Following the cancellation of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest the Reference Group had revealed that this year’s songs will not be eligible to take part in next year’s edition of the competition. 

Yesterday the EBU released a statement elaborating further more on the decision and its background that led the Reference Group to exclude this year’s entries from Eurovision 2021. The specific statement has as following:

The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, agreed that the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest should be upheld for the event when it returns in 2021. This means that the songs that compete next year cannot be commercially available before 1 September 2020, which excludes the current selection of songs chosen for this year’s cancelled event.

However, participating broadcasters can choose to send the artist selected for this year’s Contest should they wish, or choose a new one. We know the decision is disappointing for many, but the EBU and its Members intend to celebrate this year’s songs in the coming months in the absence of a Contest in 2020.

In making the decision the Reference Group took into account that the EBU, the 41 participating broadcasters and Universal Music would be showcasing this year’s songs and artists in alternative programming, on a tribute CD and on all our digital channels as much as possible in the coming weeks.

They also looked at the fact that bringing the same songs to the ESC 2021 would not be in the spirit of the Contest and the excitement and engagement created every year during “selection season” would be lost. This would impact the build up to the event on social media, online and on air for the participating broadcasters during the national finals and the preview shows.

They agreed, that abandoning the 1 September rule for commercial release, even in these unprecedented circumstances, would lead to an unfair competition in 2021, where some broadcasters could choose to submit this year’s song or choose a newer song.

Meanwhile several broadcasters despite the initial disappoitment from EBU’s decision, as after months of work the journey to Rotterdam ended this way, are revealing their intention on next year’s contest and whether they will hold new selection or stick with their Eurovision 2020 hopefuls.

On the other hand, EBU aiming to honor all the effort by the  41 delegations and the selected acts will be broadcasting a special Eurovision program Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, set to be aired on Saturday, May 16 at 21:00 CET.