Within the past month alone, a plethora of small news clips and information has been released regarding the 2021 Eurovision cycle. Rather than writing a complete article over each piece, we here at ESCUnited want to combine them into multiple smaller articles to report what we know about the season as of today. Without further ado – let’s get started!

Eurovision 2021 Acts to Pre-Record Performances

In order to ensure that Eurovision happens, the EBU has tasked all 41 broadcasters with recording a taped version of their Eurovision performance and send it in before the rehearsals process begins. This preventative measure has been put in place should Europe or the Netherlands be put in lockdown before the contest, or some artists be unable to perform in Rotterdam due to quarantine or travel restrictions. If anything this makes it clear that the EBU have committed to producing a Eurovision song contest in whatever way possible come May 2021.

In order to ensure fairness and equity, each broadcaster will need to follow numerous production guidelines that prohibit augmented reality, audiences, overlays, confetti, drones, water or green screens. During the recording a representative from the host broadcaster, the ESC Executive supervisor, and an independent voting observer will be in attendance via video conference to “observe, offer assistance, and ensure the integrity of the contest”.

While it may seem to be an odd practice, this is the exact plan that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is using for their show next weekend. This guarantees that all countries and entries get the opportunity to shine at the contest, and also be performed for Eurovision fans (unlike the 2020 entries). The EBU has also called on the artists to “Open Up to variety” meaning new ways to host the contest and to perform for all of Europe.

The potential for a live audience at Eurovision 2021

The Dutch broadcaster NOS has reported that the State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate has given the green light for large scale trial events to happen in regions of the country and risk level 1. It is worth noting that most regions of the nation are currently at risk level 3 (high) or risk level 4 (severe). This means that this trial will likely not take place in large cities such as  Rotterdam.

However, there is speculation that the trial events could lead the Dutch government to green light a live Eurovision audience should trials prove successful. This effort is headed up by Dutch company Fieldlab Events, and has been named the Back to Live project. They intend to host a pop concert and dance event with over 1,300 people to test safety regulations that could map to other live events in the future such as sports, theater shows, and of course more concerts.

Only time will tell if this project is successful – but the presence of a live audience will also rely on an effective COVID-19 vaccine and how quickly the Dutch government can distribute it. Many country officials believe this endeavor could take nearly a year to complete, meaning that audience participation could be in danger even if the Back to Live project is a success.

Another 2020 artist bites the dust

Earlier this week Germany’s 2020 representative Ben Dolic revealed that he would not be returning for the 2021 edition of the contest. While fans may speculate why Ben won’t represent Germany, it appears he pulled out of the process voluntarily. The reason: his musical career has taken a different direction according to his Instagram post.

With Ben out of the picture that also means that the German entry will likely not be penned by “Violent Thing” writer Boris Milanov (writer of “If Love Was A Crime”, “Bones”, “All of My Love”, “Tears Getting Sober”, and others). This has opened the way for a new and potentially unknown artist to take the Eurovision stage in Rotterdam this May.

The 2021 Allocation Draw has been cancelled

As reported earlier this week – the 2020 semi-final allocations will utilized during the 2021 contest. The EBU made this decision due to fans carrying their semi-final tickets over from the cancelled event, assuming that the live audience is allowed in Ahoy Arena come May time. This means that the Semi final 1 and Semi Final 2 line will be exactly the same. You can read more about this decision and the official 2021 Allocation by clicking here.

That wraps up the news updates for the 2021 contest in Rotterdam, but there are still more updates to come from the nations themselves. More from them later!

What do #YOU think of the pre-recorded performances and live audience tests? Are #YOU sad to see Ben Dolic go? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, and on our forum page!


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