Last month the EBU announced that Belarus would not take part in Eurovision 2021. Since then, the country’s people have been trying to find a way to maintain their song contest involvement and keep the spirit of Eurovision alive. Last week, the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation wrote a letter to the EBU requesting that VAL —  amongst other Belarusian artists — perform as guests in Rotterdam.

The EBU has since responded. Unfortunately, the Belarusian artists will not appear at Eurovision 2021.

Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation writes proposal to EBU

The proposal in question saw BCSF call on the EBU to allow VAL, Naviband and Margarita Levchuk and to perform Katrina and The Waves’ “Love Shine a Light” as part of an interval act at Eurovision 2021. Sergei Budkin, head of the foundation said:

“We suggested that Naviband and VAL, already well-known to the Eurovision family, perform together with opera singer Margarita Levchuk during one of the intervals”.

Ultimately, the EBU denied BCSF’s request. Soon after the foundation submitted their proposal, the EBU responded to say the show’s programme has already been fully approved, including the performances of the interval acts. However, the organisers reiterated they hope to see Belarus return to Eurovision in 2022, when “the situation in the country stabilises.”

The EBU again raised concerns about the current political climate in Belarus. They also said they would demand that BTRC comply with the EBU’s values and adhere to song contest rules, should they wish to return in 2022.

This request comes after “Da Vidna” duo VAL had their Eurovision dreams snatched away from them, following the cancellation of the 2020 contest. When the pair spoke out in support of the pro-democracy protests in Belarus, national broadcaster BTRC stated they would not be returning as the Belarusian representatives in 2021. “The VAL group have no conscience”, BTRC claimed.

Belarus at Eurovision 2021

Belarus originally intended to compete at Eurovision 2021 with Galasy ZMesta singing “Ya nauchu tebya (I’ll teach you)”. However, the EBU later found the band’s song to be in breach of song contest rules, and requested BTRC submit a new entry. The EBU also deemed the group’s proposed new entry “Pesnyu pro zaytsa (Song about a bunny)” inappropriate, thus resulting in Belarus’ disqualification from Eurovision 2021.

It is suggested that both songs contain implicit political messaging, in support of the country’s authoritarian government. In 2020, pro-democracy protests erupted across the Eastern European nation following the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko — whose victory has been disputed by the international leaders on grounds of election fraud.

Eurovision stars VAL, Naviband and Little Big’s Ilia Prusikin have all spoken out against the government and declared their solidarity with protestors. 

Read more Belarus Eurovision news here

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canada_piano
canada_piano
24 days ago

i just think it would be weird to have a tribute to belarus amongst all the drama. and if this was actually approved, why dont they have a tribute to armenia, hungary and montenegro? and lets just throw in all the other countries on earth in there as well, why not?

Alex
Alex
25 days ago

enough with the belarussian drama.

But it’s so hypocritical see EBU’s response. I guess they pretend not to hear the scandals in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine.

Squeak
Squeak
24 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Wait whats the Azerbaijan song about?

Okan idu?
Okan idu?
25 days ago

Either they could have invite all the singers from last year who are not in 2021 or non of them. If they only invite Val then it is clearly a politic action which means they had no right to oppose Belarusian song or they can’t say anything about any political song moving forward. The political act supporting your world wiev doesn’t make it less political. EBU is right to not accept it.

Tho I would have loved them to invite everybody back for the interval act

Bear
Bear
25 days ago

I think it would have been a very beautiful gesture of solidarity towards the Belarusians who fight for freedom. However if you look realistically, you can predict what the outcome will be. If the Dutch broadcaster agreed to do this, it would give a strong political sign. It would create an unnecessary political tension between Belarus and The Netherlands (which doesn’t really exist atm, at least not exclusively between the two countries). This will definitely impact political and economical relationships between the countries in a negative way. You can definitely expect Lukashenko to use propaganda against the Netherlands over and… Read more »

Barry
Barry
25 days ago

They had already two chances.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
25 days ago

It would’ve been problematic. As a contest, Eurovision tries to keep politics out of things as much as possible. The fact that they didn’t allow Belarus to send their act this year to be used for political means is something that can’t be commended enough. However, it works both ways. Inviting these two acts wouldn’t be musically-motivated but politically-motivated. No matter how well-intentioned the gesture, it would’ve put the EBU is a difficult position moving forward.
Think the EBU were right on this one but good luck to the country of Belarus and their artists, regardless.

Roo
Roo
25 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Well said

Denis
Denis
25 days ago

It’s a sad situation but ultimately it’s Belarus own problem and fault.It’s not for EBU or Dutch broadcasters to fix. It’s time to focus on Netherlands 100% and let them shine. ESC shouldn’t be used as a solidarity case for a country whose broadcaster purposley went against the rules.

Barry
Barry
25 days ago

The disqualification of Belarus is sad but it’s a Belarusian problem and not that of the EBU or Rotterdam. It’s the Netherlands that should shine during the shows and must not be drawn into political games because one country can’t send a proper song.

Henry
Henry
25 days ago

They should’ve done a short interval just to showcase Belarus since it didn’t compete. I think we might need a small break from Mans, Conchita, and Verka. I’d be happy to see some wronged artists like Maruv too.

Art
Art
25 days ago
Reply to  Henry

100%

PuppetOnAString
25 days ago
Reply to  Henry

No way

Alex
Alex
25 days ago
Reply to  Henry

why would they invite MARUV? Are you guys serious or what?

Do you understand that ESC is a massive production and the time is very limited and strictly divided into parts? Why would they invite a Ukrainian artist like MARUV? The show is taking place in Rotterdam., not Kyiv.

The Dutch hosts will present us Dutch artists for interval acts and ofc the winner from 2019.

Belarus was disqualified, why would they invite the 2020 act? I mean shall they also invite Tom Leeb, Sandro, Athena, Diodato etc?

Seriously you guys… you act like 10 year olds.

Last edited 25 days ago by Alex
Art
Art
24 days ago
Reply to  Alex

No, we’re just sick and tired of seeing same people perform every year. I’d be glad to watch just Dutch artists. In fact, most of the time before the last couple of years, countries had their own artists perform during interval acts. But, if they are already doing the winners or ex-contestant’s performance segment, then they should be innovative and do something different after several years.Eurovision is so much more than just Mans, Conchita and Verka… I am glad that we’ll be seeing Lordi and Helena there though.

Last edited 24 days ago by Art
Biqer
Biqer
25 days ago

Naviband, VAL or Galasy ZMesta, anybody can represent Belarus this year. Belarussians deserve to have some fun in May after all. Let them compete. EBU tells ESC is not political, but they make it political. Let this nation compete omfg. This is disgusting discrimation. I want to vomit. Btw this year needs folk group so much.

Aeria
Aeria
25 days ago
Reply to  Biqer

There’s a big different in the context of the songs Naviband and VAL write and perform, in comparison to the heavy political message of Galasy ZMesta’s two submitted songs. The very reason their entry has been rejected, is purely because of that. Had Belarus been able to send a song that did not have such a repulsive message, them competing would have been no problem. If anything, the Belarusian broadcaster brought this on themselves, and I hope they learn that they have to change their minds if they want to return eventually. Therefore I heavily disagree with your statement.

T.J.
T.J.
25 days ago
Reply to  Biqer

Well then go and vomit. But do it silently and don’t bother those who really understand what’s going on here.
But bots can’t even vomit, so…

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
25 days ago
Reply to  Biqer

Anybody who doesn’t use their songs to support a dictatoric regime is fully approved in ESC.Galasy ZMesta hould be a banned band for ESC

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
26 days ago

No surprise there. The EBU doesn’t care. No time? What about the three minutes + postcard of the previously scheduled Belorussian performance? There’s your time. They could if they wanted to. And yes, I would totally accept the ‘no politics’ stance if it was actually true and if they were consistent, which we all know they’re not.

Whisker
Whisker
25 days ago

I agree 100% and more! Thank youi for this comment!

PuppetOnAString
25 days ago

Showing the postcard and performance? Lol they got DSQ deal with it, Belarus has no business in Esc 2021

tobias andersen
tobias andersen
25 days ago

It’s interesting that you bring out that there actually is a time in the demi final they should have been part on. But if they let a band participate that was thrown out by Belarus authorities for being “pro-protesters” then imagine how that would anger Belarus. This would be a very political move from EBU. Secondly if the performed then we would see and outrage like never before from the fans why EBU allowed this. Remember the fans initiated this in the first place and also SVT had to replace Belarus as Jury in Melodifestivalen ONLY because of the bad… Read more »

Roelof M
Roelof M
26 days ago

It would have been a great gesture from the EBU, and I would have fully supported it, but interval acts requested by fans or certain groups almost never make it into the actual show. Moreover, I think the EBU will try to avoid the situation in Belarus as much as they can…

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
26 days ago
Reply to  Roelof M

Unless of course they need Minsk to host another JESC. Lukashenko money is only evil when too many eyes are on you.

Dawid
Dawid
25 days ago
Reply to  Roelof M

Also it’d be unfair for people who’re already working on their interval acts for months.

First row at ESC and JESC
First row at ESC and JESC
26 days ago

I’m curious to see if we will see Belarus at JESC 2021.

First row at ESC and JESC
First row at ESC and JESC
26 days ago

okay EBU – here you missed a big chance to show some “balls” – naviband feat. val – ??????? ??? is one of the best music songs this year and would make an impact in Rotterdam as an interval act …..and it would show respect to the ordinary belarussian people – but maybe the “EBU” didn’t want to annoy Mr. Lukashenko too much.

Last edited 26 days ago by First row at ESC and JESC
PuppetOnAString
26 days ago

Or there already are booked interval acts by the Dutch broadcast, you know, the ones that organize this years contest. VAL and especially NAVIBAND aren’t obligated to perform in a show where they are basically not even compete in

PuppetOnAString
25 days ago

Not to mention that avoiding politics work both ways and not one

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
26 days ago

On other related news news, I heard that Galasy ZMesta (the band that was supposed to represent Belarus this year) are preparing to represent Belarus next year, I think that Belarus should ban BTRC from competing in eurovision. I also think that when Belarus is free, VAL must be chosen internally to return for the country in eurovision.

Last edited 26 days ago by esc2021rotterdam
Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
26 days ago

One year doesn’t seem like enough time for them to become artists and write a good song.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
25 days ago

Lol, I agree. Especially with the bands agenda

Ziv
Ziv
25 days ago

Are they really that eager to compete in Eurovision, despite the embarrassing disqualification? They should learn how to tow the line first.

tobias andersen
tobias andersen
25 days ago

“when Belarus is free”. Oh I wish you are right. But in my world the times where we became more free are gone. It’s going the wrong way in most countries. Look at Poland and Hungary. If they were applicants to EU they would never be accepted anymore as they no longer has independent courts. In Hungary the freedom of press is also going away. And don’t get me started on Turkey how much things has changed there. No the right wing parties that “want to protect the real XXX (insert majority country people here) against homosexuals and immigrants, are… Read more »

Neil
Neil
26 days ago

I would’ve LOVED if VAL got to perform Da Vidna because I think it was underrated and my favorite of 2020

Art
Art
25 days ago
Reply to  Neil

It was a really good song indeed.

Art
Art
26 days ago

I would much prefer to see VAL as part of the interval act instead of people like Måns Zelmerlöw who will be there 5th year in a row. Enough is enough, gosh…

Last edited 26 days ago by Art
PuppetOnAString
26 days ago
Reply to  Art

The thing is, VAL is not a Eurovision winner and therefor not eligable for the previous WINNERS rooftop act

Art
Art
25 days ago

I don’t care, change the name of the interval act. Also… for god’s sake, there’s been over 60 winners and they chose Måns again…

PuppetOnAString
25 days ago
Reply to  Art

It is not yours to decide so go cry about it hun

Ziv
Ziv
25 days ago
Reply to  Art

I also wonder why, all being recent Eurovision winners, some are not quite involved in the contest anymore, like Emmelie de Forest or Lena, while Måns or Alexander Rybak is visible almost every year.

Whisker
Whisker
26 days ago

How do you say in Belarussian: “Either dictatorship or Belarus in Eurovision”?

ERUS
ERUS
26 days ago

I doubt we’ll see Belarus compete in the future. They might return with Galasy ZMesta next year out of spite though.

Alex
Alex
26 days ago

No, why would they ask them? Besides, the shows have already booked interval acts and we don’t want to have extremely long shows, viewers will get bored.

Fionn
Fionn
26 days ago
Reply to  Alex

also tbf val and naviband are irrelevant compared to the interval acts they have booked already. it would be very random to have some belarussians performed the interval act when the Eurovision is in the Netherlands and they should be showcasing Dutch talent

Whisker
Whisker
26 days ago
Reply to  Fionn

Israel 2019 begs to differ!

I still can’t get over Madonna’s interval act.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
26 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

Neither can Madonna. She’s still catching her breath and counting her money.

Whisker
Whisker
25 days ago

Oh it’s not like she’d tried too hard tho.

tobias andersen
tobias andersen
25 days ago

@mr valinilla bean I think that million she got (or somthing like that) she would gladly return if she could delete the memory of everyone who watched her live performance. Some of the money probably went into post production to upload videos of her Eurovision where she sounds great 😀

tobias andersen
tobias andersen
25 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

noone can. That was a car crash. The end of her career, now she can make concerts of her old music and live like Char. i don’t see her reaching the charts again after that failure. Sad she has so many songs I love.