Eurovision 2020: NPO has multiple back up scenarios for the contest due to corona virus; Danish national final to be held without audience
The Dutch organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest is currently focusing on various possible scenarios related to the corona virus.
The Coronavirus is spreading around Europe causing a domino of consequences which are starting to affect among others the Eurovision Song Contest itself. The Dutch organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are currently focusing on various possible scenarios related to the corona virus. A NPO spokesperson has confirmed that consultations about these possible alternatives are also taking place with EBU.
The spokesperson does not want to comment on the content of these possible scenarios. He does not want to say whether one of the possible scenarios is to let the song contest in Ahoy continue without an audience. And goes further on saying:
It is currently too early to comment on these possible scenarios, as they depend on developments in the coming period. Our focus is still on producing an unforgettable Eurovision Song Contest.
The NPO previously stressed that it should follow RIVM guidelines in this area. The governmental institute has not yet commented on the cancellation of events, the responsibility for such decisions is currently at the municipal level. Prime Minister Mark Rutte , howevee, said on Tuesday after a crisis meeting on corona that canceling events is “not useful”. In the Netherlands, more and more people are getting infected with the corona virus. The number of sick people rose from 38 to 82 on Thursday.
Danks Melodi Grand Prix to take place without audience
The domino of consequences of the coronavirus spread has reached Denmark which is holding its national final tomorrow night. This year’s Danish Melodi Grand Prix is held at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen tomorrow, Saturday, it will be held in an empty hall.
Although up to 10,000 fans have purchased a ticket for the big music event, they are now not allowed to enter the arena and experience the ten participants on stage.This was confirmed by DR’s spokesman, Gustav Lützhøft. The decision to conduct the show without the audience is a direct consequence of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s (S) announcement Friday morning that the authorities during the rest of March should postpone or cancel all events where more than 1,000 people are gathered.
DR’s spokesman Gustav Lützhøft. stated:
Of course, we had a dream of thousands of people in the auditorium, as it gives a special atmosphere for such a show, but we are still going to make a big TV production, which we can gather at home in the living rooms.
And concludes saying:
We think it is logical to follow the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Of course, I’m annoyed on behalf of our audience, and I’m sorry to have to disappoint them. But our first priority is to adhere to the recommendations we receive from the authorities.
Head of Delegations Meeting – EBU travel restrictions
Meanwhile after the press reported Swedish withdrawal from the HoD meeting , a comfirmed incident of the virus within EBU’s staff in Geneva brought travel restrictions to all the EBU staff until March 13. The restrictions include the Head of EBU for the Eurovision Song Contest , Jon Ola Sand, who due to this restriction will have to miss out the Head of Delegations Meeting in Rotterdam on March 9.
As if Swedish Delegation’s withdrawal wasn’t enough , Israel decided to take the same path after KAN’s decision not to attend the meeting next Monday in Rotterdam. This development comes after the Israeli Health Ministry’s guidline to avoid unnecessary travel. The Ministry of Health has advised Israelis to avoid travelling abroad and only in “urgent” cases.
All delegations absent and Jon Ola Sand himself will attend the meeting remotely.