The official announcement of the European Broadcasting Union – International Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is canceled due to coronavirus.
The event was to be held May 16 in Rotterdam at the Ahoy Arena venue with a capacity of 16,000 people.
“We, like millions of people around the world, are extremely saddened that the competition will not be held in May,” the organizers said in a statement.
The Dutch government, following many countries, had previously banned large public meetings in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The health of artists, employees, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, lies at the heart of this decision,” the Eurovision team said.
The event’s executive director, John Ola Sand, added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, which has united people across Europe for 64 years. We are very sorry about this situation, but I can promise you: the Eurovision song contest will return even more vivid and interesting than ever. ”
He added that negotiations are already underway to hold a competition in Rotterdam next year.
It is not known, however, whether this year’s participants will be invited. The organizers said that they “explored many alternative options” for Eurovision this year, but ultimately decided that it was impossible to postpone or modify it in any way.
According to the frequently asked questions section on the Eurovision website, “Dutch restrictions on meeting large numbers of people and international travel restrictions mean that holding an event, even without an audience, is impossible.”
They also rejected the idea of a remote hosting show where each participant would speak via satellite. The idea had to be rejected, because, according to the organizers, the peculiarity of this competition was that all the artists and fans gathered in one place to compete on equal terms on the same stage. ”
“We felt that in the extreme conditions that we face this year, the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest will not be in a different way with our values and traditions of the event.”
In addition, the virus has already affected the preparation for the event – several artists refused to go to the Netherlands to shoot “video cards” for their songs.
Vaidotas Valukevicius, the lead singer of The Roop, a Lithuanian gang, explained the decision of his group as follows: “We do not want to risk our own or public health. We will follow the recommendations of the government, which state that we should try to avoid traveling abroad. We believe that the responsible attitude of each person is the key to bringing the world back to normal. ”
Also last week, several participating countries did not attend the meeting of the heads of delegation, which is a key part of preparing for the show.
It is unfortunate that the virus affects all areas, so let us together observe all the necessary measures in order to return to the usual way of life as soon as possible.