EBU updates The Rules of Eurovision

Regarding the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, the ESC Reference Group has decided to consider changes in the rules of the competition.


The main reason for these changes is the existence of the corona virus and its implications on Eurovision Song Contest.
The ESC Reference Group agreed to trial the rule change for one year.

You can read the reaction of Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s new Executive Supervisor.


“The lessons learned from the spring of 2020 are that we need to plan for a global crisis, and we have tailored the rules of the Contest to that effect. We must be able to be more flexible and to make changes even to the format itself and how we organize the event in these challenging times. As organizers of the world’s largest live music event we are determined and united in our mission; to bring back a Contest, a new winner and a handover to a new Host Broadcaster. These elements are in our DNA and part of our legacy,”

What are the main changes?

# 1. Modifications to the format of the competition will be allowed. The previous rules didn’t allow the possibility of changing the format. The significance is that the competition will take place despite restrictions by any source (such as the corona virus).

# 2. Backing vocals can be included on the musical backing track used in the performance.
Until 2020, all vocals at the Contest had to be performed live on stage by the lead singer and by any optional backing singers, whether on stage or behind the scenes. However, the lead vocals any accompanying vocal support must be performed live on stage.

#3. As a result of the second rule, there will be no limitations on the amount of backing vocalists (in case they are being recorded in advance). The meaning is that the use of choir will be allowed. As a product, we will be able to see more dancers on the stage, since they can take the place of the backing vocalists that were presented on the stage in some on the acts.

What’s the reason for the 2 latter changes?

The ESC reference group believes that the new rules will increase the creativity of the acts and will permit the countries to fulfill the modernization of the competition.
In addition, the reference group raises another advantage: artists will have the ability to present their work as close as possible to their original composition.
The reducing of the need in live backing vocalist can decrease the size of delegations and therefore saving costs.


Honorable Mentions

# 1. Delegations will still have the permission of using live backing vocals.



# 2. The backing track cannot contain Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs and/or any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at, replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocals during the live performance on stage.

#3. Song can contain the combination of recorded backing vocals alongside live performed backing vocals.

I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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