This year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled as a result of coronavirus.
The virus has rocked the world killing more than 8,200 people, and with many in or set to be in self-isolation, the singing competition’s organisers have confirmed this year’s contest, which was scheduled to take place in Rotterdam in May, will not go ahead.
Organisers said in a statement: “It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 18, 2020
“Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ to go ahead.
“However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned.
“It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
“The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision.
“We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of you around the world, are extremely saddened that it can not take place in May.”
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor, added: “We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest, that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. And we are deeply disappointed about this situation.
“The EBU, together with the Host Broadcaster NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue to talk to see if it’s possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process of staging a great Eurovision Song Contest this year.
“Unfortunately, that was not possible due to factors beyond our control. We regret this situation very much, but I can promise you: the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ will come back stronger than ever.”
The EBU asked fans for “patience” as they “work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision”.
James Newman was recently confirmed as the United Kingdom’s representative for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The singer/songwriter, who is the brother of John Newman, will was set to perform My Last Breath at the final on May 16.
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