Jon Ola Sand: EBU is better prepared to organise Eurovision 2021 under corona restrictions

Jon Ola Sand has been the Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2011. Rotterdam would be his last contest in that position. There will be no ‘Take it away’ this year from him, but he doesn’t fear next year’s contest, though it will be without him.

On the 18th of March, the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus. The pandemic had spread so much that it wouldn’t be possible to host the contest as planned.

Just as everyone had settled and was looking forward to the 2021 contest, the Dutch government stated that no large events will take place in the Netherlands until a vaccine is available. The likelihood of having a vaccine on time is still uncertain. This let to concern about a cancellation of next year’s contest too.

Nevertheless, Jon Ola Sand is optimistic that the show will take place next year. In an interview to NRK, the public Norwegian broadcaster, the Executive Supervisor said that the EBU is already working to make Eurovision happen in 2021.

Jon Ola Sand said that EBU is aware of the restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus. Some of these restrictions may still be in place next year. Therefore, the preparations will take place in accordance to those restrictions. As he see it, EBU is “more prepared” to carry out with the festival than it was this year. Jon Ola Sand will now return to work for the Norwegian broadcaster. EBU’s new Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest will be Swedish Martin Österdahl, SVT.

Will COVID-19 affect Eurovision next year? Time will tell if this could mean a Eurovision without audience or, with satellite performances in the various countries, in case of travel restrictions still be in place.

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