Eurovision has created a virtual village to supply an international audience with an accessible "front-seat experience" from home.
The Eurovision Village in Rotterdam has been recreated as a 3D virtual world where guests can engage in a programme of entertainment. A village schedule will highlight when live streams will occur and a range of behind-the-scenes content and interviews will also be accessible. On the schedule are Johnny Logan, Afrojack and the Junior Song Festival.
Guests can explore a 3D festival map that allows them to wander through well-known areas in Rotterdam such as its port. Visitors will feel the vibe of the city by watching pre-recorded content that helps to bring areas to life. There will also be video messages from people of interest including Rotterdam's Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Fans can interact through social channels and see a feed of contributor content within the experience. Through this activation, Eurovision hopes to reach a wide diverse audience.
The "virtual 2021 Eurovision village" will be available globally and live from 15 to 23 May via www.eurovisionvillage.com.
Digital agency Dept has collaborated with Rotterdam Festivals and entertainment agency Tribe Company to deliver the project.
Renske Satijn, director of Rotterdam Festivals, said: "We are extremely proud of the very first online Eurovision Village and the versatile programme. Everyone is welcome, and we are open 24/7, free of charge. I am happy that with the help of a next-level event experience it is also possible to give visitors a festival feeling through a mix of performances, tours and content that you won't want to miss. It is a special project, and one that we were able to accomplish at a rapid pace together with the Dept and Tribe Company team."
Dimi Albers, chief executive at Dept said: "Since Corona, we have started to focus more on magical, virtual event solutions that really connect people. For example, we organised our own virtual festival, built the digital inspiration day for bol.com, and an online campus for Avans University of Applied Sciences. Eurovision Village with millions of viewers is proof that with big thinking, even the most legendary events can be transformed into digital."
Anyone travelling to the Netherlands for Eurovision 2021 is required to quarantine and, currently, there is a ban on most travel to the Netherlands from non-EU countries. In-person shows for Eurovision 2021 wil take place with a maximum of 3,500 audience members for each performance.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 final will be broadcast live on 22 May on BBC One, from the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands.