65th Eurovision Song Contest
The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is expected to take place in 2021 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, after the country's victory in 2019 in Israel with the song "Arcade" performed by Duncan Laurence. The show should have taken place in 2020 but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest will be held at the Rotterdam Ahoy on May 18th, 20th and 22nd.
Forty-one countries have confirmed their participation, the same ones that would have participated in 2020. Bulgary and Ukraine would return after their absence from 2019 contest while Hungary and Montenegro decided to not participate.
In September 2020 the EBU decided the contest would take place whatever the circumstances and foresaw a number of possible scenarios including the contest being held as normal without enforced social distancing (scenario A) or with social distancing (scenario B). Scenario C would allow some acts to perform from their home country if the cannot travel to Rotterdam and, in the worst case, scenario D, should the Netehrlands go in lockdown, the contest would be held in a fully remote format, presented in Rotterdam but without audience or any live performance at all.
In November the EBU revealed that, in order to guarantee that all participants could take part in the contest, every national broadcaster would create a ‘live-on-tape’ recording in advance that could be used if a participant could not travel to Rotterdam, or they were subjected to quarantine upon arrival. The recordings would take place in a studio setting, in real time (as it would be at the contest) without any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance. This format was put to the test during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in November 2020 and proved as effective as it was devoid of all magic. But at least it would allow the contest to take place.
As, in accordance with the Eurovision Song Contest rules, the songs selected for the 2020 contest could not be allowed to participate in 2021, as many as twenty-two countries have decided to internally select the same artists initially selected for 2020 (same artists, different song). These countries are: Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.