After Duncan Laurence’s victory in Tel Aviv in 2019, the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was due to take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, however, the event was cancelled in March 2020 due to the emerging COVID-19 crisis. Almost immediately preparations began to ensure that a 2021 Contest would go ahead.
Every possible scenario was explored to ensure that a 2021 event would take place, and as May crept closer, organiser plans began to crystallise with the Dutch government confirming in April 2021 that the Contest could proceed with a limited audience.
All 39 participating countries were asked to provide a pre-recorded ‘Live-on-Tape’ performance that could be used should an act be unable to make it to the stage at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
In the end, Australia were the only delegation unable to travel to the Dutch city, meaning that Montaigne’s ‘Live-on-Tape’ performance of her entry Technicolour was the only one used.
Unfortunately, in the lead up to their participation in the second Semi-Final, a member of Daði Freyr’s group Gagnamagnið tested positive for COVID-19. This meant that Iceland’s rehearsal footage was used for both their Semi-Final and Grand Final appearance. The band went on to finish in 4th place with 378 points.
After months of successful protocols and preparations by the host broadcasters to ensure a Contest whatever the global situation, the Italians struck gold at the Grand Final with alt-rock band Måneskin. Their self-penned track Zitti E Buoni (English translation: ‘Shut Up and Behave’) won the Eurovision Song Contest with 524 points and became a global streaming hit, along with their follow-up song I Wanna Be Your Slave.
183 million viewers
The return of the Eurovision Song Contest, the world’s biggest live music event, was seen by 183 million viewers across 36 markets, with a huge increase in online engagement.
The Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 achieved, on average, a 4 percentage point higher TV audience share than the previous Contest of 40.5%. More than double the average primetime viewing share for the same group of channels (19.4%).
The Contest was a massive hit with young audiences. The viewing share of the Grand Final among 15–24-year-olds was up 7 percentage points on 2019. 52.8% of that age group watching TV at that time tuned in, which is 4 times higher than the broadcast channels average (14.5%).
Online, during the week of the Eurovision Song Contest, 50.6 million unique viewers across 234 countries watched on the official YouTube channel, up 28% on 2019. 18–34-year-olds made up 71% of those who viewed live content.
The same week the Contest’s official social media accounts generated 14 million engagement actions on posts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok). The new TikTok channel also generated 4.3 million engagement actions.
There were also over 1.5 million readers for the newly launched Eurovision.tv Live Blog covering the rehearsals and three live shows.
In December 2020, the Eurovision 2021 logo was revealed as an evolution of the 2020 logo.
The new design was inspired by the world map with Rotterdam as the beating heart of Europe in May 2021. “The logo connects Rotterdam with the capitals of the participating countries and symbolises coming together, regardless of the form,” said Sietse Bakker, the Executive Producer of the event.
As with the previous year, the logo and concept was developed by agency Clever ° Franke, which generated the logo using software developed in-house. The design of the 2020 edition was awarded a European Design Award and a Red Dot Design Award. Co-founder Gert Franke said they "extended the style from last year to 2021" and retained the "simple, intelligent, minimalist and experimental" elements but then added a "festive touch, to celebrate the return of the Eurovision Song Contest."
The show’s slogan, #OpenUp, carrier over from the 2020 Contest.
Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit, Edsilia Rombley and Nikkie de Jager (NikkieTutorials) were our fabulous presenters for the 2021 Contest.