Dutch Eurovision rehearsal halted

Joost Klein
Joost Klein at EBU Press Conference

BREAKING: SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES

Organisers of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest stopped Dutch performer Joost Klein performing in the first technical rehearsals for the Grand Final on Friday afternoon.

Read our live blog for ‘as it happened’ information

Klein joined others on stage for the so-called ‘flag parade’ – where each contestant takes to the stage before a note is sung. When his turn came to perform – the fifth act on the running order – the stage was set up and Joost appeared. The props were removed and Klein walked off. There was a short break, and the Israeli entry rehearsed instead.

Later in the show as the hosts prepared to rehearse the voting, Executive Producer, Martin Österdahl, was absent.

The EBU said in a statement: “We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist. He will not be rehearsing until further notice. We have no further comment at this time and will update in due course.”

Klein has deleted all social media posts about Thursday at Eurovision and at the time of writing unfollowed the official Contest accounts. The EBU later announced it was cancelling a scheduled press conference spotlighting ‘The Big Five’ countries and host Sweden. The reason given was “all artists want to focus on rehearsals.”

Broadcaster disowns performer

Broadcaster AVROTROS rather than defend Klein, issued a bland holding statement confirming an investigation is underway, adding they wouldn’t be wasting time by adding to ‘speculation’.

UPDATED AT 1816 CET

SVT Nyheter report that there has been an altercation between Joost and a photographer.  No further details are known at the moment. READ HERE (in Swedish).

UPDATED AT 18:57 CET

Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet claims to have information from an inside source suggesting Klein lashed out at a female member of the production team. Again this has in no way been confirmed and Aftonbladet haven’t always been the most reliable source. They do confirm the police have not been involved.

UPDATED AT 20:30 CET

There is still an ongoing investigation, according to a media alert, and the investigation is still ongoing.  Joost’s performance from last night will be shown and he will take no part in tonight’s performance.

UPDATED AT 23:27 CET

SVT Nyheter reports that The Malmö police  are on site and investigating what has happened.

UPDATED SATURDAY AT 10:30 CET

For the time being the EBU has suspended the in-app ‘rest of the world’ vote (out of an abundance of caution etc…) given there is an investigation into the Dutch entrant which could result in his being disqualified. The vote will re-open when tonight’s definitive line-up is confirmed. Although the Swedish police has been involved investigating a complaint against an unnamed individual regarding something that happened on Thursday (not Friday), it is unlikely to impact on any EBU decision about allowing the Dutch song to compete. For now the official line is ‘an internal investigation continues’.

In Sweden a prosecutor is available outside office hours and on weekends for cases where suspects have been arrested, but Klein has not been arrested at this point. This means no further news on the case can be expected until Monday at the earliest.

The EBU will be forced to make a decision this afternoon.

UPDATED SATURDAY AT 12.25 CET

The official statement from the EBU reads as follows:

The Dutch artist Joost Klein will not be competing in the Grand Final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final. While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the Contest.

We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.

We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the Contest. In light of this, Joost Klein’s behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.

The Grand Final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will now proceed with 25 participating songs.

About Thursday evening

Klein appeared to be upsetin a press conference held after qualifying from the second semi-final on Thursday. Israeli singer Eden Golan was asked was asked by Polish radio outlet Newsletter whether she thought she was causing a security risk for other participants by attending the event.

The moderator, Swedish presenter Jovan Radomir, told Golan she did not have to answer the question if she did not want to.

Klein called out: “Why not?”

Golan responded to the question, saying: “I think we’re all here for one reason, and one reason only. And the EBU is taking all safety precautions to make this a safe and united place for everyone. And so, I think it’s safe for everyone or we wouldn’t be here.”

It’s not thought that the EBU investigation is in any way connected.

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