THE EUROVISION Song Contest has announced that it will be cancelling this year's show amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on social media, organisers said: “It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.

“Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

“However 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 European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.

“We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.

“The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.

Iceland's 2020 Eurovision entry

“We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks.

“We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event.

“We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.”

The rules for the song contest state that entries cannot have been published before 1 September of the year preceding, meaning that this year's music will not be eligible for re-submission in 2021. This will likely be upsetting for Iceland's Daði og Gagnamagnið, whose song this year was an absolute bop and had gained much popularity online.

Executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, said the event would return “stronger than ever”.

In a video message posted on Twitter, he said: “The escalating spread of the coronavirus throughout Europe and the restrictions put in place by many Governments and the Dutch authorities makes it impossible for us to host a live event as planned.

“We are very proud of the Eurovision Song Contest that for 64 years has united people all around Europe. We are deeply disappointed about this situation.

“The EBU together with the host broadcaster NPO, NOS, Avrotros, and the city of Rotterdam will continue to talk to see if it is possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in 2021.”

He concluded: “We regret this situation very much but I can promise you, the Eurovision Song Contest will come back stronger than ever.”