Thursday 19 September 2019

Rotterdam 12 points: port city to stage Eurovision Song Festival

Photo: Roger Veringmeier via Wikimedia Commons

Rotterdam has been selected as the host city for next year’s Eurovision Song Festival, after beating Maastricht in a short-list of two.

The Netherlands will host the show because singer songwriter Duncan Lawrence won the contest last year – the first Dutch victory in 44 years.

The contest will be staged in the Ahoy exhibition complex which hosts trade fairs, tennis matches and the North Sea Jazz festival. The semi-finals take place on Tuesday May 12 and Thursday may 14, with the grand final on Saturday, May 16.

Rotterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Arnhem and Den Bosch all submitted formal ‘bid books’ to host the show, with just two making the shortlist.

Amsterdam pulled out of the running after mayor Femke Halsema said none of the venues that were capable of putting on the event were available for the required eight-week period.

Staging the festival is likely to cost up to €30m, and Zuid-Holland provincial council has said it will contribute €1m. Rotterdam alderman Said Kasmi said he did not yet know how much the city would contribute to the bill but that it would be considerable.

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