Planning for Estonia’s national final Eesti Laul 2021 is well underway. Broadcaster ERR has now revealed more details about the locations of the three shows that will be used to decide Estonia’s act for Eurovision 2021.
Speaking on the Estonian entertainment show Ringvaade, Eesti Laul 2021 host Tõnis Niinemets confirmed that all three national final shows would be hosted in Tallinn.
The two semi-finals will be filmed in a TV studio at ERR’s headquarters in Tallinn. This is a change from Eesti Laul 2019 and 2020, where the semi-finals were held in the inland city of Tartu, at the University of Tartu Sports Hall.
And, like many national finals of the 2021 season, the Eesti Laul semi-finals won’t have a live audience.
Niinemets explained, “We’re trying to see if this old and slightly depreciated TV studio can withstand a crowd. Because of how things are, we can’t be sure that we can let the audience into the hall. That’s why it’s definitely easier for us to do it all ourselves.”
But ERR aren’t ruling out having a live audience at the Eesti Laul grand final. While the venue for the grand final hasn’t been confirmed, the broadcaster hopes to return to the usual venue of Tallinn’s Saku Suurhall and to have a live audience.
But this will all depend on the Covid-19 restrictions closer to the time of the grand final. Estonia currently has a limit of 750 people for indoor events. The Saku Suurhall has a maximum concert capacity of 10,500.
Almost 100 entries already received for Eesti Laul 2021
Entries for Eesti Laul 2021 have been opened since early September. Tõnis Niinemets revealed that so far almost 100 entries have been sent in to ERR.
The submission period closes this Friday, 6 November. The entry fee is €50 for songs in Estonia, €150 for songs in a foreign language. Each performer or group can submit up to five songs.
But, in typical Eesti Laul fashion, Niinemets is expecting a last-minute rush. He said, “Most of these entries still arrive in the last week, so I invite everyone who is able to write songs to still send them.”
Next, a jury will blindly select up to 24 competing songs. They should be announced no later than 12 November, and fans should expect to hear the songs themselves by 5 December.
Eesti Laul 2020 winner Uku Suviste has been guaranteed a place in the competition semi-finals — provided his song submission meets the Eesti Laul regulations. He has been working on his 2021 entry with the same team behind his 2020 winning song “What Love Is”.
The semi-finals of Eesti Laul 2021 will be held on 18 and 20 February, while the grand final will take place on 6 March 2021.
What do you think? Will Eesti Laul 2021 be the same in a smaller venue? Who would you like to see enter the 2021 contest? Tell us your thoughts below!