that Eurovision organisers have joined the alliance? How do you see the future of Eurovision? Let us know in the comment section down below!