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Is always over now? ESC 2020 is cancelled

by | Mar 20, 2020

Is always over now? ESC 2020 is cancelled

by | Mar 20, 2020 | Eurovision, Featured

Although we struck a hopeful tone the other day, our hopes quickly proved unfounded. On Wednesday, the EBU announced that the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled altogether.

Whether you agree with the rationale or not, the FAQ section on the announcement page is comprehensive and balanced. Ultimately, it feels like the decision came down to two factors: Firstly, although some kind of remote/video-based show would have been technically feasible, the EBU doesn’t consider this to be consistent with the spirit of what ESC is and has become, so it’s better to cancel the event altogether than settle for something inferior.

And secondly, no one knows how the coronavirus crisis is going to evolve from here. Postpone ESC until the autumn and it might still take place among extensive travel restrictions; hold a stripped-down version in May and it could be sandwiched by news reports of mass deaths around the continent. Even in the spirit of “coming together”, a cheerful light entertainment show would feel completely wrong in that context – no artist or broadcaster would especially want to be associated with it, nor would us fans want to be seen as part of something that completely misjudged the mood of the continent.

And so there will be no ESC 2020. It hurts. Of course it does. A year without the Eurovision Song Contest is practically inconceivable. The only small consolation is that the crisis is affecting every interest, every sport, everyone’s personal travel plans – right down to how we live our daily lives. Even historic events like the Monaco Grand Prix have proven powerless to resist – and so, too, has the mighty ESC. So be it. There are, right now, more important things to worry about.

There are still many open questions concerning ESC 2021. Will it be held in Rotterdam? Will the 2020 songs be given an exception so that they can compete in 2021 – and if so, how many broadcasters will take up that right? We know that many of the 2020 artists have already been told by the respective national broadcasters that they can have the ticket to ESC 2021 automatically. That’s a nice touch. And there’s plenty of time to answer the rest of the questions once the worst of the crisis has subsided.

For us here at escgo!, one thing is clear: we think the songs of ESC 2020 deserve the same attention they would have got if the show had gone ahead as planned. So we will still be holding our ChatVote in mid-April to find our chatters’ favourite entry from the ESC 2020 bunch, albeit on a smaller scale than usual. And we will be continuing with our SongHunt to find the best non-winning national final song of the season (though possibly with a shortened schedule, since it no longer needs to culminate around the time of ESC itself). All the more so given the prospect of lots of internal selections in 2021 – there might not be much SongHunt content to work with next year!

Meanwhile, our team will be taking their various family commitments and home-working restrictions as an opportunity to do some blogging about past ESC glories – and to remind ourselves that there are many glories still to come, once the crisis has abated and Europe returns to some kind of normality again.

We hope you and your loved ones are keeping well in these strange times. Look after yourselves, look after those around you – and keep chatting. It’s good to talk!

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