EBU hast just revealed a few rule changes to ensure the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place in May next year. Also, they have announced these changes will continue for many years.
“The lessons learned from the spring of 2020 are that we need to plan for a global crisis, and we have tailored the rules of the Contest to that effect. We must be able to be more flexible and to make changes even to the format itself and how we organize the event in these challenging times,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s new Executive Supervisor.
“As organizers of the world’s largest live music event we are determined and united in our mission; to bring back a Contest, a new winner and a handover to a new Host Broadcaster. These elements are in our DNA and part of our legacy,” he added.
ONE major chanGe
The big change is related to the live backing vocals, which will be banned in 2021 as a trial. According to the EBU, the idea behind the change is to offer participating broadcasters the possibility to explore new creative ideas, to travel with a smaller delegation for 2021 and reduce the technical burdens on the Host Broadcaster.
It also allows songwriters and producers to present their work as close as possible to their original composition and, importantly, ensures the Contest moves with the times.
“In 2013 and 2016, when I was Executive Producer for the Contest at SVT in Sweden, we implemented changes to how the running order of songs is chosen and later the way the voting is presented,” explained Martin. “Both of these adaptions to one of TV’s oldest entertainment formats helped to create a more exciting show for viewers.”
“When making the rule change maintaining authenticity and fairness has always been front of mind,” Martin underlined.
“We have to adapt,” Martin emphasized, “even if, as preferred, we are able to come back with our A-scenario; a Contest as we know and love it, in a packed arena with fans and delegations.”
“It is my mission, as I step into the big shoes left by Jon Ola Sand, to ensure the Eurovision Song Contest remains agile but true to its traditions, its values, and its history. When we bring the Contest back in 2021, we are bringing it back for good.”
These changes have been approved by the the Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board and distributed to the EBU Members wishing to participate in next year’s event.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place on May 8, 20 and 21 at Rotterdam’s Ahoy.