Coronavirus: Eurovision Song Contest cancelled for 2020

Announcement follows the cancellation of a number of major events, including the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury Festival

Eurovision 2020 postponed over coronavirus fears

Organisers of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest have announced that the event has been cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

An official statement posted from the Eurovision Twitter account read: “It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdamn.

“Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

“However, the uncertainty created 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 (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.”

The event’s executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe.

“We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever.”

He added that talks were already underway about the possibility of staging the contest in Rotterdam next year.

The Independent’s Eurovision correspondent Rob Holley comments: “Some have suggested the contest could be held without audiences or in local studios, but I’m not sure casual fans who only tune in for the Saturday grand final appreciate how massive and complex the logistics of a Eurovision Song Contest are.

“The stage alone takes four weeks to assemble, there is then a fortnight of rehearsals, and nine ticketed shows in total. Add in to the mix that each delegation from the 41 participating countries will have a big entourage and you can imagine why it just isn’t possible for business as usual.”

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He adds: “It’s a huge shame for the fans that follow the contest, and an even bigger shame for the artists who have given it their all. Daði Freyr looked set to win with “Think About Things”, which would have been a first for Iceland – the only Nordic nation without a victory.”

The news marks the first time in Eurovision’s 64-year history that the competition has not taken place.

It follows the announcement that the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury Festival, due to take place in June, has also been cancelled.

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