TV & Movies

Eurovision 2021 Will Go Ahead, But With A Few Adjustments

The organisers have had to make some changes in light of COVID-19.

Sebastian Scheiner/AP/Shutterstock

The COVID-19 restrictions that said people had to stay out of big crowds, avoid international travel, and remain at home were a recipe for disaster for Eurovision 2020. Although Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams’ Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga may have given us our fix of elaborate outfits and bizarre songs, it was no replacement for the real thing. So, will there be a Eurovision Song Contest in 2021?

Since Sept. 2020 the team behind Eurovision have been weighing up their options for this year's contest. However, it has now been confirmed that Eurovision 2021 will air on May 22 on BBC One. Organisers have explained on their website that tickets to the 2020 show will still be valid this year. However, it’s unclear whether there will be any audience at all, in line with COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking to U.S. radio station Sirius XM UK, commentator Graham Norton said "There's definitely going to be a Eurovision ... The competition element is going to happen."

Organisers confirmed this news to the BBC but said they’ve had to implement some minor adjustments. For example, if acts cannot be at the competition in person for some reason related to COVID-19, they’ll be allowed to send a recorded version of their performance. This might seem a little unfair, as singing live is of course a lot more difficult, but organisers have outlined that there’s strict guidelines that artists have to follow which include “the recording will take place in real time (as it would be at the contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording."

Speaking about the return of the contest on Sirius XM UK, Norton said, "I think they're ready for any eventuality. If some countries can't travel, they can Zoom in a performance. I doubt we'll be in a stadium full of 20,000 people. I feel like the minute we can [get back to normal], people will leave their houses in droves. And Eurovision, it's a joyous thing."