The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced in a statement posted on the Eurovision website Wednesday, breaking the hearts of millions of pop-music lovers who await the contest all year. Eurovision, one of the most watched television broadcasts of the year, was planned to open begin on May 12 in Rotterdam. This is the first time in since its inception 64 years ago that the contest will not take place. The statement read, “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 to not 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 can not take place in May.” Fans of this glitzy extravaganza have been worried for weeks that it would be cancelled. Eurovision posted an announcement yesterday hinting that a decision would be made soon. Some fans held out hope that the competition would either be postponed or streamed live without an audience. But Wednesday’s announcement makes it clear neither of those scenarios will take place. The statement says that the contest can’t be postponed because they just don’t know when it could be held and that it couldn’t be held remotely due to Dutch travel restrictions, which would prevent musicians from coming. Furthermore, the event is not only about the contest but also the Eurovision Village, where fans throng to the area, and listen to live music and participate in other activities. “It’s in the DNA of the Eurovision Song Contest to bring delegations, artists and fans together in one place and provide an equal platform for all artists to compete together on the same stage and the same opportunity to shine,” the statement said. “We are all heartbroken that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May but feel confident that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.” All the organizations involved with Eurovision would continue to discuss planning Eurovision 2021, the statement said.Israel's official representative in the contest, Eden Alene, has spoken about her hopes that the contest would be able to proceed as planned, but she cooperated with the recent directive from the Health Ministry recently that she not travel to Holland ahead of the contest to pose for her Eurovision postcard in a picturesque location, a traditional part of pre-Eurovision publicity. Alene, a soft-spoken teenager with a big voice who was Israel’s first Eurovision contestant of Ethiopian descent, was considered a strong candidate to win the contest. Israel has often done well in Eurovision, winning the contest four times. Most recently, Netta Barzilai won in 2018 and the 2019 contest was held in Tel Aviv.