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The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was to have been staged at Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands on 12, 14 and 16 May 2020. On 18 March 2020, the EBU announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and after exploring other alternative options, the event would be cancelled.

The EBU, together with the host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam, are now in talks on hosting in 2021 as the Netherlands won the right to host following Duncan Laurence's victory in Tel Aviv in 2019.

A field of 10 interested cities were pared down to two - Rotterdam and Maastricht. The Hague (host in 1976 and 1980), Zwolle and Leeuwarden withdrew their bids due to their proposed venues being deemed unsuitable (The Hague later endorsed the Rotterdam bid), while Breda dropped out due to financial concerns. Amsterdam (host in 1970) withdrew due to unavailability for their proposed venues. Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht also applied.

After the event's cancellation, Ahoy decided to join the fight against the pandemic by allowing its space to be used as a field hospital. MECC in Maastricht, the other candidate venue, is being used for the same purpose.

In the place of the grand final on 16 May, the EBU will pay tribute to the 2020 songs in the special Europe Shine a Light. Individual broadcasters will also prepare special programming, and the week of 10 May has been designated "Eurovision Week", encouraging radio stations to play the music of the 2020 competitors as well as past Eurovision songs.

Format

Presenters

On 4 December 2019, the presenting trio were revealed by NPO. They are Edsilia Rombley, Chantal Janzen and Jan Smit.


Edsilia is best known for her participations at Eurovision in 1998 with Hemel en Aarde and in 2007 with On Top of the World. She has also co-hosted several editions of the popular Eurovision in Concert pre-party in Amsterdam. Chantal is a popular Dutch TV presenter and is a 5-time winner of the Golden Television Star award. Jan has been a member of the Dutch group De Toppers since late 2017 and is the Dutch co-commentator for Eurovision alongside Cornald Maas.

Aside from the main presenting trio, popular Dutch social media celebrity NikkieTutorials was planned to be hosting special online features for the 2020 contest.

Theme

In the 2020 host city reveal video, reigning Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence asked: "What's it really about?" This year's theme, Open Up, answers Duncan's question. It is an invitation to the world to Rotterdam to open themselves up to music and celebrate the things that make people unique.

As ESC 2020 executive producer Sietse Bakker explains:

“We have looked for a theme and slogan that reflect what the Netherlands stands for and which the Dutch can identify with; a country with an open mind to the world, where we speak our mind, with respect for each other. We also found it important to choose a theme that reflects the spirit of our times. People are concerned about increasing polarization and freedom isn’t as self-evident for everyone as it should be. With the slogan 'Open Up’, we warmly invite people to open up to others, to different opinions, each other's stories and of course to each other's music.”

Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand says:

“Open Up is the perfect slogan for the Eurovision Song Contest as it celebrates its 65th edition. In 1956, only 7 countries could watch the competition and since then we have opened up to the whole of Europe, to Australia and now, via streaming, to the whole world. The values of the Eurovision Song Contest are universality and inclusivity, and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. Now we can add a new one – that of openness.”

The theme art, unveiled on 28 November 2019, tells a unique story of 65 years of the contest's history. Building on previous Dutch logo designs, it is an abstract representation of the flags of the 41 participating countries in the order of their first appearance. Five beams of blue light also radiate from the central circle, representing each of the Netherlands' five Eurovision victories.

Postcards

The concept of the 2020 postcards continues the "Open Up" theme of the event. Each artist will visit a different part of the Netherlands and connect with locals by participating in a Dutch activity, tradition or hobby.

Special Features

In a sketch series stretching across all three shows, co-presenter Edsilia Rombley will act as a taxi driver showing former Eurovision winners around Rotterdam and chatting with them about their experiences in the contest. They include Anne Marie David (Luxembourg 1973), Izhar Cohen (Israel 1978), Niamh Kavanagh (Ireland 1993) and Ruslana (Ukraine 2004).

Participants

This is a list of those artists and songs that were to have participated in 2020. Several artists have already been confirmed by their respective broadcasters for 2021 (those countries and artists will be italicized for reference), however it was further announced by the EBU that the songs would not be re-used.

The semi-final allocation draw was held on 28 January 2020 at Rotterdam City Hall and hosted by Edsilia Rombley, Chantal Janzen and Jan Smit. The insignia handover ceremony took place before the draw begins, officially beginning the countdown to the contest.

The pots are as follows, calculated by the EBU's voting providers Digame and based on voting patterns over the past 15 years:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Finalists
IconAlbania Albania
IconAustria Austria
IconCroatia Croatia
IconNorth Macedonia North Macedonia
IconSerbia Serbia
IconSlovenia Slovenia
IconSwitzerland Switzerland
IconAustralia Australia
IconDenmark Denmark
IconEstonia Estonia
IconFinland Finland
IconIceland Iceland
IconNorway Norway
IconSweden Sweden
IconArmenia Armenia
IconAzerbaijan Azerbaijan
IconBelarus Belarus
IconGeorgia Georgia
IconMoldova Moldova
IconRussia Russia
IconUkraine Ukraine
IconBulgaria Bulgaria
IconCyprus Cyprus
IconGreece Greece
IconMalta Malta
IconPortugal Portugal
IconRomania Romania
IconSan Marino San Marino
IconBelgium Belgium
IconCzech Republic Czech Republic
IconIreland Ireland
IconIsrael Israel
IconLatvia Latvia
IconLithuania Lithuania
IconPoland Poland
IconThe Netherlands The Netherlands (Host)
IconFrance France
IconGermany Germany
IconItaly Italy
IconSpain Spain
IconUnited Kingdom United Kingdom

Pre-Allocations

There were no requests for pre-allocations this year

Withdrawing/Uncertain

  • IconAndorra Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 22 May 2019 that Andorra would not return for 2020.
  • IconBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina - BHRT confirmed on 9 July 2019 that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not return for 2020 as it is still under sanctions from the EBU due to financial debts.
  • IconHungary Hungary - Hungary withdrew for 2020, as MTVA decided not to use A Dal as its selection process and instead use it to focus on its domestic talent scene.
  • IconKazakhstan Kazakhstan - The EBU confirmed on 6 September 2019 that they have no plans to invite Kazakhstan to debut in 2020.
  • IconKosovo Kosovo - The EBU confirmed on 28 June 2019 that Kosovo will not debut in 2020 or in the near future. Under the rules, a nation must be a full member of the ITU to apply for EBU membership, currently Kosovo (and its broadcaster RTK) holds non-member state status.
  • IconLiechtenstein Liechtenstein - 1FLTV confirmed on 7 August 2019 that Liechtenstein would not debut for 2020.
  • IconLuxembourg Luxembourg - Despite a push by 1973 winner Anne Marie David, RTL confirmed on 23 July 2019 that Luxembourg would not return for 2020.
  • IconMonaco Monaco - TMC confirmed on 6 August 2019 that Monaco would not return for 2020.
  • IconMontenegro Montenegro - Despite confirming its initial participation, Montenegro would not participate in the 2020 contest, RTCG citing its reason to withdraw as being unable to obtain the necessary means to compete.
  • IconSlovakia Slovakia - RTVS confirmed on 5 June 2019 that Slovakia would not return for 2020, citing lack of interest
  • IconTurkey Turkey - TRT confirmed on 21 September 2019 that Turkey would not return for 2020.

Other Countries

  • IconCanada OMNI Television will broadcast all three shows in Canada on a same-day delay.
  • IconUnited States On 19 July 2019, the EBU announced that it had signed a deal with Netflix to add the 2019 and 2020 contests on its on-demand service in the United States.

References (if any)

  1. http://esctoday.com/176954/albania-rtsh-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020-fik-58-submission-open
  2. http://esctoday.com/176959/armenia-amptv-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  3. https://eurovision.tv/story/australia-secures-spot-in-eurovision-until-2023
  4. https://www.kleinezeitung.at/kultur/medien/5629612/Analyse_Nach-dem-Aus-fuer-Paenda_ORF-haelt-2020-an-interner
  5. http://esctoday.com/176950/azerbaijan-ictimai-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  6. https://eurovoix.com/2019/02/19/belarus-btrc-change-eurovision-2020/
  7. https://eurovoix.com/2019/05/15/belgium-vrt-to-internally-select-eurovision-2020-participant/
  8. https://wiwibloggs.com/2019/10/30/bulgaria-return-eurovision-2020/243512/
  9. https://escxtra.com/2019/09/10/croatia-hrt-confirms-rotterdam-2020-participation/
  10. http://infenetwork.net/cyprus-cybc-confirms-eurovision-2020-participation
  11. https://eurovoix.com/2019/01/28/czech-republic-televised-selection-to-determine-eurovision-2020-entry/
  12. https://www.dr.dk/event/melodigrandprix/foerste-gang-i-18-aar-koebenhavn-skal-vaere-vaert-dansk-melodi-grand-prix-2020
  13. http://esctoday.com/176190/estonia-err-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020
  14. https://wiwibloggs.com/2019/06/03/finland-yle-umk-2020-open-entry/239690/
  15. https://www.escapenews.org/france-confirmed-their-participation-for-2020
  16. http://infenetwork.net/georgia-confirms-eurovision-2020-participation-and-national-selection-format/
  17. https://eurovoix.com/2019/04/28/germany-eurovision-2020-participation-confirmed-as-search-commences-for-eurovision-jury-members/
  18. https://eurovoix.com/2019/09/06/greece-eurovision-2020-participation-confirmed
  19. http://esctoday.com/176811/iceland-ruv-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  20. https://eurovoix.com/2019/08/23/ireland-rte-confirms-eurovision-2020-participation
  21. https://eurovoix.com/2019/05/30/israel-eurovision-2020/
  22. http://esctoday.com/176879/italy-rai-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020
  23. http://esctoday.com/176964/latvia-latvia-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  24. http://esctoday.com/176717/lithuania-lrt-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  25. http://esctoday.com/176187/malta-pbs-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  26. http://esctoday.com/176975/north-macedonia-mkrtv-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  27. https://eurovoix.com/2018/11/05/norway-nrk-announces-changes-for-melodi-grand-prix-2020/
  28. https://eurowizja.org/eurowizja-2020-polska-tvp-wystawi-reprezentanta
  29. https://eurovoix.com/2018/12/07/portugal-festival-da-cancao-2020/
  30. https://eurovoix.com/2019/05/11/romania-tvr-open-to-changes-to-selection-process/
  31. https://www.escapenews.org/channel-1-will-compete-in-the-2020-edition
  32. https://eurovoix.com/2019/05/20/san-marino-eurovision-2020-participation-confirmed-after-best-result-to-date
  33. https://twitter.com/SerbiaESC/status/1129887019335868416
  34. https://eurovoix.com/2019/08/01/slovenia-eurovision-2020-participation-confirmed-as-ema-fres-is-launched
  35. https://escxtra.com/2019/06/05/spain-confirms-participation-for-eurovision-2020/
  36. https://eurovoix.com/2019/03/02/sweden-p4-nasta-opens-submissions-window-for-2019/
  37. http://esctoday.com/175925/switzerland-srf-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2020/
  38. https://esctakeover.com/2019/07/07/united-kingdom-i-think-its-safe-to-say-we-be-returning-next-year-to-the-netherlands/
  39. http://esctoday.com/177043/ukraine-uapbc-confirms-participation-eurovision-2020
  40. https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/boulevard/artikel/4646601/nederland-heeft-draaiboek-klaar-voor-songfestival
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