It's official: the Eurovision Songfestival will be hosted by Rotterdam. The media is filled with happy reactions, 'Rotterdam will make it happen' being a widely used term. Fortunately, some people and organizations are asking some critical questions. We are one of them.
Let's start with the fact that we're hosting this festival now because we won the previous edition, held in the biggest, current apartheid state in the world. Ever since, Rotterdam has been pushing hard to host the next event, without even paying the slighters attention to the injustice that brings with it.
With incredible determination, the city tried to claim the rights to host. Out of nowhere, around 15 million euros where found and within less than a month, a bid was put on the table. The result being we're hosting the festival in 2020.
One of the arguments is how much this could mean for this city. Fame, tourism, money. Who is gonna make that money? Who is going to profit from these things? One thing is certain: it won't be the regular citizens of Rotterdam. The only thing they might get is a week filled with disturbances if they live anywhere near the venue.
We have other priorities. Or at least, we should have. 15 million euros could be used to invest in the neighborhood where they are planning to organize the event. A neighborhood that has been neglected for decades and where gentrification is in full force.
We can only imagine how much better this city could be if the same determination was regularly showed towards the multiple issues we have. What if they used all that money and firepower to actively combat poverty, for example, or invest in education. That the same determination was used to declare the climate crisis and have us actively roll up our sleeves to prevent it from escalating further and saving our planet.
Only then, we'd have the right to say we're the city that 'Makes it Happen'.