Earlier this month, Eurovision 2021 organisers “reaffirmed” their desire to host this year’s contest under “Scenario B” conditions. In brief, that would mean that all participants will perform on stage in Rotterdam with the potential for a limited live audience. And once again, a spokesperson has told the ANP news agency that Eurovision with an audience is still on the table. However, the current situation in the Netherlands won’t offer much hope to fans eager to attend.

Eurovision 2021 organisers say live audience still an option

The statement to ANP begins, “the Eurovision Song Contest will continue in the second half of May, with at least three TV shows and possibly adapted activities in the city”. According to RTL Nieuws, the EBU and host broadcasters are maintaining regular contact with the municipality of Rotterdam and Fieldlab Events about organising the contest responsibly. Fieldlab Events the body behind the organisation of the government pilot events.

The spokesperson continues, “The Eurovision Song Contest is a valuable opportunity for the event industry to gain even more insight into how to safely organize events in the coming months. That is also in line with the National Event Plan, in which the Eurovision Song Contest is an intermediate step on that route.”

While organisers intend to make a final call in the coming weeks, the local situation in the Netherlands does not look hopeful.

Earlier this week, the country saw its biggest single-day increase in new Covid cases since January. The country’s public health authorities have repeatedly warned that a new wave of infections is coming. This is down to the rise of new variants of the virus.

The situation in the Netherlands

Live events with an audience are generally not allowed under the local “Level 4” restrictions which are currently in place in the Netherlands. Right now, the demissionary government is aiming for the first events with an audience to take place from July. At the time of writing, there are no official restrictions planned beyond mid-April — hence why the Eurovision 2021 organisers are still a little bit optimistic about there being some sort of audience.

None of the FieldLab Events directed at Dutch nationals turned out to be fully COVID-proof. These events were used for research purposes. The largest one had an audience of 1,500.

Over the weekend a music festival took place in the Netherlands despite the country being under lockdown. It was part of the experiment to see if large-scale social events can be re-started without increasing the spread of the virus. Guests had to provide a negative Covid test and wear sensors to track their interactions. You can watch the BBC report on the event below.

Additional reporting by Renske

Follow all of our Netherlands Eurovision 2021 news.

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Someone11
Someone11
5 months ago

Why dont they invite 1000 dutch people that have been already vaccinated? It’s important that we dont have tape claps :p

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
5 months ago

Will they use the whole hall, like in original plans? Can They bring the stage closer to the back, and put the green room in front of the stage? Virtual audience in the stands?

Nini Kiwini
Nini Kiwini
5 months ago

Maybe they could have the other competitors as audience, say move the green room booths in front of the stage.
That way we could see the artists dance to the songs of the others, like we did in 2018.

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
5 months ago

It’s a shame that vaccination was suspended…

Last edited 5 months ago by Hyunwoo
Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
5 months ago
Reply to  Hyunwoo

Only vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine was suspended for a few day; it was resumed a couple of days ago. Vaccination with other vaccines has continued at a normal pace.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago

Meanwhile, the UK is imposing a £5,000 fine for anyone going on “holiday” abroad, except going to the Republic of Ireland or some isles. I’m pretty sure that going to be a member of the audience at the ESC counts as a holiday. Just saying.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
5 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Until May, things might have changed. Also, there might be a chance Netherlands have a deal with UK so that they allow movement, if there is going to be a live audience.

Right now in Greece they are preparing to bring Israeli tourists who have had 2 shots of the vaccine (the last one at least 14 days before coming to Greece) and also a negative PCR test 72 hours before, while there might also be a testing after arriving in Greek airports.

Jimmy Smit
5 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Just think, if you had written the song, you could have travelled for work purposes 😉

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Fact check: Are all songwriters still invited to the ESC? I read somewhere that not all of them are allowed any more.

Last edited 5 months ago by Purple Mask
blahh
blahh
5 months ago

as long as they perform live without playback like jesc

ESCalator
ESCalator
5 months ago

Even if only the performers (with their teams), the technical staff and the security are present at the venue, that’s already PLENTY of people to keep social distance!

I only care that we get live performances. They could put screens in the audience and show jury faces over Skype or something…

Henri
Henri
5 months ago

Please don’t do live audience!! I live with my grandparents it will be risky for them

Gordon
Gordon
5 months ago
Reply to  Henri

I mean you don’t have to attend the audience if they have one?

KarmaLeon
KarmaLeon
5 months ago
Reply to  Henri

Paranoiac ???

Roo
Roo
5 months ago
Reply to  Henri

I understand your situation Henri. But if you are worried about your grandparents then it is up to you where you go and who you see. Life has to go on for everyone else, and eventually normal activities must recommence. We can’t all stay at home for the rest of our lives. We also need to deal rationally with our fears.

hello hi
hello hi
5 months ago

I would be happy enough if it was a localised audience from the surrounding areas to create an atmosphere . Come on make it happen . It would be a nice gift to the people of the Netherlands

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago

The dutch government just announced they will put in a lot of effort to provide covid tests for euro football championship 2021 in Amsterdam to allow more public. They better do the same for eurovision now..

American Boy
American Boy
5 months ago

Do whatever was done at JESC 2020.

Jonas
Jonas
5 months ago

Are commentators going to Rotterdam or doing it from home?

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Good question.

Jofty
Jofty
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I would say unlikely as there will be no pisssups or psrties

Denis
Denis
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

According to Graham Norton commentators will be in Rotterdam in ventiladed booths.

Jofty
Jofty
5 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Just when I thought I’d had enough bad news for one day

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes, commentators will be in Rotterdam according to handbook 🙂

Doris
Doris
5 months ago

Good thing, overhyped songs won’t be noticed.

Denis
Denis
5 months ago

Hmm? Weren’t the Netherlands experimenting with live concerts? Read something about it yesterday..
Maybe that could be a test for ESC? I still think there could be a limited audience in arena, at least with locals..

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I read something about that on ewwovoix. I’d feel so blessed if they’d use eurovision as a test experiment.

Last edited 5 months ago by Frisian esc
Jimmy Smit
5 months ago

Three point plan:
1) Green room in the arena’s standing area.
2) Socially-distanced tickets for the seating area.
3) Give the seated tickets for free to local emergency services staff, teachers, and schools.

It will be safe, makes logistical sense, and allows for an audience with the least amount of risk. Open up Eurovision for the people of Rotterdam.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Why not the rest of the netherlands though? If you take a car from Friesland or a bus in Rotterdam to the venue. It doesn’t make a lot of difference.

Last edited 5 months ago by Frisian esc
ThomasD
ThomasD
5 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Ga jij lekker schaatsen, niks bus uit Friesland

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago
Reply to  ThomasD

Staat bus in rotterdam myn jong.

Jimmy Smit
5 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

If that’s practical, of course! Bear in mind how many seats will be available with social distancing, it may be only 1/4, and how free ticket initiatives are usually rolled out through local contacts and administrative bodies.

Samo
Samo
5 months ago

Eurovision without an audience would be crazy. If The Netherlands can’t do it, move it to Moscow, they had full audience at their national selection.

Last edited 5 months ago by Samo
AdD
AdD
5 months ago
Reply to  Samo

RussIs also has terrible COVID stats. I wonder if those facts are related?

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  AdD

Russia is fine. Yes, some people die and it’s sad but we are in the middle of a pandemic. No need to sacrifice additional millions with nonsensical lockdowns that didn’t prevent anything anyway.

Give it to someone who can host it!

AdD
AdD
5 months ago
Reply to  Samo

I’m fairly sure that at no point have the Dutch said that they can’t host. Just that they have reasonable restrictions. Reasonable restrictions that Russia should have, but don’t, which is why Russia ISN’T fine.

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  AdD

While all those countries in lockdowns are perfectly fine 😀 For example, The Netherlands having the highest number of new cases in two months is a perfect proof the strategy works, right?

Covid situation is bad everywhere, the only question is how much more damage we inflict on ourselves.

Last edited 5 months ago by Samo
Bonny
5 months ago
Reply to  Samo

yeah, bloddy Putin would be thrilled *facepalm*

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  Bonny

Well, I have never been a fan of Russia, but at least it seems to be possible to have a life over there.

Viggz
Viggz
5 months ago

Honestly this year I don’t really care about audience because health comes first. But I’m happy that the artists will hopefully perform on stage in Rotterdam.

Fatima
Fatima
5 months ago

Do we know what happens if an act tests positive for Covid in contest week? At sporting events (the the recent European Indoor athletics in Poland), they were forced with withdraw.

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

The backup performance will be used.

Jofty
Jofty
5 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

Well let’s hope none of them tests positive, or brings the virus back home, when they are off filming the backup performance overseas. What a mockery.

canada_piano
canada_piano
5 months ago

although it would be really sad to not have a live studio audience… it would be interesting to see how a virtual esc plays out.

i really hope the situation in the netherlands gets better though

Jérémy
5 months ago

Please make a virtual audiance like in all nationals selections

Ende
Ende
5 months ago

So some organisations are able to organize sport events gathering a lot of athletes/teams but EBU cannot limit the number of persons from each delegations and request them to come earlier for quarantine period ?
I mean if at the end of the day this is a contest of the best video…

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
5 months ago

As long as the participants will travel to Rotterdam I’ll be ok with that (at least we probably won’t have to suffer wide shots this year) but at the same time it’s sad for the Dutch fans that waited more than 4 decades to have esc in their country again and then this happens (imo if Senhit wins eurovision this year so the EBU should let The Netherlands to host again in 2022 if they want)

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
5 months ago

Australia if they win at anytime from 2021 and henceforth should The Netherlands to host before any other country and leave the UK for last cause why should a country that has mocked the contest for decades be given the honour of hosting it, I know the UK is very good this year and deserves a Top 10 but, let’s be serious. I agree with San Marino though as I can see Senhit being a possible Televote winner.

Joey
Joey
5 months ago

The fact that this happens saddens me as a Dutchman… I have no words to describe how awful it feels. I’m probably gonna cry over this in May. Thinking about what could’ve been…

Jimmy Smit
5 months ago
Reply to  Joey

You can also be proud for how the organisers have managed to steadfastly organise themselves to put on the best show possible, in addition to the content and live show they produced last year.

Madelon
Madelon
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

When you were one of the ones lucky enough to score tickets for a once in a lifetime experience it feels bittersweet.

American Boy
American Boy
5 months ago
Reply to  Joey

keep your crying to yourself! Be happy that there is a eurovision happening. Just watch it on tv. I’m from America and I’m happy to just be able to watch. I can’t vote nor can I travel to Europe to watch it live.

Jofty
Jofty
5 months ago
Reply to  American Boy

How unhelpful and unkind. I thought you didn’t trust voting anyway. Our borders are closed to you in the same way you do for certain groups and nationalities.