Back in June, the EBU confirmed that the stage design for Eurovision 2020 would still be used for the 2021 show. However, it now appears the area surrounding the stage will be getting revamped. Executive producer Sietse Bakker told Dutch media that the area normally filled with the standing audience will instead be filled with the green room.
Speaking to NOS, Bakker said, “Normally there would be 2000 fans on the floor around the stage, waving all kinds of flags. That is of course not possible in the corona era.”
Instead, the floor of Rotterdam Ahoy arena will be filled with the green room, housing the artists and their delegations during the show. It also suggests that the green room areas for each country will be spaced further apart, ensuring social distancing.
In the original plans, the green room would have located in the main arena, but further back from the stage.
The revamped area near the stage follows some national final stages — including Sweden’s Melodifestivalen — that have been specifically designed to make the show look just as good with no live audience.
Bakker also explained that restrictions of the Covid era meant that Eurovision 2021 plans were constantly being tweaked. “We live in a new reality,” he said, “so certain plans are no longer possible. And if you have more time — as is the case now — you start asking questions about some ideas that we thought were very good at first. Almost everything has been tinkered with recently.”
Will Eurovision 2021 have a live audience?
And with the green room taking up the arena floor space, it seems certain that Eurovision 2021 will not have a live audience standing in front of the stage. The standing audience area was introduced when Sweden hosted Eurovision 2013 and has become a regular fixture of the event.
However, while the size of a live audience is still uncertain, Bakker says he is hoping that the Dutch government will be able to relax their rules. He explained, “The government roadmap shows that for locations larger than 2000 square meters, an exception can be made in terms of the amount of audience members.
But the Dutch government has said this sort of situation could only happen when the infection rate of Covid-19 is considerably lower. The Eurovision 2021 producers will decide on the audience situation by mid-April based on the measures in place at that time.
Earlier this month, the EBU confirmed that all Eurovision 2021 tickets would be refunded. The tickets were based on the 2020 seating plan which could not longer be used for 2021. However, once the audience situation is confirmed by mid-April new tickets may be available for the Eurovision 2021 live audience.
What do you think? Will the show feel different with the green room down the front? What other changes should be made to the stage? Tell us your ideas below!