EDITORIAL – Recently EBU decided to ask all participants to film their performance which will be used as a backup in case the participant cannot access the country or the venue due to COVID-19.
EBU must be aware that after the fiasco with the procedure implemented in Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020, everyone will monitor the potential broadcast of a backup performance to check every single detail. One failure will surely damage the image of the contest (again!)
WHAT IS LIVE-ON-TAPE?
Live-on-tape means recording a song performed live on stage in real-time (as it would be at the Contest) without making any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording.
Rather than trying to impose a strict format for the live-on-tape back-ups, the EBU and Host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS decided to fully embrace each country’s diversity in creativity, ambition, and style.
Beyond a set of basic guidelines and minimal limitations, each participating broadcaster will have maximum freedom to create a performance they are proud of and feel will best represent their country.
Before the recording each participating broadcaster will meet with a coordinator from the Host Broadcasters and submit a recording session schedule, studio set up, camera plan and signed Declaration of Compliance with the Production Guidelines.
The Head of Delegation must be onsite during the 60-minute recording session of the permitted three takes and, either alone or together with someone who has the appropriate mandate, make the final decision on which take is selected.
A live connection will be set up during the recording to allow the ESC Executive Supervisor and a representative from the Independent Voting Observer (E&Y) and the Host Broadcaster to observe the recording session, to provide assistance and support, but also to ensure the integrity of the Contest.
All materials will be checked for approval by the Host Broadcasters and the EBU. The Host broadcasters will perform on a final sound mix and any image enhancements to ensure uniform levels and quality. A copy of that final mix will be sent to the respective Head of Delegation for approval (not to be unreasonably withheld).
The number of rehearsals prior to the recording session is up to the participating broadcaster.
The live-on-tape recording should be produced in line with the Eurovision Song Contest Rules and essentially be a recording of a single 3-minute live stage performance. It should not be a music video.
The live-on-tape recordings should not contain any augmented or virtual reality, overlays, confetti, drone shots, water, use of chromakey or green screen.
They should be recorded in a studio or studio-like environment without an audience present or audience sounds.
No autotune or any other alteration of live vocals is not permitted on the recording.
Each broadcaster is free to either produce a recording of their planned stage performance or an alternative performance. However, the audio track should be similar.
The live-on-tape backup should be a unique recording and not be publicly available before the event in May. A national selection set can be used, however, and similarities are fine.
It is up to each Participating Broadcaster to develop a creative concept for their live-on-tape recording. as they would for their on-stage performance for Rotterdam. The ESC 2021 Contest team will be available to advise, guide and support.
The Contest team will oversee all the creative concepts, lighting, and LED content, to ensure diversity across the 41 acts and to avoid significant similarities.
Each participating broadcaster must submit their live-on-tape recording by 26 March 2021.