The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled.
Organizers confirmed the news that the 65th annual edition, which was due to take place on May 16 in Rotterdam, has been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead,” a statement read.
“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. 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.”
The event sees nations from Europe (and some further afield including Australia) submit one song entry per country, which is then performed live and voted on by each individual nation to select the overall winner. It has been running since 1956 and this is the first time in that 64-year history that it has been cancelled.
The 2019 Eurovision was viewed by 182 million people across 40 markets.
Last year’s edition was won by Dutch singer Duncan Laurence. Ireland holds the records for most wins with seven.