Dutch artist misses Eurovision rehearsal after ‘incident’, organisers say

By Thomson Reuters May 10, 2024 | 11:46 AM

MALMO, Sweden (Reuters) – Dutch singer Joost Klein was missing from Friday’s rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest following an “incident”, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the event, said in a statement.

“We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist. He will not be rehearsing until further notice,” EBU said in the statement, adding it would not be making any further comments at this point.

It was not clear if Klein, whose quirky song “Europapa” had originally made him one of the favourites, would be appearing in Saturday’s final.

EBU and Klein did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

On Thursday, over 10,000 people demonstrated in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, where the competition takes place, against the participation of Israel.

Eurovision organisers have resisted calls to exclude Israel over its military campaign in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, arguing that the competition is a non-political event.

Israeli solo artist Golan, 20, was one of eight acts to qualify on Thursday for the final, and has become one of the favourites among bookies to win the competition.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Frances Kerry)