Set-up for Eurovision 2021 is underway and in just a few weeks delegations will start to make their way to Rotterdam. But there is still uncertainty over whether Montaigne will be in Rotterdam — or if the Australian delegation will have to compete with their live-on-tape performance.
Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer Sietse Bakker spoke to AD.nl about the uncertainties of delegations travelling to Rotterdam in May. He noted that it is a lot easier for participating countries from within the EU.
Currently, people from outside the European Union are not able to travel to the Netherlands. However, the Dutch government can grant exemptions for professionals in the cultural and creative sectors.
Sietse Bakker confirmed that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has granted exemptions for Eurovision participants. He said, “That means that for the time being, we expect that almost all delegations will be able to take the stage here.”
Will Montaigne travel to Rotterdam?
Things appear to be less certain for Australia, however. Since March last year, Australia’s international border has closed and Australian citizens are generally unable to leave the country. This is done as a way of minimising spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Sietse Bakker said, “Australia is difficult, for example, because it has fairly strict travel restrictions.” He added, “We hope to hear more soon.”
The Australian government can make exemptions — but there are strict criteria that must be met. Two potentially relevant criteria for Eurovision could be travel for work or travel that’s “in the national interest”. The Australian delegations would also need to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel upon their return to Australia, at their own expense — adding to the costs associated with their Eurovision 2021 participation.
However, as it is still possible for Australia to compete at Eurovision 2021 without physically being in Rotterdam, this may be considered “good enough” for the delegation.
Like all competing countries, Australia has already recorded a live-to-tape that can be used in competition if the delegation is unable to travel to Rotterdam in May.
Last month Montaigne was optimistic about being able to travel to Rotterdam. At the time of the launch of her song “Technicolour”, Montaigne told an Australian radio station that she was “99% sure” that the Australian delegation will be able to travel to Rotterdam in May.
She outlined the health and safety guidelines of Eurovision 2021, including regular testing. She said she’d have to get vaccinated before leaving and — like all Australians — would have to go into two weeks quarantine upon returning to Australia.
What do you think? Would the show be the same if some countries used a back-up performance instead of performing live in Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!
I really hope she goes! It’s not the same with a tape! They’d probably have to decide soon as there isn’t that long to go! It’s annoying though the covid situation is unpredictable :/
I don’t see why she cannot travel, we’ve seen tennis players travelling, why not Montaigne? They just need to reduce the number of delegation members. Either way, it’s not looking good for her.
Yeah but we have no community transmissions. You obviously don’t realise we have a very susceptible First Nations people here who if they get it will wipe out the whole population. They don’t like to come to hospital for treatment and trying to convince some of these communities to take covid vaccine is hard. So protecting an ancient race of people and their culture is important to us here more so than allowing people to trot around the globe having a holiday. We may have shut our cities down during outbreaks but our economy is strangely booming since the lockdowns… Read more »
Australia is doing exactly the right thing to protect its people. The fact you’re trying to especially consider the health needs of the First Nations people is commendable in my eyes. Ignore those who seem to want a country to wave a magic wand & change science. To my mind, it’s amazing there are still people who don’t want to take Covid 19 seriously.
And how exactly can someone LEAVING a country cause a community transmission within that country? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
Inbound restrictions at least have some basis – even if I disagree with them, I at least see the argument. But outbound restrictions are gross violation of human rights, with no benefit whatsoever.
(By the way, I have been living in a place with very few restrictions – not even masks – for the last 6 months and surprise surprise, it didn’t lead to the local population being wiped out.)
Aboriginal people are not idiots…
The Australian government seems to be all over the place when it comes to travel exemptions or people coming to work here ……most of Hollywood it looks like at the moment. Because we have no community transmissions of covid . The bigger issue is Montaigne getting her vaccine. The preferred vac is Astra Zeneca that has now just been recommended to over 50’s only due to the bold clot thing and we don’t have much Pfizer vax to vaccinate our under 50’s . Europe who makes it stopped us from getting a delivery of 250,000 doses ( we understand you… Read more »
1. Vaccination is not required to enter NL for Eurovision.
2. The way I understand it, they will need to quarantine on return anyway.
I really don’t see how this can pose a problem.
It’s not the Netherlands that requires the jab it’s Australia and our airlines. No jab no fly . Other international airlines are not allowed to pick up passengers from Australia in Australia only drop off from overseas. Being in quarantine is not an issue. If the Australian government considers COVID-19 out of control in a country they won’t let you go – not even if you only transit though that country. Direct flights to the Netherlands don’t exist at the moment. So there is a really big problem mate . Any flight she gets goes through Doha and this seems… Read more »
No big deal. Crap song anyway …
Both songs are great
Another reason for not must have Australia at ESC… Sorry, I never understood it.
Better Australia than countries like Azerbaijan and Belarus.
It’s not fear mongering.
There’s a global pandemic and travel restrictions.
It’s actually a genuine concern.
The only reason I clicked on the article is because I thought Sietse Baker looks pretty hot in that photo
haha, me too
Always found him to be a cutie even way back when he used to work with the EBU.
If she will be two weeks in quarantine in the Netherlands then she would have to come to Rotterdam at about April 28
She won’t have to quarantine in the Netherlands, she would have to on return to Australia. Also if she needed to quarantine, April 28 is way too late. You’re giving her just a couple of days to rehearse?
Zero issue. Australia let a retired cricketer travel to the UK just to commentate. The Eurovision broadcast is government owned, so SBS will have cleared travel ages ago.
Montaigne will be in Rotterdam
Dude she can travel wesring a mask having a negative test and thats enough, why is everybody overacting, we can’t no more really
I’m with most people here and for the same reasons. I can’t montaigne not coming. But on the off chance she doesn’t I had a thought. People here are saying that if she is the only one with a live on tape she won’t qualify. But, and again just a thought, if this is the case does anyone think that people might empathise with that situation more and actually upvote her performance? And for the record I am team montaigne anyway.
If Second Opinion’s results so far are telling me anything, without giving too much away, I wouldn’t count Australia out
It’s still beyond me how can someone consider it acceptable to prevent people from LEAVING a country. Feels very USSR.
But irrespective of that, given that Australia grants exceptions for sports players, I imagine it shouldn’t be problem for Eurovision either.
I’d expect for Montaigne to be there more than I’d expect Flo Rida to be there.
I don’t get it, just let her go and she will go into 2 weeks quarantine upon returning. It’s simple. Using the back-up performance will just put her in a worse situation than the one she’s currently in having in mind her chances to qualify. Every artist would love to step on the esc stage, so if she doesn’t go there, I think it won’t be fair for her.
Agreed 100%. It’s not the same for the artists and, much more importantly, for the people of every country to have their performance live on stage during the live shows. Considering the semi that she’s on, I now worry about her chances to qualify. Seeing how nobody is to blame for the current situation, the EBU should seriously consider formally making Australia a permanent participant.
I don’t see how the two things are connected…it wouldn’t change anything even if SBS were made permanent.
I suppose that you’ve never heard of a good will gesture. This is how both things are connected: the EBU extended SBS an invitation for a limited amount of years, and through no fault of their own, should Montaigne be unable to perform in Rotterdam (even if she were not to qualify), they’ve been cheated out of two of those years. Not to mention that it makes financial sense because of the participation fee, Not to mentioning that their participation increases the quality of the contest.
The EBU didn’t cause Covid. A better thing to do would be to add on another two years to the invitation, which they were probably going to do anyway. Probably another five or even ten. They are not full members, permanent is too much.
I disagree that permanent is too much. I think Australia has brought something to the competition every year they’ve competed. I want their involvement to be permanent. They send quality songs that try to reflect their current music scene. There has been the odd miss but even they’ve not been terrible. Personally I’d rather a country that supported the competition be allowed to take part, than one who turns up each year because it’s expected. You don’t have to be in Europe to be an Associate Member of the EBU, so why should you be in Europe or at least… Read more »
You don’t have to be in Europe to be in the contest, but you do have to be in the European broadcasting area to be a full member of the EBU. If they want to change that rule, become a full member, pay the same full membership…then fine, they can become permanent.
Australian government have let people out for far less than Eurovision. More problematic is the quarantine hassle, that it will be a compromised Eurovision experience anyway, and that the home recording will suffice.
I’m honestly thinking that the Australians will look at the odds as they are right now, as it doesn’t look too good for Australia, they will prevent them from flying to Rotterdam, and like how others have said in the comments, people would be even less inclined to vote for it and further seal its fate as Australia’s first NQ.
Kate was 19th in the polls before people saw the staging and she was hugely bumped up.
Portugal also have not a strong televote support but they still won the competition with more than 700 points in 2017.If Malta does the staging well they will win
The government will have to grant her an exemption if they’ve done so for athletes. Otherwise it’ll be bad optics
It will be so strange if everyone is live and Australia is not, I think they’d be a definite NQ, because the performance would just feel like an interval act or something and the voters at home would obviously give points to the live acts for the extra effort and challenge.
But as I say further down, I’m almost 100% sure that Australia will be present in Rotterdam.
It’s super unfair. Chances are that all other acts (or at least the vast majority) will be live on stage. Such a disadvantage. I don’t understand how they haven’t considered vaccinating the whole delegation and quarantining and testing them upon return. The vaccine is a thing now.
I agree, it’s ridiculous to think this couldn’t happen.
But so many decisions made over the last year or so was made in haste, with little thought, so I guess the trend is just continuing here.
I have feeling if we are the only ones not in ROTTERDAM, I think hardcore esc fans may give sympathy points, but not the average viewer would not
I hope she can, it would look so weird if all the songs were live and Montaigne’s was virtual. I really like her song, and I hope she surprisingly qualifies.
I thought she said she is going !!
The Olympic games will begin this June and Australia have confirmed their participation. I’m certain Montaigne will perform in Rotterdam, otherwise the Aussie Olympic team won’t be going to Tokyo either… which is highly unlikely.
The difference is that Montaigne has a back-up, her song can still be in the contest without her leaving Australia. That’s not possible for the Olympics.
I love this song so much. It gives off such a positive vibe with a unique sound. I hope the Australian delegation can get to Rotterdam as Australia have been such an inspiration since 2015. Fingers crossed but I completely understand if they can’t be there on the night.
I expect her to be there, but even if she couldn’t, they’ll just use the back-up recorded performance everyone had to send in. Whatever happens, Montaigne will be just fine.
Last year, an Australian actor who is the lead star of a TV show in the States that films in Serbia was able to get the greenlight to leave their country to travel for work because the Serbian government was able to vouch on their behalf. That was around June lst year when Australia had already barred its citizens from leaving the country.
I can see this happening to Montaigne but yeah, the likelihood of her not going is still pretty there.
One good reason to finish with this nonsense of this no european countrie at eurovision.
And what about Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Israel? Those countries are Asian yet here they are competing. Heck, some other non-European countries are also able to compete, we even had Morocco once, and 2005 almost gave us Lebanon too.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia are in Europe
yes and Kazakhstan (partly)
Armenia technically isn’t, and Azerbaijan & Georgia only have very small parts in Europe, like Kazakhstan. It’s not just about geography though, it’s also about mentality. That’s why Kazakhstan is not competing, they don’t really European, nor are they internationally recognized as such. The other three are though.
Let us be clear of facts. There’s nothing in the rules about “mentality”. Armenia does have territory in Asia and all those countries play in European football,including Kazakhstan. They, despite territory in Europe, aren’t eligible for full member EBU status and therefore Eurovision because the European broadcasting area doesn’t quite reach. In contrast, it goes as far south as the Middle East and northern Africa, which makes Israel, Lebanon and Morocco eligible.
Kazakhstan is in UEFA
It’s about the European broadcasting area, which extends to the Middle East and northern Africa. All those countries can be full members and so automatically eligible for Eurovision. Australia is well away so is stuck as an associate member and relies on special invitations each year. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are in Europe anyway. Curiously, Kazakhstan is partially in Europe too yet is stuck as an associate because the broadcasting area doesn’t quite reach.
Pity if she won’t be able to go because this feels like one of those entries this year where the delegation and artist have gambled everything on the live performance in Rotterdam. I’ve always said it though; if Eurovision is that big of a deal in Australia then they’ll let her go. But seeing the ethical dilemma of Aussies being stranded overseas, it really makes things harder, doesn’t it? That being said, tennis players from all over world recently traveled to Melbourne for Australian Open so…
Aussie perspective: eurovision is quite a big deal here. I would say we probably have more hardcore fans than casual due to timezones and such. Everyone knows what eurovision is here and some of our biggest stars have performed on the stage. So she should be able to perform in ROTTERDAM hopefully
Oh come on now. How is this even an article. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.
The Australian government have allowed tennis players from Australia to go play a tournament in Miami, USA which just took place last week.
And with Australia having 0 community COVID cases it makes it even more likely that Montaigne and her delegation will get an exemption to come to The Netherlands.
So if its all countries outside of EU does that mean UK, Ukraine, Russia, Israel etc can’t travel either
Did you skip the part where it says the Dutch ministry has granted exemptions for all participants?
Australia is highly competitive. There’s no way they will be missing Eurovision this year.
Surely they aren’t THAT competitive if they are competing with a song as poor as technicolour… I’m not hating on Australia or Montaigne but cmon
It’s Eurovision. They don’t compete for the best song. They compete for who got the best overall package which includes stage performance.
Worst case scenario, they’ll just use the recorded back-up performance instead. Australia’s not gonna withdraw.
I worry that televoters just won’t support back-up performances.
I don’t think it will be a problem since I know some people that even moved away from Australia to Serbia few weeks ago.. So it is definitely possible..
The government will generally give an exemption for Australians to leave if they have a good reason to do so, the big issue will be about her getting home. There are capped numbers on how many returning Australians can enter the country each week and the numbers cam fluctuate. There are many Australians who have been trying to get home for a year who unfortunately have not been able to because of these limitations. For your friends who moved it’s no problem to leave because the assumption is they will not be coming back soon. But Montaigne and her delegation… Read more »
Most Aussies probably don’t mind the strict borders (otherwise, given how poll obsessed the government is, looser restrictions will be in play) especially that we’re opening a bubble with New Zealand.
Also, Montaigne isn’t a huge fan of the government (she comes off as quite left wing in her politics) so if she doesn’t get to go the idea of the government censoring her could be something political opponents spin for a narrative.
I hate Covid. My and my family’s mental health went bad during the quarantine, we hope to have watching ESC. Even though my husband is a Eurovision hater. But all these problems with corona on show make me sick.
It’s a tough one, especially when countries from the opposite side of the world are involved.
I dunno though I’m 99% sure Montaigne will be in Rotterdam.
Lol . Repeating Montaigne’s own words
Me and her are just so in sync I guess I dunno lol
I was kinda hoping you’re her
Whispers in your ear…”I am”
Hey montaigne lol