After three wins at Junior Eurovision, the Republic of Georgia is finally getting its chance to host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
And as the competition draws near we couldn’t resist the chance to head out to Tbilisi and film a special behind-the-scenes video for you at Tbilisi’s Palace of Sport — this year’s host venue.
We dispatched wiwiblogger Deban to the Georgian capital to have a quick look at the press centre, press conference room, interview spaces and, of course, the actual performance hall. And what he found was a venue with plenty of space to make the acts — and visiting journalists and delegations — comfortable and in a position to put on a fabulous show. It’s looking good, guys!
Tbilisi’s Olympic Palace: Behind-the-scenes
Built in 2015, the Olympic Palace previously hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival. More than 2,000 athletes — across volleyball, handball, judo and more — representing 50 countries attended that event.
Built to a modern standard with two halls, it has also hosted tournaments with a variety of other sports including basketball. So organisers will no doubt be able to handle the kids of JESC.
The larger hall, which will be used for Junior Eurovision, can welcome 4,000 guests. The smaller hall can accommodate around 600 guests.
It’s going to be a cauldron of energy during JESC 2017 — and we can’t wait!
The Palace includes a conference room, which can hold between 100 and 120 guests, and a media room for 80 to 100 journalists.
There’s also a VIP Lounge which can accommodate 150 guests and a café where you can re-charge in between interviews and rehearsals.
You can check out some photos below. Just click to enlarge. Thanks to the administrative team at the Olympic Palace for sharing them.
Photos: The Olympic Palace, Tbilisi
The Junior Eurovision 2017 stage
The stage, of course, hasn’t been built yet. This always takes place closer to the event, as the venue has pre-existing bookings and materials must be shipped and prepared ahead of the conversion.
That isn’t stopping a wave of hype and positivity, owing to the release of this year’s stage design by the EBU and the Georgian Public Broadcaster.
Inspired by Mariam Mamadashvili’s winning song “Mzeo” (Sun), the stage resembles a big sun shining so brightly that its rays shoot out towards the audience. To many it could be the child of the Eurovision 2015 stage in Vienna, which featured intricate pipework bursting outward as well. Whether you think the massive panels are sun beams, giant shards of glass or piano keys, they add dramatic effect and will frame the performers beautifully.
Many of our readers have reacted quite positively, suggesting that the stage looks even better than the adult Eurovision stage from Kyiv. While that might be a bit of a stretch, it definitely hints at the scale and ambition of the Georgian team.
Our readers have shared all manner of opinions on social media.
On Instagram Breebroo1 noted how the sunny stage reflects this year’s theme of “Shine Bright” and its accompanying artwork. “Is it just me or is the JESC stage always in great connection to the logo,” he writes. “Not that much with the ESC and its logos.”
Eurovisionbyjaz says it “looks pretty epic”, and keanuxcvi compares it to MTV’s annual awards show: “Anyway doesn’t it look like the stage of VMA 2015? The upper and the left and right parts look very familiar.”
What do you think of Tbilisi’s Olympic Palace? Does it look like a promising spot for Junior Eurovision? Let us know in the comments box below.