Thursday 09 April 2020

Eurovision Song Festival in Rotterdam cancelled due to coronavirus

The stage has been inspired by the flat Dutch landscape. Photo: NPO/AVROTROS/NOS

The organisers of the Eurovision Song Festival have decided to cancel this year’s event because of the coronavirus crisis – the first time in 64 years the contest has not been held.

The 65th edition of the festival, due to be held in May, should have been staged in Rotterdam because the Netherlands won last year’s competition, but questions had been raised about its viability given the hold coronavirus now has on Europe.

‘The uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union has taken the difficult decision that it impossible to continue with the live event as planned,’ the EBU said in a statement.

The organisers, the city of Rotterdam and Dutch broadcasters will continue to talk about the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021, the EBU said.

The EBU said the song contest has united audiences every year for 64 years without interuption. ‘We like the millions of fans around the world are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.’

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