With large parts of Europe in lockdown, it’s hard for many to imagine that Eurovision will take place with a large audience. Eurovision 2021 presenter Edsilia Rombley has shared her thoughts on the matter on NPO Radio 1, saying that she also understands that it’s hard to imagine that happening.

Several Dutch media (including RTL Nieuws and new aggregator NU.nl) initially misinterpreted her statement as a confirmation that scenario A — which sees the contest being held as we last knew it in Tel Aviv in 2019 — was no longer under consideration.

However, Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer Sietse Bakker has told Eurovision fan and Twitter user @CalmAfterTheTim that this is not the case and that all scenarios are still on the table. Speaking after the Edsilia story erupted in Dutch media, Sietse wrote the following in a direct message.

“Hi! That has not been decided and that is also not what Edsilia said. [RTL] Boulevard explained it incorrectly, sadly.”

“With regards to your comment on the live-on-tape backup. We hope we can expect the artists in the Netherlands, that is how it should be. But if that were not possible, then the broadcasters have the freedom to do it themselves. There are demands involved around it: it has to be in a studio-like setting and they are only allowed to stage an act that would have been possible in Rotterdam too. They are not allowed to surpass the level of Rotterdam. I understand what you say about ‘fair competition’, but you shouldn’t forget that in some countries, also in a normal year, they are investing a lot of money in an act.”

Executive Producer Sietse Bakker understands concerns

The Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer also understands that people might find it hard to imagine that scenario A or even scenario B would happen. In an interview with the newspaper Trouw, Sietse acknowledged as much.

“I understand that people say [that scenario A or B won’t happen]. But we are not ashamed to hold even the tiniest piece of hope. You can always scale down. If you talk to the different countries, you notice that the attitude is very dependent on the local situation. The Brits are more pessimistic than the Israelis. That’s logical, but also very fascinating. In one country, you should be careful with creating too many expectations, with another, you have to tell them to be more hopeful.

For us, D is, by the way, not the worst case scenario. A show becomes much more colourful and richer with all these broadcasts from different countries. But the best would be to have everyone here. No, the worst scenario would be that we will be in Ahoy later and we have he feeling that we haven’t done the most to make the best Eurovision under the given circumstances. That we left chances unused and that we weren’t flexible enough.”

The chosen scenario in February does not have to be final

In that same interview with Trouw, Bakker said that the scenario pathways are actually not as rigid as they were initially announced.

Sietse confirmed that the Dutch Eurovision team managed to create just one plan to match with any of the four initial scenarios. In the end, Eurovision will not have to be limited to what is chosen in mid-February, when the EBU will make its final verdict on the situation.

According to Sietse, Ahoy Rotterdam and the Dutch Eurovision team can still scale the contest up in the time between February and May.

Looking back on his earlier press conferences, Sietse thinks that the announcement of the scenarios won’t be as vital as he first thought. He said:

“Last year, I saw a dramatic moment in which I, with a drum roll in the background, would announce the chosen scenario. I think that it won’t be that spectacular in the end.”

“We will decide things in the first half of February. It will be realistic story. In April we will build the stage. The arrival of the artists will be in the second week of May. We will only do it when it’s responsible, and in collaboration with the municipality, the safety region and the responsible ministries.”

Read all our the Netherlands Eurovision news here.

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LaVoixCZ
9 months ago

For the health of everyone, the D is the only good option.

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  LaVoixCZ

Question is does Rotterdam want that option? Its worst case scenario and we are not there. It would also be waste of time. All that money and promotion for nothing.

Polliu
Polliu
9 months ago

I will be shocked if Montaigne still wanna fly all the way to Europe from Australia. It takes a lot of courage…

Tusan
Tusan
9 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

The only Eurovision country the Netherlands deem safe is actually Australia.

Samo
Samo
9 months ago

I’m confident it will be possible to have all the artists perform in Rotterdam. Yes, maybe they’ll have to quarantine for a while on the way there or back – so what if that’s the price of performing at the world’s largest music event.

The audience is a bigger issue. With NL government being in a panic /virtue signaling mode now, it doesn’t seem likely but who knows. With the election coming up, they may be pushed to go back to normal sooner than expected.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago

Ahh yes, the quarantine issues. Not to mention the travel bans, and the newly necessary performance visa if you’re the act from the UK.

The UK at home at the moment could probably only get away with filming a solo artist or a family. Probably call the song “Lonesome” and make it about leaving the EU. Hey, I’m still available for that! 😛
More seriously, I’m guessing it’ll be the Newman brothers with guitars. Just because. Or, if Joe & Jake still live together?.. i’ll be quiet now.

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Better question is with Brexit and UK having no deal for artists to travel freely in EU will UK ever be able to send a performer anywhere:)

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Indeed. Well, Ireland is alright. 😀
It’s annoying that musicians got thrown under the bus. Funny that hiding under the bus is perhaps the only way we can get past customs and tour Europe!

Azaad
Azaad
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I’m sure a performance visa (or any temporary visa) can easily be issued to the British act. The issue regarding the UK and EU immigration is one of permanency, not temporary travels.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

From what I understand, there is a wider issue with touring. Each visa has to now be paid for each country, making touring much more expensive for British musicians. There is currently an open letter to the UK Culture Secretary about this, so there may yet be changes.

Samo
Samo
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Maybe a third of countries participating in the ESC is outside the EU and they always manage to sort their visa. I don’t see any reason why this should be a problem for the UK.

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  Samo

Yes, but most of those countries have agreements with EU which makes things easier. UK has no agreements with EU about that which means everybody has to apply visas for every country they wish to visit. More adminstrative things and if you transport their equipment you can only visit two countries and then forced to return to UK

Alex
Alex
9 months ago

Scenario A will not happen, it’s funny that they’re not excluding it even from now. Things won;t be back to normal in May with a full arena and events. However, plan B might be possible if the virus is contained and Netherlands has lowered the infections… my question is how are they going to decide on the number of people attending the shows? How will they choose the people that bought the tickets? I need some answers… i personally think that a mix of plan B and C will be taken into effect and plan D is out of the… Read more »

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  Alex

As a producer you have to include all options even if they are unlikely. Thats why he is not excluding option A. I agree it probably wont be A or D since D is too extreme and I dont think Rotterdam wants it either

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago

Y’all are spoiled and entitled. As long as it’s happening we should be happy and grateful. It will come back in its regular form when it is SAFE. Bye, Felicia!

hello hi
hello hi
9 months ago

who the [email protected]?k is Felicia ?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  hello hi

Alice’s sister? 😀

Diana
Diana
9 months ago
Reply to  hello hi

I see someone is not into pop culture

KRM
KRM
9 months ago

Don’t think that scenario A is that realistic at the moment, but I appreciate his optimistic approach.

I think it will either be B or C.
As much as we’ve seen that Junior Eurovision has worked with Scenario D, I just don’t get the real Eurovision feeling, so I’m up for B at least.

Alex
Alex
9 months ago
Reply to  KRM

Rotterdam will never accept a plan D (unless things are as bad as now), it would be a waste of money from their side. In addition, things will improve during in May as it’s just before summer and temperature will be higher (virus does not survive under warm weather).

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
9 months ago

Obviously this will never happen but maybe the EBU could move the contest to Israel because Israel is set to vaccinate its entire population by the end of March and thus a normal Eurovision with big crowds could be possible over there. And perhaps have the audience consist solely of Israeli citizens/residents in order to prevent any possible spread of the virus coming in from foreign travelers.

KRM
KRM
9 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Yeah, just simply take it away from The Netherlands, or what?
And do you have a guarantee that there won’t be any risks just because most of the people are vaccined? We don’t even know if all the vaccines are effective enough, so..

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
9 months ago
Reply to  KRM

If the FDA confirmed the vaccine so it must be effective, it just takes a month since your first shot (a week since the second shot) for the vaccine to be effective and protect you from the virus (I believe that in mid-February/March we will start to see the effects of the vaccine on the morbidity of the virus in Israel).

Denis
Denis
9 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

And what, just taking Netherlands thier hosting away after they prepared two years for it?And let wait until they win agian to host or?
Is having a “normal” ESC all that matters for some people?

Alex
Alex
9 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

let’s give it to Australia or New Zealand as they handling it better than anyone else, no??

Denis
Denis
9 months ago

I expect either B or C. Makes sense since you can either scale it down or up. You cant scale down from D to nothing.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Some of the last school exam results would beg to differ. 🙂 Sorry, i know that’s off topic.

Whisker
Whisker
9 months ago

Do the Brits have an entry already?

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

THE FROCK DESTROYERS

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Well I haven’t got the call, so I must assume someone else has. 😀
Wiwi will probably find out soon enough.

Whisker
Whisker
9 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

It would be so cool if you could submit a song. You know so much about music and love Eurovision. Is there any other better combination?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Yes. I could be better looking. But it’s good that masks are the in-thing now; I won’t look too out-of-place!

Nancy G
Nancy G
9 months ago

I thought Junior Eurovision 2020 was a strong show. It proved that remote can still be amazing. So even if it’s D, we will be entertained. Though obviously I would feel bad for artists who will miss out on the normal experience. But this pandemic is bigger than all of us and all of that.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

I think some might prefer not to perfrom in front of thousands of people yelling at you and just like quietly in a studio. I know I would… x)

Alex
Alex
9 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

No thank you. Obsessed fans will start complaining about playback just like they did with France attacking a young girl…

PP77
PP77
9 months ago

I don t want to Eurovision 2021 be like Junior Eurovision 2020, many said that someone countries don t sing live , someone sing live.
All countries to sing live in Roterdam in empty arena.

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
9 months ago
Reply to  PP77

They said this time they will make sure everyone sings live, they will go through the recordings. At JESC 2020 they DIDN’T EXPECT anyone would have the nerve to send a recording where the artist doesn’t sing live, lol

Grft
Grft
9 months ago

I really don’t know what to expect… probably a mix of C and D