This year,  the Eurovision Song Contest experienced the unprecedent cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing huge disappoitment to the contest’s fans. Instead fo the show the special show  “Europe Shine Light”, hit our screens as a tribute to this year’s delegates.  And if this year the time limits were too tight for any other reaction, now EBU has all the time to get prepared in accordnce to the new circumstances Covid-19 has brought.

The pandemic has changed everything in the way of working for the teams of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Eurovision is a big television show watched each year by more than 125 million people, but it is above all a big event for the organizing country and the city that hosts it.


EBU’s thoughts on the next edition

The 2021 edition is due to take place in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam. The Netherlands won the right to organize the 2020 edition of the event after the victory of Dutch singer Duncan Laurence in the previous competition, in 2019 in Tel Aviv. Nadja Burkhardt,  Eurovision Supervisor of the events, outlines the parameters around the show, works on the various possible scenarios: what to do if certain delegations can come and not others, how to respect the rules of the competition and the sanitary measures. .. everything must be taken into account and that requires being very creative.

She says:

We work with other associations, sports associations in particular and with our members, such as the BBC for example, to find out how they plan their events, what are the elements that we have not yet considered.

Considering a show or a village taking into account, for example, social distancing if they are still relevant, or by imagining that some delegations will not be able to travel, such is the type of constraint with which Nadja Burkhardt must deal.

And goes on explaining:

“In fact we are copying what is happening at the moment: from one day to the next the countries are put on the red list, we can travel, we can no longer travel, we must change the planning at the last moment. .. “

“The organizers are concretely considering two scenarios: a competition that would take place in a normal way and a competition that would take place in a context of total containment. “In these two scenarios, there are sub-scenarios”,

“What must be taken into account is not only the legislation of the host country, but also the legislation of 43 delegations”.

“What particularly interests me is this moment when you have to move from one scenario to another. How easily can you switch from one version to another at the last moment”, it is all the challenge that currently occupies the organizing committee.

Today, the scenario of an online competition is not envisaged:

“That would be taking things from the wrong end. We could indeed start with a completely online disaster scenario, but it really is not the case. goal. We will really try to do everything so that the competition can take place on site “, says Burkhardt reflecting the ongoing thoughts that are on table by EBU at the moment.


Source: RTS/ Interview by Miruna Coca-Cozma