By Yasmin Balent
Eurovision comes back! But faced with the health situation and social distancing measures, it is now certain that the final of Eurovision Song Contest 2021, on May 22 in Rotterdam (Netherlands), will not take place in the same way as previous years.
The Eurovision Song Contest
A little history won’t hurt you. This competition finds its origins in the geopolitical context of the 1950s and the desire to create indissoluble links between European countries after the Second World War. This is how the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was founded in 1950, bringing together public radio and television broadcasters from the main countries of Western Europe.
Over the years, the format has evolved, but the principle remains the same. After all the countries have submitted their songs, each country votes for their favourite: Nations are not allowed to vote for their own song. At the end of the program, the song with the most points win. The winning country thus receives the prestige of winning and is invited to host the event the following year.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the contest will be held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a city which should have hosted Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
For this 65th edition, through a press release, 4 scenarios were presented last September by the organizers. The European Broadcasting Company, Dutch broadcasters and the city of Rotterdam have announced that they did not opt for the first scenario (Eurovision Song Contest 2021 could unfold normally). Today, this leaves scenarios B, C and D.
Scenario B is for the moment the one favoured by the organizers. The show at Rotterdam Ahoy Arena will be maintained. Everyone present will have to respect social distancing, undergo regular screening tests, and a strict health protocol. If some delegations cannot travel to Rotterdam, they will perform “live-on-tape” with a recorded performance.
In the case of limited or prohibited international travels, the event will still take place at the Rotterdam Ahoy Arena but without the artists and delegations. The election will then be based on their live performances recorded and sent. The public will either be absent or adapted to a reduced gauge to enforce social distancing.
This last scenario provides for a Eurovision Song Contest under confinement. It is similar to Scenario C, except that there will be no spectators or side activities in Rotterdam.
How to attend the Eurovision Song Contest 2021: dates and tickets
The Eurovision week will consist of three shows: the first Semi-Final will take place on Tuesday, the second Semi-Final on Thursday and the Grand Final on Saturday.
- May 18 – First Semi-Final
- May 20 – Second Semi-Final
- May 22 – Grand Final
Knowing that there will be less capacity to accommodate spectators in Scenarios B and C, the organizers have decided to reimburse all current ticket holders and later give them the option to redeem tickets for the same shows.
The number of tickets available for each show will depend on government guidelines for social distancing. “By postponing the audience decision to mid-April, we hope to be able to responsibly accommodate as many spectators as possible” said Sietse Bakker, Event Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Your trip to Rotterdam
Knowing that government regulations and guidelines are constantly changing, it will be difficult for you to book your flight well in advance. The most comfortable and flexible option is therefore to opt for an air taxi. This way, you will decide when, where and at what time you want to take off. Finally, you don’t have to go to big airports and arrive 2 hours before your departure.
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