Last week, Iceland’s Eurovision 2021 delegation went into isolation following a positive COVID-19 test. Now, a member of Daði Freyr’s on-stage band Gangamagnið has tested positive for the virus.
As a result, the group will not attend Wednesday’s rehearsal and jury show. Instead, Daði og Gagnamagnið will compete using a backup recording from their second rehearsal earlier in the week.
One member of Daði og Gagnamagnið tests positive for COVID-19
Icelandic broadcaster RÚV confirmed the news in a press release on Wednesday morning.
“One member of Gagnamagnið has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 infection. This was revealed when eight of the Icelandic group were screened for the virus this morning.
Thus, it is unlikely that Daði og Gagnamagnið will take part in the rehearsal tonight and it is unlikely that the band will take the stage in a live broadcast the next evening, but will have to use a recording.
It is uncertain whether Daði og Gagnamagnið can take part in the final night on Saturday if the song continues.”
Rúnar Freyr Gíslason of the Icelandic delegation described the news as “a big blow.”
Soon after, Daði Freyr himself confirmed the news on Twitter. “Unfortunately this probably means that we will not take part in the rehearsal today or live show tomorrow”, he said.
A member of Gagnamagnið got a positive test result this morning. Unfortunately this probably means that we will not take part in the rehearsal today or live show tomorrow and a recording from our second rehearsal will be used in stead. pic.twitter.com/93yravOHSY
— Daði Freyr ? (@dadimakesmusic) May 19, 2021
The EBU have also issued a statement. They confirm that:
“In close collaboration with the EBU and the host broadcaster, Daði og Gagnamagnið have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from performing in this year’s live Eurovision Song Contest shows, as they only want to perform together as a group.
“Their song will remain in the competition and we will broadcast their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on 13 May.”
Gagnamagnið member Jóhann Sigurður shares his heartbreak
Gagnamagnið keyboard dancer Jóhann Sigurður has confirmed that he is the group member who has tested positive. In an emotional series of Instagram stories, Jóhann shared news of the diagnosis, saying:
“Hi, I guess you heard by now that one member of Gagnamagnið has been diagnosed with COVID. I just want to let you know that that member is me. I’m pretty shocked and disappointed and generally just really sad about the whole situation.”
His voice breaking with emotion, Jóhann went on to say, “It’s difficult because we’ve worked so hard and I really wanted this.”
He also added, “We are really proud of our second rehearsal. It went really well and I am hoping we will make you proud, make Icelanders proud and make our supporters proud.”
I’m devastated ??? pic.twitter.com/CBlCgznnw3
— Common Eurofan Girl (@CommonESCGirl) May 19, 2021
Iceland at Eurovision 2021: COVID-19 contingency plan
Last week, the whole Icelandic delegation at Eurovision 2021 were forced into isolation following a positive COVID-19 case within their cohort. This meant the “10 Years” performers missed out on the Eurovision 2021 opening ceremony Turquoise Carpet event. This positive case did not come from Daði og Gagnamagnið themselves.
It was previously reported that Daði og Gagnamagnið had tested negative for COVID-19 and would be permitted to attend rehearsals inside the Rotterdam Ahoy should they be able to provide another negative test.
In the event of a performer or delegation member becoming infected, the EBU have implemented a series of strict health and safety measures to ensure Eurovision can continue as intended. This included requiring all participating acts to record a backup live-on-tape performance in the event of being unable to travel to Rotterdam.
We wish Jóhann a swift recovery and we wish good health to the whole Icelandic delegation for the remainder of their stay in Rotterdam and beyond.