Eurovision seeks alternatives for canceled song festival


AMSTERDAM, Mar 21 (Reuters) – Organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest are looking to organize an alternative to host the event at some point in the year, in the form of a television program or through their online platforms.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which decided on Wednesday to cancel the festival due to the coronavirus crisis, said it was “exploring alternative programming, but not competition.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the largest television events in the world and was scheduled for May in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

The festival has been held annually since 1956 and was expected to draw some 200 million viewers and live audiences of tens of thousands of people by the end of May 16.

“The EBU is well aware of how much the Eurovision Song Contest will be missed this year,” organizers said.

“Our intention is to honor the songs that have been chosen for 2020 (…) to help unite and entertain audiences around Europe during these challenging times,” they added.

Eurovision presents live musical numbers from each participating country – more than 50 in recent editions – that reached Israel and Australia.

(Report by Bart Meijer. Edited in Spanish by Lucila Sigal)