Officials in the Dutch city of Rotterdam have voted to back staging of the next Eurovision Song Contest.
With the 2020 event cancelled, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) asked Rotterdam council to confirm if it was prepared to stage the next event. There had been doubts after the city incurred losses this year. Earlier this week, an announcement confirmed Rotterdam is ready to welcome the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in May 2021.
The next step involves securing the Ahoy, which already has a major petrochemical conference booked to start on 19 May. The venue is currently redeployed as a field hospital to treat Covid-19 patients. The EBU also needs to hear from the Dutch broadcasters who will be looking closely into affordability. A decision is needed by the end of May, just in case a different host broadcaster needs to step in.
Ticket holders had been promised they would be allowed to carry over their bookings to the next Contest, in addition a proposal to give free tickets to Dutch healthcare workers was accepted by Rotterdam organisers. With many of the prime seats taken, this is likely to mean free admission to rehearsals.
With the Covid-19 outbreak predicted to continue into next year, it’s still not certain what format Eurovision might take, if indeed it happens at all in 2021.