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Eurovision announces major change to ensure song contest goes on without a hitch, coronavirus or no coronavirus

Patrick Kelleher November 19, 2020
Iceland Eurovision coronavirus rules

Iceland's 2020 Eurovision entrant Daði og Gagnamagnið (YouTube)

Eurovision organisers have revealed that the 2021 contest will go ahead with the help of pre-recorded “live-on-tape” recordings that can be used in the event of a necessary quarantine period.

The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving queer people across Europe devastated.

But organisers have insisted that the 2021 contest will go ahead – and they’re already laying out their plans to make sure Eurovision can go ahead safely and fairly, even if the pandemic is ongoing.

Eurovision organisers revealed on Wednesday, 18 November, that they will ensure the 2021 contest goes ahead by asking all participating countries to create a “live-on-tape” recording ahead of the event.

The idea behind the measure is that delegates who cannot attend the contest in Rotterdam, whether due to local restrictions or illness, can still have a pre-recorded performance broadcast.

The pre-recorded live performances must be submitted by March, and will be recorded in local studio settings.

Eurovision bosses have implemented a number of rules to ensure the fairness of the competition is not compromised. All countries submitting a pre-recorded tape of their songs will not be allowed to make any edits to the vocals or the performance afterwards.

Participating countries will also be forbidden from releasing the footage ahead of the competition, while the use of augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water or green screens will not be allowed.

A live connection will also be set up while delegates are recording their “live-on-tape” performances, which will allow Eurovision officials to observe the recording process to ensure its fairness.

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest said on Wednesday that they hope all or most participants will still be able to perform live on stage in Rotterdam in May – however, they said the “live-on-tape” recordings would provide extra security for competing countries.

Eurovision organisers announced sweeping rule changes in June in an effort to ensure the 2021 contest goes ahead.

The latest announcement comes after Eurovision organisers announced a series of sweeping changes in June to ensure that the 2021 contest would be able to go ahead, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Eurovision bosses amended rules to allow greater flexibility in the way the contest is run, which will mean they can prepare in advance if there are further outbreaks of COVID-19 in Europe.

Under the new rules, performers will be allowed to use recorded backing vocals for the first time ever. Up until now, such recordings were not allowed, with organisers insisting that all vocals be performed live on stage.

This will change next year in an effort to bring down the number of delegates travelling across Europe to take part in the competition.

Organisers also amended rules to allow them to run the contest in an alternative format in the event of a further coronavirus outbreak in the lead up to May 2021.

 

More: Coronavirus, eurovision, eurovision song contest, Rotterdam

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