The Eurovision Song Contest 2021, which will be held in Rotterdam in May, will use the environment of Let’s Get Digital during the festival to host international media in a virtual press center. Last week, the Song Contest announced to perform this edition at one and a half meters, with sharp corona measures allowing all 41 artists to perform in Rotterdam Ahoy. Whether the public can attend the shows and whether the planned activities can take place in the host city of Rotterdam will be decided at a later stage.
The show must go on
This year, the Eurovision Song Contest will indeed go on. On the 18th, 20th and 22nd of May, the semi-finals and final will take place at Rotterdam Ahoy. In order to fulfill this promise, four scenarios and a flexible organization have been worked on since the end of March, last year. From its inception, the organization has prepared for a hybrid format. “Normally, more than 1,500 journalists from all over the world visit the Eurovision Song Contest for two weeks. In the scenario we are going for now, a maximum of 500 journalists can be present in Rotterdam Ahoy,” explains Babet Verstappen, Head of Communications of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Virtual press center
“For press that cannot travel to Rotterdam in May, we will set up a virtual press center, where the rehearsals and press conferences can be followed live for two weeks. Recently, we have been looking for a digital platform to host this, and have found it in the possibilities offered by Let’s Get Digital. It is important to us that journalists have the feeling that they are truly physically present, and to not miss anything that happens there. It’s very special that, for the first time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, we will be welcoming journalists in this way – a big step in our online approach.”
Digital that (almost) feels like physical
Let’s Get Digital has ensured that many events still could take place last year, despite the crisis. From the beginning, the focus has been on offering a real event experience. Although the experience of a real event cannot be matched digitally, the platform brings it very close. “Our accredited visitors receive a personal badge at check-in and are then met in the Lobby.” What awaits us thereafter, Babet does not want to reveal yet. “In any case, we are going to make sure that the press will want to stay on the platform for two weeks so that they don’t miss a minute of what is happening at Rotterdam Ahoy.” The extra live experience that the platform offers was ultimately the reason for the Song Festival to choose the Groningen-based company.
The Netherlands shows the world its resilience on its own soil
A nice side effect is that the collaborating companies show that the Netherlands is creative and innovative. With the positive energy of the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest, host city Rotterdam and Groningen’s Let’s Get Digital, you almost forget that the country is suffering from a corona epidemic. Despite all the setbacks the organization has had to deal with over the past year, all parties are now going to make the best of it. “We have agreed within our team that no matter what, we are going to make it a great party together; and with that mindset, the most beautiful solutions suddenly emerge,” said Ruben Haring, Partnership Director at Let’s Get Digital.