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Eurovision Song Contest 2020

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Eurovision Song Contest 2020
Eurovision Song Contest 2020 logo.svg
Dates
Semi-final 112 May 2020
Semi-final 214 May 2020
Final16 May 2020
Host
VenueRotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Directed by
  • Marnix Kaart
  • Marc Pos
Executive supervisorJon Ola Sand
Executive producer
  • Sietse Bakker
  • Inge van de Weerd
Host broadcaster
Participants
Number of entries38 (to date)
Returning countries Ukraine
Vote
Voting systemEach country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one set from their professional jury and the other from televoting

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will be the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country's victory at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the song "Arcade" performed by Duncan Laurence; this will be the fifth time that the Netherlands hosts the contest, the last edition having been the 1980 contest, and the first Eurovision event to be hosted in the country since the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2012. The contest will be held at Rotterdam Ahoy; it will consist of two semi-finals on 12 and 14 May, and the final on 16 May 2020.[1]

Thirty-eight countries have confirmed their intentions to participate in the contest, including Ukraine, which would return after it withdrew from the 2019 contest over disputes with its artists regarding the terms of the contract required for participation.

Location

Rotterdam Ahoy, the venue of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest

Preparations for the 2020 contest began on 19 May 2019, immediately after the Netherlands won the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. Jon Ola Sand, the executive supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the contest, handed AVROTROS, the Dutch participating broadcaster, a stack of documents and a USB drive with tools to begin the work needed to host the next contest.[2] AVROTROS is co-organising the event with sister broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and their parent public broadcasting organisation, Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO).[3][4]

Bidding phase

Locations of the candidate cities: the chosen host city is marked in blue. The shortlisted cities are marked in green, while the eliminated cities are marked in red.

Already prior to the 2019 contest, when bookmakers expected Laurence to win, several Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, The Hague and Maastricht, announced their intent to host the contest should Laurence win.[5] A spokesperson for NPO also stated that the broadcaster had a rough plan for how they would select the host city in the event of a Dutch victory;[6] when Laurence won the contest, mayors of various municipalities immediately began lobbying Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, through text messages.[7] Public figures, including Laurence, Esther Hart, Getty Kaspers and André Rieu, publicly voiced their support for their respective favourite host cities.[8]

The hosting broadcasters launched the bidding process on 29 May 2019.[9] In the first phase of this process, cities were to formally apply to bid.[10] Nine cities—Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht—did so and received a list of criteria they and their venues needed to meet on 12 June 2019.[10] Initially, Zwolle had also considered launching a bid to host the event but the city ultimately decided against doing so because it deemed its venue, the IJsselhallen, to have unsuitable proportions.[11] Enschede could have been a potential host city as Enschede Airport Twente considered bidding to host the event in its eleventh hangar, however, it later learned that Enschede's municipality executive board had decided against financially supporting such a bid.[12][13]

From this point on, these nine cities had until 10 July 2019 to compile their bid books to demonstrate their capabilities to host the contest.[10] Further cities were still able to join in on the bidding race by applying prior to the deadline.[10] During this period, four cities withdrew. Amsterdam could not host the contest because it was preoccupied with hosting other events during the contest's time frame.[14] Breda dropped out due to financial concerns.[15] Leeuwarden ceased bidding due to the insufficient height of the ceiling of its WTC Expo;[16] the Hague dropped its bid because both of its potential venues were unsuitable for the event.[17] The local Cars Jeans Stadion football stadium would have been large enough but lacked a roof, and installing such a roof would have made the bid financially unviable,[17] its other option would have been spanning a tent over the Malieveld field, but after reviewing the hosting conditions, this option fell out of favour.[17] Following its withdrawal, The Hague turned to support Rotterdam's bid instead.[17]

The five remaining cities—Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht—delivered their finished bid books to a ceremonial event held in Hilversum on 10 July 2019;[18] the hosting broadcasters reviewed the bids presented and on 16 July 2019 announced that it eliminated those for Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht, shortlisting only Maastricht and Rotterdam.[19] Utrecht was specifically eliminated because its proposal to span a tent over its Jaarbeurs offered limited possibilities for testing on location and had a questionable suitability for events like the Eurovision Song Contest,[20] while 's-Hertogenbosch was dropped due to an insufficient ceiling height in its Brabanthallen and too few hotel rooms blocked for potential visitors of the contest.[21]

To review and discuss the location, venue and surrounding events for the remaining bids, NPO visited Maastricht on 17 July 2019 and did the same in Rotterdam on the following day.[22][23] By late July, additional visits to the two shortlisted cities were deemed necessary to review production logistics;[24] the EBU did not pay visits to either city.[25] Maastricht and Rotterdam were to hand in revised versions of their bid books by 9 August 2019 to add details involving the cities' social programmes, side-events and programme licensing.[26] On 30 August, Rotterdam was announced as the host city during a special broadcast on NPO 1 and NPO 2.[1][27]

Key:  †  Host venue  ‡  Shortlisted venues

City Venue Notes Ref.
Arnhem GelreDome Joint bid with the city of Nijmegen and the Veluwe region [28]
's-Hertogenbosch Brabanthallen Candidacy was supported by the province of North Brabant and the cities of Breda, Eindhoven, Tilburg and Helmond [28]
Maastricht MECC Maastricht Candidacy was supported by the province of Limburg and surrounding cities [28][29]
Rotterdam Rotterdam Ahoy Candidacy was supported by the province of South Holland and the cities of Dordrecht and The Hague; venue previously hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007 [28][29]
Utrecht Jaarbeurs [28]

Provisional list of participating countries

The following countries have expressed their provisional interest in participating in the contest or confirmed that their expected national selection process would take place:

Semi-finals

Country Artist[30] Song Language(s)
 Albania[31] TBD December 2019[31] TBD December 2019[31]
 Australia[32] TBD 8 February 2020[33] TBD 8 February 2020[33]
 Austria[34]
 Azerbaijan[35]
 Belarus[36]
 Belgium[37] Hooverphonic TBA February 2020[38] English[39]
 Croatia[40]
 Cyprus[41]
 Czech Republic[42] TBD 25 January 2020[42] TBD 25 January 2020[42]
 Denmark[43] TBD 7 March 2020[43] TBD 7 March 2020[43]
 Estonia[44] TBD 29 February 2020[45] TBD 29 February 2020[45]
 Finland[46]
 Georgia[47]
 Greece[48]
 Iceland[49] TBD 29 February 2020[50] TBD 29 February 2020[50]
 Ireland[51]
 Israel[52]
 Latvia[53]
 Lithuania[54] TBD February 2020[55] TBD February 2020[55]
 Malta[56]
 Montenegro[57]
 North Macedonia[58]
 Norway[59] TBD 15 February 2020[59] TBD 15 February 2020[59]
 Poland[60]
 Portugal[61] TBD March 2020[62] TBD March 2020[62]
 Romania[63]
 Russia[64]
 San Marino[65]
 Serbia[66]
 Slovenia[67]
 Sweden[68] TBD 7 March 2020[69] TBD 7 March 2020[69]
  Switzerland[70]
 Ukraine[71]

Final

Country Artist[30] Song Language(s)
 France[72]
 Germany[73]
 Netherlands[74]
 Spain[75] Blas Cantó
 United Kingdom[76]

Other countries

Eligibility for potential participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership that will be able to broadcast the contest via the Eurovision network; the EBU will issue an invitation of participation in the contest to all active members. In contrast to previous years, associate member Australia does not need an invitation for the 2020 contest, as it was granted permission to participate until 2023.[77]

Active EBU members

  •  Andorra – In March 2019, Andorran broadcaster Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra (RTVA) stated that they would be open to co-operating with Catalan broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) to participate in future contests. The two broadcasters had previously co-operated when Andorra debuted in 2004.[78] However, in May 2019, RTVA confirmed that they would not participate in the 2020 contest. Andorra last participated in 2009, after which the broadcaster withdrew due to financial issues.[79]
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina – In December 2018, Lejla Babović, an executive with Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), stated that returning to the contest was BHRT's primary goal, but also that their financial situation made it difficult to return to the contest in 2020.[80] In July 2019, BHRT confirmed that they could not return due to sanctions imposed by the EBU as a result of the broadcaster's outstanding debt with the organisation. Bosnia and Herzegovina last took part in 2016.[81]
  •  Bulgaria – In April 2019, Bulgarian broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) stated that they had no plans to return to the contest in the near future, as the contest no longer fit the broadcaster's content strategy.[82] However, the broadcaster expected to elect a new delegation and managing board on 5 July 2019, after which it could decide upon further participation in the contest.[83] In June 2019, it was reported that BNT had amassed debts of 50 million lev and was "bankrupt".[84] BNT is discussing a possible participation in 2020 as of August 2019, with a decision to be reached in September 2019.[85]
  •  Italy – In May 2019, Italian broadcaster RAI announced that it had begun planning the 2020 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival. It was not confirmed whether the festival would be used to select Italy's participant for 2020.[86]
  •  Luxembourg – Because Luxembourg had not participated in the competition since 1993, there were increasing calls on them to return to the contest by 2019. In May 2019, Anne-Marie David, who won the 1973 contest for Luxembourg, called on the nation to return, while a petition from fans demanding a Luxembourgish return to the contest was sent to the Luxembourgish broadcaster RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg (RTL) and the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg. In previous years, RTL had stated they would not return to the contest due to financial concerns and the belief that smaller nations could not succeed in modern Eurovision events.[87] In June 2019, the Chamber of Deputies opened a petition of its own, which accepted signatures through 1 August 2019.[88] In July 2019, however, the broadcaster stated that they would not participate in the 2020 contest because the contest would be a financial strain on the broadcaster and because they focused on news content instead of music and entertainment.[89]
  •  Monaco – Monégasque broadcaster TMC confirmed in August 2019 that it would not take part in the 2020 contest. Monaco last participated in 2006.[90]
  •  Slovakia – In June 2019, Slovak broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) announced that it would not participate in the 2020 contest due to a lack of interest from the Slovak public. Slovakia last took part in 2012.[91]
  •  Turkey – In September 2019, the EBU stated that Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) had not signed up to compete in the 2020 contest. Turkey last took part in 2012.[92]

The following countries participated in the 2019 contest,[93] but have not yet announced whether they intend to participate in the 2020 contest:

Associate EBU members

  •  Kazakhstan – In November 2018, Jon Ola Sand, the executive supervisor of the contest, stated that Kazakhstan's participation in the contest needed to be discussed by the contest's reference group. Kazakhstan, through its EBU associate member Khabar Agency, had previously been invited to participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by that contest's reference group, though that would have no effect on their participation in the main contest;[94] the EBU stated in September 2019 that they had no intent to invite Kazakhstan to the 2020 contest.[95]

Non-EBU members

  •  Kosovo – In June 2018, Mentor Shala, the then-general director of Kosovan broadcaster Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), stated that the broadcaster was still pushing for full EBU membership and that it hoped to debut at the 2020 contest.[96] In June 2019, at the EBU's 82nd General Assembly, members of the EBU voted against the abolishing of an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) membership as a requirement to join the EBU, thus RTK cannot join the EBU in time for the 2020 contest.[97]
  •  Liechtenstein – In August 2019, Liechtensteiner broadcaster 1 FL TV announced that they ruled out debuting in the 2020 contest. The broadcaster had attempted to become an EBU member in the past but halted its plans when its director, Peter Kölbel, unexpectedly died, it would also need the backing of the Liechtenstein government to be able to carry the cost of becoming an EBU member and paying the participation fee for the Eurovision Song Contest.[98]

Production

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is a co-production between three related Dutch television organisations—AVROTROS, Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), and Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO)—of which each assumed a different role.[3] Sietse Bakker and Inge van de Weerd are serving as executive producers, while Emilie Sickinghe and Jessica Stam are deputy executive producers.[99] In August 2019, Marnix Kaart and Marc Pos were announced as directors of the three live shows,[100] as well as Gerben Bakker as head of show.[101] Cornald Maas serves as creative advisor.[102] Jon Ola Sand keeps his role as executive supervisor, as he has done since 2011, though plans to step down following the 2020 contest.[103]

Video-on-demand release

Video-on-demand service Netflix signed an agreement with the EBU in July 2019 that would allow them to distribute the 2020 contest on their service in the United States.[104]

See also

References

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