Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS has confirmed that the country’s national final for Junior Eurovision 2020 will be held in the Rotterdam Ahoy arena. But while Junior Songfestival 2020 will be held in the Eurovision 2021 venue, it will come with coronavirus precautions. The arena audience will be limited to only family members of the competing acts.

While Rotterdam Ahoy hosted Junior Eurovision in 2007, it’s the first time it’s been used for the Dutch national final. In recent years, Junior Songfestival has been hosted at Theater Hanzehof in the city of Zutphen.

But it won’t be an ordinary national final. AVROTROS has confirmed that the show will not have a public audience. Due to coronavirus precautions, the only people able to watch the show from the Ahoy audience will be family members of the competing artists.

AVROTROS says it would be “irresponsible to have so many children from all over the Netherlands come together singing, dancing and screaming”.

The Dutch national final is due to take place on 26 September.

The Netherlands eases coronavirus event restrictions

Earlier this month, the Dutch government confirmed it would be relaxing coronavirus restrictions on live events. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that earlier restrictions on concert venues will be loosened, but social distancing rules will remain in place until further notice.

The new measures will come into effect tomorrow, 1 July. And while venues such as Ahoy Rotterdam will be able to reopen, they must still adhere to strict measures:

  • All attendees must do a pre-check confirming that they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. This is a questionnaire, not an actual test for coronavirus.
  • All attendees have to be seated and remain seated for the duration of the event.
  • A distance of 1.5 metres is required between each attendee. This is also the case for families and people living in a common household.
  • Attendees are not allowed to scream, shout or sing loudly during the event. This rule is also in force in football stadiums and places of worship. Only those on stage are allowed to perform, and they must maintain distance from each other.

It’s understandable that an event aimed at children would find it easier to go ahead without a live audience rather than attempting to get an arena full of youngsters to adhere to all the rules.

While the new rules come into effect on 1 July, it’s impossible to say if they will still be in effect by the time Eurovision 2021 comes around in May 2021. The pandemic is unpredictable. However, both Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge underlined that they do not expect to return to a stricter lockdown as long as people adhere to the rules.

Junior Eurovision 2020 scales down

Junior Eurovision 2020 will also be scaled down. After earlier rumours that it would be hosted at Poland’s Tauron Arena in Kraków, the host city was confirmed as the Polish capital Warsaw, with the event held at an as-yet-unnamed large television studio. The Polish government currently has a ban on indoor events with an audience of more than 500 people.

Junior Eurovision 2020 is due to be held on 29 November 2020.

What do you think? Will Junior Songfestival 2020 work without a large audience? Would Eurovision 2021 suit having only family members in the audience? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Eurovision 2021 news here

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Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
5 months ago

I care about will the Eurovision 2021 be held in a full/or partially full arena or not and I hope it will be held normally. Let’s be honest, who would have any profit from empty arena? If Eurovision 2021 happened in empty arena, then Euro 2021 would also happen on empty stadium which is very unlikely.

Tibor
Tibor
5 months ago

So the Netherlands have a National Final for Junior Eurovision but not for Eurovision? As for the safety measures: It is what it is. I don’t understand why Eurovision wouldn’t have worked as a smaller scaled TV production under these circumstances, and I guess all this “it’s in our DNA” talk was always nothing but PR. I suppose they didn’t want to take away the huge event from the Netherlands, perhaps because of the investments that had already been made and that would then have been in vain. Personally, I don’t care as much about the show as I care… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Tibor
Marc
Marc
5 months ago

Champions League has changed its rules. It will be only one match in the next knock outs.
Other competitions and tv shows have been adapted
Better that to cancel. Can’t help thinking everything was too rush by ebu

Marc
Marc
5 months ago

Another thing. One of Cleopatra’s writers wrote in this website he was sad and upset about the cancellation. Hard work being lost. Azerbaijan probably had its plans but they can’t do it anyway next yeas as they will have to make changes regardless. like the song. Losing songs and entries is worse than any disadvantage I think.

Last edited 5 months ago by Marc
Una
Una
5 months ago
Reply to  Marc

41 countries were in the same position yet some people complain. Priorities. Losing lives is worse. Spending weeks in care is worse. Taking care of sick family is worse. Not being able to see family is worse. Being alone is worse. Being stuck with a beat-er is worse.
One word for those who complain: “pathetic”.

Ashton
Ashton
5 months ago
Reply to  Una

Um yeah but you don’t really have to be so rude about it. Even if it’s not as bad as all the things you listed it’s still months of hard work by multiple people flushed down the drain. I think people who are upset by this are far from pathetic, Una.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

This is not being rude. This is being realistic. Having a broader perspective. Some others are full of that competition spirit. And lack fair-play. In that broader picture.
The human cost of the whole drama is very high and will continue to be so. The real resource in this world. Human lives. Everything else pales in comparison.

Tibor
Tibor
5 months ago

That may well be, but to be fair, as Marc says, isn’t it better to have a competition even for a song that perhaps was designed for the big stage, than to have no competition at all and let it go to waste? I won’t go all conspiracy theorist, but this contract thing feels a little bit like a pretext. Perhaps insurance issues may have played a role?

Whisker
Whisker
5 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

NO. That would mean committing fraud.

Tibor
Tibor
5 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

How is it fraud to look at what your insurance covers and make a decision accordingly?

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
5 months ago

I don’t understand why didn’t they change it for 2020? And I think it would be bad if eurovision returns like that after bejng cancelled a year before (especially for a country like the netherlands that has waited more than 40 years to host eurovision again). I hope that until next may there will be a vaccine or drug for coronavirus or that there will be a solution that makes it possible to do eurovision with live audience and to make it sure that the people attending the event will be safe and healthy after it ends.

Last edited 5 months ago by Esc2021rotterdam
James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

The Netherlands previously had the then-long running Nationaal Songfestival as their national selection for several decades before the broadcaster opted to cancel it in favor of going internal with both song and artist in 2013. Junior Songfestival was its JESC counterpart since the country’s debut in that competition in 2003. 🙂

Last edited 5 months ago by James
Tibor
Tibor
5 months ago
Reply to  James

I mean, you can’t argue with the results, and I personally enjoyed a lot of the entries the Netherlands sent since Anouk. Nevertheless, it seems a bit lazy to have such a huge amount of great artists and to go internal nonetheless.

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I think one factor that led to its demise was the already negative view of locals towards the contest paired with the fact that the country has been in such a long streak of non-qualification so no successful current/mainstream Dutch artist or songwriter would wanna attempt to sign themselves up by that point. It doesn’t help either that they were trying different approaches to their national final instead of keeping the format consistent the way most of the Nordics have been doing with theirs without compromise.