By Yasmin Balent

The Eurovision Song Contest is a song contest in which the participants represent a European country. Each country presents a song which is broadcasted live on radio and television, a voting of the best songs takes place afterwards. 

Did you know that this program is one of the longest running television shows in the world? It has been broadcasted every year since 1956. This makes it to the longest running annual international television competition. The viewer figures range between 100 million and 600 million. The first competition took place on the 24th of May 1956 in Switzerland, where the contest finds its origins. In the 50s, Europe was slowly rebuilding itself after the war. In due course, Switzerland set up a committee looking for ways to bring the EBU countries back together. They came up with the idea of a singing competition in which countries would take part in a television program. The songs would be broadcasted simultaneously to all the countries of the Union. 

The format has changed a bit over the years, but the basic principle is still the same. Participating countries submit original songs, which are then broadcast live in all countries in a television program on the Eurovision network. A country is represented by a person or a group. First and foremost, the participating countries are also active members of the EBU. An active member is a country which is located in states that belong to the European Broadcasting Area or are member states of the Council of Europe. A common misconception is that participants in the Eurovision song contest must come from Europe. This is not true because every full EBU member is eligible to participate. The eligibility is not determined by the geographical classification within the European continent, despite the “Euro” in the “Eurovision” – there is no direct reference to the European Union. Several countries which geographically lie outside the borders of Europe have prevailed in the competition: Israel, Cyprus and Armenia in West Asia, Australia and Morocco in North Africa. 

After all countries have presented their songs, the countries then vote for the songs of the other countries: the nations are not allowed to vote for their own song. At the end of the program, the song with the most points is declared as the winner. The winner simply receives the prestige of winning, receives a trophy and the winning country is officially invited to host the event the following year. 

So it comes that, the next Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will take place in the Netherlands, Rotterdam. As Duncan Laurence won the last Eurovision Song Contest 2019, with the song “Arcade”.  

Why Rotterdam? When choosing the location, the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest checked the technical suitability of the location, the surrounding facilities, the availability and the financial contribution of the municipality. Rotterdam became the favorite.

“With Rotterdam as host city of the Eurovision Song Contest, we are not only choosing a city with a special history and undeniable vitality. We also choose the Arena “Rotterdam Ahoy” because we think it is optimal to produce three state-of-the-art TV shows for more than 180 million viewers,”

Said one of the organizers. Read our blog about Rotterdam to find out what else you can do in the city.

Maastricht and Amsterdam were also favoriting alongside Rotterdam, but Amsterdam had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts and Maastricht announced that they would not be organizing the event. 

When exactly will the Eurovision song contest take place?

The Eurovision-week will have three shows: The first semi-final will take place on Tuesdays, the second semi-final on Thursday and the Grand Final on Saturday. 

Semifinal 1: 12 May 2020
Semifinal 2: 14 May 2020
Grand Final: 16 May 2020

Tickets

The tickets are usually sold in November and December of the previous year, so we expect the tickets for Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam to be released by the end of 2019.
Read more: How to get tickets for Eurovision 2020

Our recommendation is to keep an eye on the ticket sales and buy them as soon as the tickets go online. Since it is known that the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam, booking requests for hotels are rising strongly and therefore the prices follow accordingly. Meaning, you should already look for a place to sleep right now. 

The journey to Rotterdam

Rotterdam is quite well connected with all the surrounding cities and with the neighboring countries of the Netherlands by car, train or plane. 

The most relaxed and flexible option is to take an air taxi via Fly Aeolus. In that way you are 100% flexible, which means you decide WHEN, WHERE and at WHAT TIME you want to be picked up, at one of the 1600 airports in Europe. You do not have to arrive 2 hours before departure like with traditional airlines, 15 minutes before departure is enough. By checking in at a separate gate, you won’t experience overcrowded security lines. 

Here is a flight offer from Cologne to Rotterdam (1 week)

Airplane: Cirrus SR22

Flight time: 1h 16min

Price: € 4,441.24 (for 3 passengers)   

Would you also like to be a guest at the Eurovision Song Contest or get to know Rotterdam better? Then feel free to visit our website and calculate your private air taxi cost to Rotterdam using our private jet calculator. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us under +31 (0)15 820 0999 or info@flyaeolus.com.

Fly Aeolus wishes you a nice stay in Rotterdam!