“Heartbroken”: Eurovision 2020 cancelled

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam has been cancelled.

It is the first time in the show’s 64 year history it will not proceed.

The European Broadcasting Union confirmed the news overnight, expressing deep regret at an inevitable outcome.

It expects to return “stronger than ever” in 2021.

In a statement the EBU said, “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 to not continue with the live event as planned. The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision.

“We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of you around the world, are extremely saddened that it can not take place in May.”

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. And we are deeply disappointed about this situation. The EBU, together with the Host Broadcaster NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue to talk to see if it’s possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process of staging a great Eurovision Song Contest this year. Unfortunately, that was not possible due to factors beyond our control. We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever.”

Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer Event added, “For the artists from 41 participating countries, our opening and interval acts that put their hearts and souls into their performance. For the fans who have always supported us and have kept confidence until the last moment. And not least, for the fantastic team, which has worked very hard in recent months to make this 65th edition a great success. We understand and share that disappointment. Some perspective is appropriate because, at the same time, we also realise that this decision and its consequences don’t compare to the challenges faced by people affected, directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus and the difficult but necessary measures.”

The news is a blow to Europe which had been hoping the event would reunite a fragile continent,  Australian broadcaster SBS and producers Blink TV who had chosen Montaigne to represent the nation. The EBU says it will discuss whether the 41 selected artists can perform their songs next year with its Reference Group.

“We ask some patience as we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await further news in the coming days and weeks. During that time, we would like to pay tribute to all the Host Broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 public service broadcasters who have worked so hard planning this year’s event,” said the EBU.

“We are all heartbroken that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May but feel confident that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.”


  1. Look that’s life. Eurovision is an amusing show where Europe – with its truly awful pop music – tried to look cool. Strangely it’s like countdown never ended. Like the three ducks on the wall at your grandmothers in the 70’s. The laughable irony is that the awesome music scene in the UK never fared well in this contest. The most solid evocative music from the UK (which often stamped itself on the world) was always outvoted by some sideshow unheard-of cheesy group, perhaps just once apart from Abba. I’m sorry they’ve dipped out due to world problems, but really they were a just a curios camp comedy show where in past days the great Terry Wogan launched many a sidesplitting comment… Which mostly proved this theory…

    • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

      All of which is why I loved it, it was the campiness of a Bucks Fizz to the hilarity of Gwar winning in 2006, to which by May with all that has happened with first the Budshfires and now COVID-19 it may have just been the ticket to lift the spirits and forget about it all (even if only just for 3 silly days).

  2. jezza the first original one

    While to many this is sad and devastating news……for me it is the one bright spot and positive result of the coronavirus. However it will be back next year bigger and bolder than ever….unfortunately

    • harrypotter1994

      Me too. Last years was the first time I’d watched after getting excited by the Australia Decides. Then I went back and watched 2018 via Youtube because I enjoyed the show so much. Guess I should go back and watch some more previous years.

    • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

      Same and yeah it’s for the best, not really something you can hold via video link from each competitors country as it takes part of it away as the playing field becomes different (best when all face the same crowd). Plus of course it takes the advantage away from last years winner being able to be in front of a home crowd if they do that.

  3. … and as the EBU is one of the IOC’s largest broadcaster customers, you have to wonder about the conversations they may be having about the Olympics …?

      • … that’s what happens when you change the constitution of the organisation to mandate retirement at the age of 70, but exclude those who voted to make the change … most of the IOC delegates are definitely in the danger group for COVID-19 …

      • Devo!

        Re Olympics, it actually makes sense to continue. Athletes already arrive early, so will just need to ensure enough time to effectively quarantine. The Japanese public has overwhelmingly purchased the tickets, so it’ll just really affect international spectators and will require media to plan for quarantine as well. Plus, lots of great tv to watch in lockdown (if that’s still the case). And if not, might be a good opportunity for the world to celebrate and get back on track

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