The Eurovision Song Contest is the latest major event to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the EBU said they had taken the "difficult decision" to call off this year's contest, which was due to take place in Rotterdam in May, and that it was one made with "deep regret".
"Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead," the EBU said.
"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 EBU has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned."
"We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks," they added.
"We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 Members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event.
"We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time."
Lesley Roy was due to represent Ireland at the contest with her song Story Of My Life.
RTE's Michael Kealy, Ireland's Head of Delegation for Eurovision 2020, said of the announcement: "The cancellation of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam is disappointing but completely understandable in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"RTÉ had been working closely with our writer/performer Lesley Roy and creative directors THISISPOPBABY and we were all very excited about how this years' entry was shaping up. We’re disappointed for Lesley and the whole creative team behind Story of My Life which we felt was an offering with huge potential representing Ireland.
"RTÉ looks forward to continuing to engage with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and our broadcasting colleagues throughout Europe on Eurovision and the competition in 2021."
Fans have been taking to Twitter to share their reactions to the news.
Sending big love to the organisers of #Eurovision 2020. Here's hoping your team gets your moment next year to stage #ESC2021 🇳🇱 Your vision and passion were evident. Your plans looked amazing. Your heart was in all of this. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/47KjZCItSU— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) March 18, 2020
BREAKING NEWS: The EBU has announced that Eurovision will be cancelled. The health and safety of the eurofans is all that matters right now. Eurovision will be back BIGGER and STRONGER than EVER pic.twitter.com/COT7O6nl5S— Common Eurofan Girl (@CommonESCGirl) March 18, 2020
This is devastating. We're all very upset.— Elainovision 🇱🇹🇮🇸🇨🇿 (@elainovision) March 18, 2020
It's helping me to remember that it's Eurovision 2020 that's cancelled, not Eurovision. It will return.
And we're all still here. All the experiences we've had together, we still have them. Eurofandom carries on.
This is the first time in Eurovision history, 64 years of the contest, that it has not taken place.— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 18, 2020
It just shows the seriousness of coronavirus across Europe and the world.
Ordinarily, I'd just suggest they hold it without a live audience. It is a TV show, not just a live event. Bring on the contestants, let them sing, let us vote, the end. But at this point, maybe even the contestants could prove a danger to each other. Right decision. #Eurovision https://t.co/HaSrJTtwva— 📽️📺 Paul Berney 🎸🐼 (@Paul_Berney) March 18, 2020
eurovision is better than christmas— Tim // 🇨🇭🇲🇹🇧🇬 (@PikaSchleh) March 18, 2020
eurovision is better than my birthday
eurovision is my everything
and it's just been taken from me
in 60 years i'm gonna tell my grandchildren the story of how i survived the year with no eurovision— shiann 💫 // 🇲🇹🇸🇪🇷🇺 (@escadio) March 18, 2020