Presenters Jan Smit, Chantal Janzen and Edsilia Rombley attend the Jury Grand Ultimate costume rehearsal of the 2021 Eurovision Tune Contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands Might 21, 2021. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
Might 21, 2021
By Tara Oakes
LONDON (Reuters) – Peter Baston has attended eight out of the final 10 Eurovision music contests in individual. This yr, coronavirus restrictions will stop the Malmo resident from travelling to host metropolis Rotterdam however that doesn’t imply he can’t be part of the celebrations.
“We’ve actually missed it since Tel Aviv so all people’s doubly excited this yr that the competition can really be held in any respect in any type,” Baston, who’s in his 70s, instructed Reuters.
“I listened to the primary semi-final the opposite night by way of my pc with headphones on. After which I actually received the sensation of being there as a result of the roar of the group, it felt like 30,000 as a substitute of three,500 within the enviornment.”
Eurovision followers stranded of their house nations as a result of COVID-19 pandemic are reaching out to pals and on-line communities to have a good time the occasion, identified for its kitsch pop songs and flamboyant costumes.
The Netherlands is internet hosting the sixty fifth version after Dutch singer-songwriter Duncan Laurence gained the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv. Final yr’s occasion was cancelled as a result of pandemic.
All 39 collaborating nations and their delegations are examined earlier than they getting into the venue. Some 3,000 followers can attend by way of the Dutch trial scheme for occasions through the pandemic. They’ve to point out a destructive coronavirus check.
For the 1000’s of Eurovision followers overseas, attendance is near-impossible this yr. However that doesn’t imply the celebration has to cease.
“It’s not the identical, however we will nonetheless really feel it,” Swedish fan Helena Jonsson, 54, stated whereas wearing her nationwide colors.
Final yr marked the primary time the competition, which pulls a tv viewers of about 200 million, was cancelled since its inception in 1956.
International followers noticed their journeys cancelled as borders closed – together with Australian Hayley Bessell. However regardless of lockdowns, the present should go on – with some inventive options.
“I’m really flying all the way down to Canberra on Saturday morning. I’ve received a really shut buddy who’s a Eurovision fan as effectively … so we’re doing Sunday morning, 5am at her home,” Bessell stated.
“She’s really Dutch heritage. So we’ve received a giant Dutch unfold of meals prepared and we’re each dressing up.”
These unable to affix family and friends are welcome within the on-line group, Eurovision blogger William Lee Adams stated.
“It’s virtually like Eurovision’s change into an excuse to be extra social, an excuse to come back collectively,” stated Adams, who additionally put collectively a distant live performance to attach distant audiences with acts.
Rotterdam has additionally reached out by launching the #SWINGALONG dance problem, with chosen contributors getting their movies projected onto a skyscraper.
(Reporting by Tara Oakes; Modifying by Raissa Kasolowsky)