In a statement issued Wednesday, the European Broadcasting Union said that despite exploring “many alternative options” to allow the event to go ahead as planned, “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 EBU has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event.”
An estimated 182 million people watched last year’s song contest, and 41 countries took part.
The 2020 competition was scheduled to be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, across a series of knock-out stages from May 12 before culminating in the final on May 16. The EBU says it “will continue a conversation” with the city of Rotterdam about hosting the event next year instead.
Earlier on Wednesday, the organizers of the Glastonbury music festival said they were also calling the event off this year.