Sietse Bakker: “Eurovision is a big party for Europe, I can’t imagine it going without a public”

With whole Europe literally at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and with major events coming up in the coming months, the fate of Eurovision 2020 remains unknown. However, the producer of this year’s contest, Sietse Bakker, made a statement to be discussed. Not too long ago, he said he could not imagine Eurovision without an audience.

The commentator on the broadcast of the competition for Dutch public television, Cornald Maas, and the producer of this year’s event, Sietse Bakker, also backed different positions today from what they saw in the spotlight yesterday, from Slovenian public television director Natalija Gorscak.

In particular, Natalija Gorscak, has revealed that the EBU is planning a plan B in case the pandemic does not crack in the coming weeks.

“At the EBU they are preparing as if Eurovision is normal. I am personally in touch with the administration, which has a plan B in which we will be more involved [the national broadcasters]. In Slovenia, this is supposed to be done in the TV studio.

If this scenario goes ahead, each member will broadcast their participation from a television studio. That’s what they think. Everything is under discussion, but in principle it acts as if Eurovision was in Rotterdam [as originally planned]”

Events in the Netherlands with more than 100 people are currently banned. This ban is valid until 31 March, although the measure is expected to last. Many events scheduled for April in the Netherlands are already postponed.

Contest commentator and production team consultant Cornald Maas proposes that Eurovision be postponed for the next year.

“If this quarantine is renewed again, it will be impossible to run the competition in time. We cannot begin preparing the site without knowing for sure if the event will take place. Also, we have no guarantee if the delegations will refuse to arrive, some already refusing to go to the Netherlands for postcards. At worst, it will be postponed for a year, but I know everyone is working to make the competition run smoothly”

In a similar vein the statements by Eurovision 2020 producer Sietse Bakker.

“We still have two months left, so hopefully the situation will calm down in the coming weeks. We are in constant contact with the Municipality of Rotterdam, the GGD (Ministry of Health) and the RIVM (Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment) and follow their instructions. Currently, the agency is still working in full swing, but is considering other scenarios. The Eurovision Song Contest is, of course, a party for Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Europe, and I can’t imagine it can take place without the public”

Sietse Bakker, producer of Eurovision 2020

However, final decisions are not expected before the middle of next month. It is clear, however, on the basis of the above that the Dutch do not want a competition without audiences, journalists and fans making Eurovision the largest music party on the planet every year.



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