Eurovision 2021: Participating countries must record 'Live On Tape Performances' ahead of the contest

Eurovision 2021: Participating countries must record  'Live On Tape Performances' ahead of the contest
Wednesday, 18 November 2020

  • The EBU announced today that all 41 participating countries must record on a ‘Live On Tape Performance’ ahead of the competition in order to secure their participation in case of travel restrictions or a quarantine.

    After this year's shocking cancellation of the contest EBU has declared that the next edition of the contest will take place no matter what, developing a plan of 4 scenarios for the competition in Rotterdam next May.

    The 41 countries should make a pre recorded live performance of their entries that they must submit by late March in order to guarantee their participation in case the delegation is unable to travel to Rotterdam due to restrictions or a quarantine in their countries. 


    The official statement by EBU says: 

    All the participating broadcasters have been asked to record a live performance of their act in their own country. This recording will be delivered prior to the event and will take place in a studio setting. The recording will take place in real time (as it would be at the Contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording.

    And regarding the guidlines for the recorded performances EBU adds: 

    The Host Broadcaster’s creative concept for the live-on-tape backup recordings is OpenUp to variety. Rather than having a strict format, the Contest will fully embrace the artistic freedom, creativity, ambition and style of each of the 41 countries.

    A set of production guidelines will ensure fairness and the integrity of the Song Contest. There will be no audience present at the live-on-tape performances. The recording should be unique and remain unpublished before the event in May.

    Delegations are allowed to use similar technical possibilities and dimensions that would be available on-stage in Rotterdam, but are also free to opt for a more down-scaled production setup. The live-on-tape recordings should not contain any augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, use of chromakey or green screen.


    On how will the process secure fair paly condtions for all the participating delegates the EBU stated: 

    Normally at the Eurovision Song Contest all the artists would perform on the same stage under the same circumstances providing them all with the same opportunity to shine. For the live-on-tape recordings the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest has approved additional measures to guarantee the fairness of the competition.

    Before the recording each participating broadcaster will meet with a co-ordinator from the Host Broadcasters and submit a recording session schedule, studio set up and camera plan.

    The Head of Delegation must be onsite during the 60-minute recording session of the permitted three takes and, either alone or together with someone who has the appropriate mandate, make the final decision on which take is selected.

    A live connection will be set up during the recording to allow the ESC Executive Supervisor and a representative from an independent voting observer (E&Y) and the Host Broadcaster to observe the recording session, to provide assistance and support, but also to ensure the integrity of the Contest.

    No national final performances can be submitted but each country can record on the same set. The “live-on-tape” recordings have to be delivered by the end of March.

    Hopefully, all or most artists will be able to travel to Rotterdam in May but having the live-on-tape recording ensures that their performance will be seen by millions of viewers come what may.

    The next Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place on 18,20 and 22 May at Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.