Due to the ceiling of the WTC Expo being deemed too low, the city of Leeuwarden is the first Dutch city to be ruled out as a potential host for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest.
Translation by Traci White
Alderperson Sjoerd Feitsma told the Leeuwarder Courant that the city was aware that the height of the ceiling of the WTC Expo could post a problem to their bid, “but it was too good of an opportunity to let pass us by without at least trying”, Feitsma said. The venue can fit up to 30,000 people, but NOS reports that previous editions of the European cultural event have been held at sites with a ceiling clearance of at least 17 meters: the WTC Expo is only 15 meters tall.
NPO, the Dutch public broadcaster, informed would-be host cities across the country in mid-June of the criteria that venues would need to meet in order to be considered for holding the massive event. Feitsma says that the ceiling height was the only requirement the city failed to fulfil, and that raising the roof within a year would be impossible.
The remaining candidates are all in the west and south of the country: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Bosch, Maastricht, Breda, Den Haag and Rotterdam. NOS reports that the cities have until the 10th of July to submit a formal bid book. Leeuwarden is looking into hosting a large viewing party for the festival, which will be coming back to the Netherlands for the first time in nearly 50 years after singer-songwriter Duncan Laurence won the 2019 edition with his song, “Arcade”.
Laurence will be one of the headliners at the new Hullabaloo festival in Groningen in late August.