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We’re All Off To Rotterdam… Host City Confirmed Written by on August 30, 2019

Following a live broadcast on Dutch television, the host city for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was confirmed as Rotterdam.

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be at the Ahoy in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam has been seen as the front-runner since the victory of Duncan Lawrence with ‘Arcade’ in Tel Aviv. The Dutch tourism industry has been looking to promote locations outside of the capital for some time now, and Eurovision’s overlap with the return of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Circus to the nearby Circuit Zandvoort, Eurovision in Amsterdam would have be crowded to say the least.

As the second largest city in The Netherlands, Rotterdam features one of the largest European ports, as well as direct access to three of the key rivers in Europe (the Rhine, the Meuse, and the Scheldt). The gateway to Europe will be bringing us the Eurovision Song Contest’s Grand Final on May 16th.

Eurovision Song Contest Trophy 2018 (Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Eurovision Song Contest Trophy (Thomas Hanses/EBU)

2020 will be the fifth time that the Eurovision Song Contest has been hosted by The Netherlands, although not all of the shows took place after a victory. Corry Brokken’s 1957 victory saw Hilversum hosting the following year; 1975’s Teach-In saw the 1976 Contest in The Hague, and of course Duncan Lawrence has brought the ‘Arcade’ to Rotterdam.

Amsterdam hosted in 1970 after the four-way tie in 1969 which involved Lenny Kuhr’s ‘De Troubadour’ tiring with the snags from Spain, the United Kingdom, and France. Spain had been the hosts in 1969, and the United Kingdom in 1968. That left France and The Netherlands to toss a coin to decide hosting duties.

Following Israel’s back to back victories in 1978 and 1979 decided that it could not budget the hosting of back to back Contest. Spain took second place in 1979 but passed on the duties, and reportedly the BBC – regarded in the twentieth century as the ‘backup broadcaster of choice’ declined.

Which is why we found ourselves back in The Hague in 1980, with the same set from 1976, a repeat of parts of the opening ceremony, and arguably one of the most ‘austerity Eurovisions’ of all time.

I wonder if the staging is still in storage?

Also announced were the dates for the Contest. These are the Tuesday May 12th and Thursday May 14th for the Semi Finals, and Saturday may 16th for the Grand Final.

That means we’re looking at roughly the same timetable  as the 2016, 17, and 18 Contests. With SVT having announced the Grand Final of Melodifestivalen as Saturday March 7th, expect the Heads of Delegation meeting and the deadline for all Eurovision entries to be submitted as Monday March 9th… and eight weeks until the acts begin rehearsing on stage.

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

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