The Covid-19 pandemic got the better of Eurovision 2020. But organisers are determined that history won’t be repeating itself in 2021. Speaking to Switzerland’s RTS, Eurovision Event Supervisor Nadja Burkhardt has revealed that the EBU and Dutch host broadcasters are working on two scenarios for next year’s contest in Rotterdam.
Covid-19 — Two scenarios for Eurovision 2021
The first scenario is a competition which would take place as normal. The second option is a contest which would take place in the context of total containment. Burkhardt explains that these are extremes and within “these two scenarios, there are sub-scenarios”.
“What must be taken into account is not only the legislation of the host country, but also the legislation of 43 delegations”, she says.
“What particularly interests me is this moment when you have to move from one scenario to another. How easily can you switch from one version to another at the last moment”. This is the challenge which is currently preoccupying Nadja and her colleagues on the organising committee.
However, the prospect of a completely online competition is not envisaged. “That would be taking things the wrong way. We could indeed start with a completely online disaster scenario, but it really is not the goal. We will really try to do everything so that the competition can take place on-site”.
Covid-19 and Eurovision: Learning from experiences of others
One of the EBU’s biggest assets in this current crisis is its network of member and associate broadcasters across Europe and the world. The plan is to leverage these connections to extract know-how and learn from the experience of individual oganisations.
“We work with other associations, sports associations in particular and with our members, such as the BBC for example, to find out how they plan their events, what are the elements that we have not yet considered”, says Nadja.
All possibilities must be looked at and great levels of creativity will be required. With different health measures being introduced in different countries every day, the plans are in constant flux.
“In fact, we are copying what is happening at the moment: from one day to the next countries are put on the red list, we can travel, we can no longer travel, we have to change the planning at the last moment… “.
What do you think of the EBU’s scenario-planning? Are they right to rule out an online option? Let us know in the comments.