It’s Sweden‘s legendary national final known for its annual six-city touring arena shows. But it appears that next year, Melodifestivalen 2021 will be held entirely in Stockholm. Broadcaster SVT will reportedly hold all six shows in a Stockholm venue due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
In August, it was reported that SVT had developed different contingency plans in case Covid restrictions meant the regular arena shows couldn’t go ahead. Today Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has updated the news, saying that all six shows will be hosted in Stockholm.
Aftonbladet’s source explained, “There will be no tour. It’s not possible. The municipalities can not risk going in with millions in something that may not be possible and SVT does not want to risk its reputation by starting to sell tickets to a large arena event in the middle of the ongoing pandemic. All programs will be broadcast from Stockholm.”
The six Melodifestivalen shows are traditionally held in different locations around Sweden, including venues in both large metropolitan areas as well as smaller regional towns. The grand final traditionally takes place at Stockholm’s Friends Arena, in front of a live audience of tens of thousands.
Will Melodifestivalen 2021 have a live audience?
While a big arena show at Friends Arena doesn’t seem likely, the Stockholm venue for Melodifestivalen 2021 has not been confirmed. However, two potential locations have previously been rumoured: the Annex hall of Globe Arena and the large television studio at NEP Studios.
Aftonbladet notes that NEP is where the new series of Swedish Idol is being filmed. The show is using a large LED wall called the “Sweden Wall”, that lets viewers be part of the show.
But while there will be millions of Swedes watching the Melodifestivalen shows from home, it is unclear whether there will also be a live audience in the studio.
Under current Covid restriction, the Swedish government does not allow more than 50 people at such events. However, today government ministers said that the government was considering increasing that limit to 500 with proper social distancing. More information on this will be given in October.
David Sundin will reportedly host Melodifestivalen 2021
It looks like popular comedian David Sundin will be back to host Melodifestivalen for the second year. Earlier this year, he joined Lina Hedlund and Linnea Henriksson to host Mello 2020.
He apparently made the right impression and SVT were eager to have him back. Aftonbladet’s source says “He did well this year and above all, he is very much appreciated within SVT, he is a favourite. It was already decided before the summer that he would be asked to host another year.”
Aftonbladet’s source says that Sundin will not be hosting alone, but details of his co-host — or c0-hosts — are not known at this stage.
SVT has not given any official comment on the issue of the Melfest 2021 venue or host. When approached for comment, Mello project manager Anette Hellenius told Aftonbladet, “We do not have any comments to give at this time. We will return as soon as we have something to say.”
What do you think? Should Melfest 2021 have a live audience? Who else should co-host the show? Tell us your thoughts below!