Alternative Eurovision 2020 event and 2021 artists on the horizon!
During this past week, the Eurovision community learnt the news we all secretly knew was coming but still hoped wouldn’t – the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. On March 18 an official statement was released by the European Broadcasting Union confirming the news. Understandable but saddening fononetheless.
The EBU yesterday gave a second statement giving us a clearer idea in these unprecedented times the fate of the artists and songs selected for 2020:
"The EBU are very aware of how much the Eurovision Song Contest will be missed this year. The Contest's values of universality and inclusivity, and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music, are needed more than ever right now.
...therefore currently exploring alternative programming, but not a competition, to help unite and entertain audiences around Europe during these challenging times.
It is our intention in this programming, and on our online platforms in the coming months, to honour the songs and artists which have been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
With that in mind, the Reference Group, the ESC's governing board, has decided that, in accordance with the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, this year's songs will not be eligible to compete when the Contest returns in 2021.
At their discretion, Participating Broadcasters may decide which artist(s) to send in 2021, either this year's or a newly chosen one."
In a lovely sentiment Eurovision is sticking to it's core reason for existence - to bind together and entertain the people of Europe during times of struggle. We do not have any details as to what the event(s) will entail but it will provide some distraction which is much appreciated in the current climate.
The second take away point is that songs from 2020 will not be eligible in 2021, although expected as it is a well known rule, there was some question if there would be special consideration.
The third - it is up to the broadcaster whether they retain the 2020 contestant for Eurovision 2021. Some countries have already come out and started to confirm their plans for 2021! Below is a list of where each of the countries that were due to compete in the 2020 contest sit as we speak.
Artists confirmed to participate in Eurovision 2021:
Azerbaijan - Efendi
Belgium - Hooverphonic
Bulgaria - Victoria
Georgia - Tornike Kipiani
Greece - Stefania
Spain - Blas Cantó
Switzerland - Gjon's Tears
The Netherlands - Jeangu Macrooy
Ukraine - Go_A
Countries that have confirmed participation but not their artist:
Croatia - confirmed they will be competing in 2021 with negotiations still ongoing if Damir Kedžo will be their representative.
Estonia - Eesti Laul will go ahead as normal, but organisers have invited Uku Suviste to participate in next year’s competition.
Ireland - RTE have confirmed that they will be participating in 2021, but there’s no word on whether Lesley Roy will return to compete for Ireland in 2021
Lithuania - LRT have confirmed they will participate in 2021, but haven’t confirmed whether The Roop will be their representative. They have announced they will make a decision on their selection plans by April 1.
Sweden - Sweden has confirmed that Melodifestivalen will go ahead as planned, the Mammas won’t be the 2021 Swedish representative.
Countries who have not confirmed their participation or artist: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia & United Kingdom
Of course this is all very early days - with an event with the magnitude of the Eurovision Song Contest we are going to have to exert kindness and patience in light of recent global events. We cannot wait to see what the EBU has in store for the 2020 alternative event.