After months of speculation, organisers and the EBU have “reaffirmed” the conditions under which Eurovision 2021 will take place — Scenario B. In brief, this means that all participants will perform on stage in Rotterdam but audience numbers will be limited.

Eurovision 2021 will happen under Scenario B

Eurovision 2021 organisers have published a 46-page document outlining what exactly Scenario B will entail. These are the key points:

  • Eurovision will take place with social distancing applied
  • Downscaled delegations present in Rotterdam
  • Amended activities in and surrounding the city of Rotterdam.
  • 500 journalists can be present
  • Some 1,000 journalists will be facilitated through a digital Press Centre.
  • This scenario is deemed feasible with solid health and safety measures implemented.
  • In scenario B there may be shows with no audience or limited audience (between 20 and 80 per cent), depending on what is allowed by government regulation.

EBU Statement on Eurovision 2021

The EBU and host broadcasters issued the following statement on Tuesday 2 March.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) together with Dutch broadcasters and Contest organisers NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have published extensive COVID-19 Health and Safety protocol for the Eurovision Song Contest, as revealed in a press release shared today.

The thorough protocol details the measures all accredited individuals (those working on or competing in the Eurovision Song Contest) will have to comply with to attend the Contest in Rotterdam. It’s also fully compliant with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment guidelines and matches those for similar large events such as major sports competitions.

Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, explains:

“The spirit and tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest is about uniting Europe on one stage and we are very much still determined to achieve this in Rotterdam in May. We are moving forward with our plans to produce a safe Eurovision Song Contest, with all artists performing live in Rotterdam. This protocol demonstrates our commitment to make this happen, with the health and safety of everyone attending, including crew and press, our top priority.”

The measures have been approved by the Safety Region (Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond) as the official local authority reviewing and approving health and safety plans for events; and validated by SGS, an international agency specialising in the review of such plans.

The protocol can be adjusted at any time should new developments demand and begins before artists and delegations even arrive in the host city.

Regular testing

All those attending the Eurovision Song Contest from abroad are recommended to go into quarantine for 5 days before departure to the Netherlands and they must test negative for COVID-19 at most 72 hours before they fly.

Once in the Netherlands, delegations have to stay in their hotel, except when they travel to Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena for rehearsals, the live shows and other programme related activities.

Everyone working in the Ahoy Arena, including crew, artists and press, will be tested regularly in a special facility next to the arena.

The testing strategy is being developed based on the guidelines of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands.

Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of the 2021 show, adds:

“Our goal is clear: to prevent transmission of the virus during the event. If someone tests positive, our isolation protocol comes into effect, we support the relevant authorities with track and trace research and we take additional measures where necessary. If a participant is unable to perform live as a result, the backup recording will be used.”

Scenario B “reaffirmed”

In February it was announced that a “normal” Eurovision Song Contest could not take place under the current circumstances and that organisers were “determined yet optimistic” that the 65th edition of the world’s largest live music event could take place under ‘Scenario B’ – a scaled down but ambitious version of the Contest with strict health and safety measures and social distancing.

The decision was recently reaffirmed by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, the event’s governing body, and the EBU’s Executive Board.

Should circumstances change in the coming weeks the event can still be scaled down further.

Under Scenario B the number of people in each delegation has been reduced from previous editions, and the number of journalists who can attend the event will also be capped at 500 with a further 1,000 able to cover the show in a new online press centre.

A decision on whether an audience can be present at the shows and on what public activities can take place around the event in Rotterdam will be decided at a later time.

Additional reporting by Esma Jansen.

What do you think of the decision? Are you happy that all artists will (hopefully) make it to Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our Eurovision 2021 news.

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Darren
Darren
2 months ago

I’m just glad it’s happening at all to be honest.
It may not be the same ESC that we are used to, and I feel bad for the Netherlands and the city of Rotterdam to not be able to throw themselves into the full hosting experience, like Euroclub and the various other events take take place during Eurovision week.
But “scenario B” is definitely the best option we could hope for at this point in time and will be as close to normal Eurovision as possible for the viewers anyway.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

EXCELLENT news!

1998
1998
2 months ago

As long as it’s not like JESC 2020, I support. I mean JESC was really painful to watch on these conditions…

Samuel
Samuel
2 months ago
Reply to  1998

JESC is painful to watch most years

Tom Ripley
Tom Ripley
2 months ago

This is great news! Good luck to all who will be involve in organiziation – it wouldnt be easy but all is possible!
Good luck to all participants!
We will have ESC!

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
2 months ago

It seems the organizers are betting that the vaccines will bring the pandemic under control and that life will get back to normal once the contest comes around but I’m not so sure.
Also I believe Australia is banning it’s citizens from travelling abroad so wouldn’t that prevent Scenario B from happening since Montaigne wouldn’t be able to travel to Rotterdam?

Cameron
Cameron
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

They made exceptions for the Australian Open so she’d probably get one of those

Joe
Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  Cameron

And worse comes to very worse, she can at least record a backup performance from Australia.

idalis
idalis
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

One singer not being able to attend probably will not affect others. They will just perform either from video or live from their country.

Samo
Samo
2 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Australia also hands out exceptions, including for participating in various competitions.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

sounds like a good plan. Things will be better in May for sure. Testing on a daily basis is the only solution.

I am still confused how they are going to allow up to 80% of the audience though.

ESC8
ESC8
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Well up to 80% if it is allowed by the circumstances. It would be really great if things were that good by then but for me it will be impossible to have a live audience, maybe 20% if everything goes REALLY well

Roo
Roo
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Have a seated audience without them waving stupid flags and getting in the way of the viewers at home. It is meant to be a television show.

Samuel
Samuel
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

I think, failing international fans being allowed in, they would offer tickets to Rotterdam locals to bump up audience numbers.

Polliu
Polliu
2 months ago

I applaud those who still wanna fly to another country for Eurovision. It takes a lot of courage.

ESC8
ESC8
2 months ago

It was apparent that we were heading for a B scenario after turning scenario C to B. I really wish and hope that we will get to see all 41 acts on stage in Rotterdam Ahoy. As for the audience, well, it would be really optimistic for the days to come if we had a live audience but for me (and for the producers as it seems) it is more important to have the contestants to perform live than having a live audience. It’s not gonna be the easiest ESC to produce and so I wish everyone good luck and… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago

Despite my opinion being opposed to this plan, good luck with it. It will only be the official journalists allowed at this rate anyhow, due to travel restrictions. You might get a select audience, but again, good luck with managing that.

idalis
idalis
2 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Why are you personally against the plan? It’s the best case scenario in the current situation.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
2 months ago
Reply to  idalis

Best laid plans, indeed. Eurovision has a way of exceeding expectations, so I wish everyone the best of luck. My opposition to the plan is because there is a viable alternative that will not present any risks, that’s all.

Denis
Denis
2 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Why were you opposed? What was your alternative? And dont you think option B is the best?

AntonESC
AntonESC
2 months ago

This is just great news!!

Kredential
Kredential
2 months ago

This is amazing! I don’t think people would realise just how inequitable it would be if every broadcaster was required to perform from home until we saw them all side by side.

Praying for some sort of an audience because Eurovision is not Eurovision without the atmosphere of the audience but I know this is still unlikely.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago

You couldn’t ask for me. This sounds very generous, actually.

Kalla
Kalla
2 months ago

Yeyyyyy brilliant news, very excited now! I’m glad all the performers will sing live, I wasn’t to keen on recordings from each country being used in the shows. Eurovision will get its sparkle back this year

Az*rbaijan
Az*rbaijan
2 months ago

Yayy got me hyped a little

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

Yaaas I’m Screaming

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 months ago

Great plans, but in case they can’t do an audience, Why not have the participants be the audience? You know, fill the space that would’ve been for audience with the green room spaces for the delegations? I don’t know what will happen with acts hat don’t qualify to the final if they have to depart Rotterdam immediately or stay there for a while, But maybe they could still be in the audience to support the other artist on so that it lessens the sting of non-qualification.

sTommie
sTommie
2 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

That is already the plan. The complete floor of the arena is the green room.

Samo
Samo
2 months ago

B always seemed to most realistic. Now let’s hope the audience will be as big as possible.

As the very last resort, why not simply pick people who had covid shortly before the show (March, April), thus have a very high level of antibodies and put them in the audience? It would allow for audience to be large, at almost normal size. And with the current spread of infection it shouldn’t be a problem to find a few thousands fans who had covid recently.

PP77
PP77
2 months ago

Great news. I don t want to ESC 2021 be like JESC 2020 , to see and hear many singer sing on playback, some sing live, and who sing live get small amount of votes from juries and public).

1998
1998
2 months ago
Reply to  PP77

Especially watching the artists in the green room either alone or with the masks. It was painful.

Una
Una
2 months ago

Great nieuws!!

ella
ella
2 months ago

I expected this tbh! The netherlands has had some succesful test events in sports and theatre, soon even a festival I think?? They’ve gone from worst in the eu to 4th best when it comes to vaccinating I believe they’re almost at 10% and we still have some months to go! I am very hopeful they will have a small audience and won’t really have to adjust much

Azaad
Azaad
2 months ago
Reply to  ella

Yeah, now that vaccine rollouts are underway we are actually on the path to getting better, because vaccinations are required for herd immunity.

Azaad
Azaad
2 months ago

Yay! The best we could’ve hoped for.

Liam
Liam
2 months ago

I am so. Happy! Especially that journalists will be present, I wouldn’t be able to handle it if wiwibloggs weren’t on-site, it really benefits the artists too. The best news!

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago

SO SO SO happy!! no matter what % audience there will be, even having all the artists and an audience there in the Ahoy will make such a difference and be a huge morale boost for everyone involved and the people watching at home. well done to all the organisers and bring on the show 🙂

Roelof M
Roelof M
2 months ago

Call me crazy but this has completely revived my excitement for the contest! I can’t wait to see all artists finally shine on the Rotterdam stage next May!

OberonYronwood
OberonYronwood
2 months ago

aaawwn! This makes me very happy and quite emotional, ngl. Congratulations to the EBU and the Dutch delegation for their hard work!!

dxi
dxi
2 months ago

Yesssss, fingers crossed some public will be allowed as well. Time to try again for those tickets!!

Jamie
Jamie
2 months ago

Fantastic. Best news of today.

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
2 months ago

I’m so happy!!!!!

GreenLegs
GreenLegs
2 months ago

Scenario E: 1 million fans in the arena, and every song must be translated to japanese. And you can only vote for San Marino.

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago
Reply to  GreenLegs

now THIS is the scenario I want to see! Make it happen, everyone 😀

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

This brightens the day! Such good news, also for the artists who now can get some applause! EBU deserves appraise for making sure we get a ESC despite all!

Saul Browne
2 months ago

I hope that after the contest The EBU release the bakup tapes for all countries as it would be intresting to see the diferent stages and staging setups 🙂

Sam
Sam
2 months ago

Didn’t expect this announcement today, really happy, I think the biggest thing is all the artists in one place that’s what I wanted and the crowd will be great after no contest last year

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

Oh wow what a pleasant surprise! I just assumed we were going to have scenario D and was happy that we are having a contest no matter what, but this is fantastic news 🙂

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago

Wow! Didn’t expect it. Now praying i can keep my tickets.

Last edited 2 months ago by Frisian esc
Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago

b was the best we could hope for, so i’m very glad !

canada_piano
canada_piano
2 months ago

yessss im so happy!!!!

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
2 months ago

I’m glad that the chose this scenario, it’s good both for the artists that can show their talents on the huge stage and as well for the Dutch fans that can watch eurovision live in ahoy after waiting more than 4 decades, I can’t wait

Diana
Diana
2 months ago

This is great news! Scenario C or D would be a bummer for the dutch hosts but health should always come first and I’m glad the best option is happening.

Davo
Davo
2 months ago

Fans from Australia will not be able to travel to Europe in May in any case. Hopefully Montaigne can get an exemption and perform live. Sad for us Aussies though.

Sale
Sale
2 months ago

We won!!

Henry
Henry
2 months ago

Wow! Fantastic news!

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

Yes Yes Yes the best of a bad situation..

And also what if and I mean what if Australia wins.. I know there’s a scenario for the contest to be held in Europe rather than Down Under.. Please let it be in the Netherlands.. Seems only fair right to let us have a party with fans after all.. Besides that really happy with this and looking forward to May.. 😀

Last edited 2 months ago by Robert
Carl
Carl
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Nah, we would give it to the U.K as it’s their only chance of hosting ever again.

Robert
Robert
2 months ago
Reply to  Carl

Haha ah that’s a bit harsh

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

harsh but as a Brit, very very true!

Robert
Robert
2 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

Well OK.. But if there was a pathway for the Netherlands to win after a record breaking non qualification string.. It must be possible for the UK too

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

I wouldn’t hold your breath, but if we stop whining about Brexit and send a top quality entry then who knows… Manchester 2034 anyone?!

Robert
Robert
2 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

I see what you mean

canada_piano
canada_piano
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

its going to be in iceland. sbs actually agreed some dort of deal with ruv

Robert
Robert
2 months ago
Reply to  canada_piano

Oh really.. Fair play..

Safiya
Safiya
2 months ago

Well, hopefully!

Preuss
Preuss
2 months ago

Really, really good news. The best we could’ve hoped for!

Bary
Bary
2 months ago

This is such good news, actually crying omg