Wales was the first country to confirm its withdrawal from the upcoming Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Poland to COVID-19 restrictions. Now the team from Australia has confirmed it is following suit.
A spokesperson from broadcaster SBS has told wiwibloggs:
“Due to the current restrictions and the ongoing uncertainty around this situation, Australia will not be competing in the Junior Eurovision Contest 2020. We have informed the EBU of our decision.”
This will be the first time Australia has not participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since its debut in 2015.
How is the Covid-19 pandemic affecting Australia?
Domestically, Australia has started to see the early signs of a second-wave of coronavirus emerging. Victoria, Australia’s second largest state, was forced to close its borders domestically due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, and enforcing lockdown procedures. Other states have also placed restrictions on travelling interstate.
Australia has already made changes to its selection process for Eurovision 2021. Rather than using national final Australia Decides, 2020 winner Montaigne has been internally selected for 2021. There’s no word on how her song for Rotterdam will be selected.
Junior Eurovision and the Covid-19 pandemic
While Eurovision 2020 may have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all stakeholders are committed to making Junior Eurovision happen.
It remains to be seen what implications coronavirus will have on the contest.
Organisers may follow the lead of the Dutch national selection. Junior Songfestival 2020 will be held in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena with an audience limited to only family members of the competing acts.
Broadcaster AVROTROS says it would be “irresponsible to have so many children from all over the Netherlands come together singing, dancing and screaming”.
The list of confirmed countries currently features 13 nations — Belarus, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine.
Wales, who had participated in the contest since 2018, withdrew from the contest earlier this week due to the current global uncertainty.
Junior Eurovision 2020 is due to take place in Warsaw, Poland on 29 November. The event will be held at a large television studio, rather than a usual arena-type venue.
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