stage

It’s been one of the biggest concerns for fans throughout the current season — What’s the story with the Eurovision 2018 stage?

Some months ago, RTP set alarm bells ringing when they revealed that LED screens are out for 2018. The decision immediately ruled out a whole range of staging possibilities. But at least we won’t be seeing the singers’ faces in the background anymore, as happened with so many of 2017’s performances.

The oft-repeated call for a contest of “real music” with no artifices left many cold. Are we turning the clock back to the 1950s? Well, after watching the stage in action for the first time, the only answer to that question is: hell to the no!

Earlier this week, footage emerged from a dry-run of Hungary’s stage show. This included a full light and pyro display for “Viszlát nyar” which, if it is the actual staging, will blow everyone’s mind.

Eurovision 2018 stage in action

As you can see, the huge Lisbon stage isn’t in any danger of being overshadowed by its predecessors from Stockholm, Copenhagen, Vienna or Kyiv.

Even without LEDs, the light show provides an extremely strong setting for a song like Hungary’s entry. And those pyros and smoke machines are totally on point!

With just four days to go until first rehearsals begin, the stage is already finished, and stand-in rehearsals are underway.

As usual, those who are passionate about technical aspects of the contest will be keenly following Ola Melzig’s Eurovision diary.

In his April 24 post, the producer reveals how the pyro run-throughs are going. He also tells us that Executive Producer Christer Bjorkman is on the ground. Check out the photo below where the technical team shows the Melodifestivalen impresario how everything works.

It’s coming together!!!

A post shared by Christer Björkman (@christer.s.bjorkman) on

Hungary’s staging looks set to be spectacular. But what about the other entries? Will the huge stage work as well with a quieter song like Portugal’s? And how will it work for a dance number like Cyprus? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all of our Portugal Eurovision 2018 news.

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82 Comments on "Let there be light: Watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Eurovision 2018 stage in action"

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poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest

Mmmm, after seeing how disappointing the staging has been so far for the rehearsals of some of the other countries, Hungary is starting to look like a really strong contender for the top 10

AngieP
Guest

It looks great! Especially this video showing how the Hungarian entry will look like. It will be mindblowing! In general, I don’t think the minimalistic approach and the lack of LED screens will affect the quality of the show.

John. Zh
Guest

Amazing stage!!!

Towy
Guest

My hat off to Portugal for having shown to those troll-acts that THIS WON’T BE their circus year! Time to bring Eurovision back to its propriety that has been degraded and lost for the past twenty years! Europe shall be great again!

Danny
Guest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ptBfxhUPlc
Here you can watch the super “elegant” staging in the video, you should’ve watch that before you wrote your nonsense. But NO, this stage is not built for circus, no way. It just contains more pyro equipment than any other year before that. A true classical Eurovision set, actually reminds me of 1979. So simple, so elegant and minimalistic. LOL

Towy
Guest

You don’t even make any sense, chimp face! No one is yearning for a retro revival and no one is implying that Eurovision should go back in prehistory. However, much to your disappointment – loser – Eurovision has entered a new age that won’t cater troll acts anymore! Just because this year has dynamic lights on stage, that doesn’t mean it is a troll-friendly environment, you idiot!

Danny
Guest

I can see that you have major mental issues or you’re just 11 years old, so I will not go further with this discussion.

Ríng
Guest

@Danny: Towy said it correctly. Meanwhile, your response is typical for those who lose arguments. Just face it, mate!

Madrileño
Guest

There you go Portugal BRAVO.
THIS WILL BE A VERY SPECIAL EUROVISION.
AMAZING .
LOVE FROM SPAIN

Eve
Guest

Anything is better than giant heads in backgroud, I still have nightmares about that 😛

Alfred5
Guest

Italy’s bombastic song about war and terrorism will do well on this kind of stage

ai4pres
Guest

please elaborate. i kinda wanna see your vision

Skiwalko
Guest

Well, they won San Remo with simple staging. Il Volo won the televote back in 2015, even though they were also singing in Italian, and they had static staging, so I think they will do really well in Lisbon.

Danny
Guest

Too bad that nobody will know what they are singing about, just like last year.

Dan
Guest

I understand that Portugal’s approach to the contest last year was keeping things “simple”, but I can’t help but thinking that this somehow forces other countries to do the same thing, which is a horrible thing to do. Something tells me this will be their first and last year as hosts.

anne
Guest

something tell me you are a dumb ass… oh no, you are really a dumb ass.

ADd
Guest

Wow. It does look pretty, but nothing exceptional. Quite disappointing. IMO, this sucks.

Charles
Guest

Because this is a song contest … not Stockholm Pride! Or Madrid Pride! Or any other big European Pride … It’s a song contest …

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest

Why always talk about Prides? What about when boobs are shown?

Mattias Sollerman
Guest

I can recommend reading Melzig’s blog. He’s a funny guy.

john
Guest

shut the f*** up wih leds.. this is music, these are songs… to listen… lights are great, these kind of lights are the best in the world to stages… just lights, are great to enphasize the singers, the songs, and not the f*** images that almost all time are boring…

Pancakes
Guest

F*** YOU! WE NEED LEDs!

Charles
Guest

You need to finish your 5th grade exame if you really want to see the next episode of Ru Paul’s drag queen show … cause apparently that is what Eurovision means to you! Music? What is that?

Skimur
Guest

I laugh at people who think that tons of pyrotechnics and the chaotic flashing of hundreds of lights that will probably cause several hundred epileptic seizures (even for those who did not have epilepsy before watching the show) will help them perceive music better than LED screens.

luis
Guest

The video is off.. please solve the problem. I wanna see the stage in action.

Paul
Guest

https://www.facebook.com/escportugal/videos/10160373882310720/

First video of the Eurovision stage in action… Best stage ever in Eurovision… Lisbon 2018… to who can not open the video here, because is off.

Well well
Guest

Good lights and pyro stage for all the rock songs, Cyprus, and especially Estonia
Can be a problem for Czech Rep., Sweden, France, Belgium and Italy
Would be fun to see props again but only so-bad-yet-so-good props like it’s 2008

Weißbrot
Guest

I’m pretty sure that Sweden will bring their staging from Melodifestivalen to Eurovision, so they won’t have a Problem.

Cocooo
Guest

Benjamin is going to bring his lightcage with him to Eurovision, it’s been confirmed already.

Well well
Guest

That LED-prop translates well on tv but is a total waste of this stage and its lighting tricks, and may equally be a disadvantage.

Miracle romania
Guest

Swedens props isnt even made of LED? Hahah you funny

Well well
Guest

Well, google LED and LED lights. I couldn’t care less but please educate me if I’m wrong. I am not an electrician.

Miracle romania
Guest

Its a simple construction of light tubes, thats it. Not much LED screens or LED lights about that

Denis
Guest

It´s not LED at all. It is fluroscent lights. nothing more. Simple as that!

Danny
Guest

comment image
LOL fluorescent lights? Look at this image where the prop can be seen in the background, it shows colour stripes like a tv test screen. Those stripes are 100% LED, no one uses fluorescent anymore.

Denis
Guest

The act itself is light tubes, as already confirmed. Same will be in Lisbon

Well well
Guest

Oh look, my predictions came true! I told you so! Thanks downvoters!

Bernardo
Guest
About the lack of LED on the stage of this year’s Eurovision, what most delegations decided to do this year was “do the will” to the Portuguese organization, because the delegations know that next year, regardless of the winner, things return to normal. I’m Portuguese and I know what I’m saying. It was probably the first and last time we organized Eurovision, because after the crap that we are doing in the production of this show, even if we have a great song, the other countries will do everything they can so that our country will never again receive the… Read more »
Gongas
Guest

I bet if we looked at this guy’s google search history we would find: “Most common portuguese names”… Still mad your favorite didn’t win last year? 🙁 🙁

jcn
Guest

def not portuguese. His comment really seems odd, i have not read one single negative comment from a pt after the video leaked.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest

@ jcn

I think you’re wrong. The person that left the comment above signing as Bernardo IS Portuguese. 1- the way he phrased his comment makes me think that Portuguese is his mother language. 2- I think i have seen the exact same comment in Portuguese in a Portuguese fan site.

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest

I don’t understand why some people focus so much on LEDs. Who cares about LEDs?

Weißbrot
Guest

I’m impressed by the lack of sense in that comment.

Charles
Guest

I’m impressed nobody seems to have understood that anybody from any corner from the world can pretend to be somebody they are not and say anything they want just cause a reaction so randomly and so vulgarly … the power of the internet is so overwhelming that we believe in anything and anybody! Brain ON … let’s now think!

Weißbrot
Guest

Of Course he’s not Portuguese, I never thought he told us the truth.

Charles
Guest

… because NOBODY wants a country to organize and produce an Eurovision edition that is focusing on the MUSIC … Hell nooooo … that goes against any ESC Bible … How dare RTP to mess up with our religious bubble?

S.T.
Guest

We sould thank you for hosting the event. It is a big rock on your shoulder.

Denis
Guest

I think it will benefit up tempo stage acts and quiet numbers not so much.

CookyMonzta
Guest
Up-tempo acts don’t necessarily need CGI this time around, because they’ll have the lights to accentuate the rhythms. Look at the stage test for Hungary, pyrotech and all. This stage would have been perfect for Softengine (Finland 2014). I think it might be a problem for Belgium unless they decide to go with a darker theme, with fewer lights. Estonia is bringing their own tech for Elina. If their equipment can’t be integrated into the stage performance, they’d better have Plans B and C. Smoke, pyro and a darker stage are perfect for Denmark; they don’t need no stinkin’ CGI.
Sabrina
Guest

The stage looks great and offers a lot of possibilities, especially concerning lighting effects. The countries with “explosive” acts can take a lot of advantage from it. I think a stage like this will require more creativity than a bunch of led screens.

Eve
Guest

Agree, stage looks very beautiful.

.......
Guest

Where are big screenes and things like that?

Weißbrot
Guest

There won’t be any LED Screens this year, which is known for months already.

anne
Guest

shiu… leds for what??

Charles
Guest

… to preserve and respect the shallow love FANS have for the contest … it’s not about the music … but how the visuals prevent you from listening to anything … RTP is not giving FANS their shallow pie this year … they are asking to “clean your ears … and listen to music”. Eurovision fans will go crazy like those teen girls in 1996 in Germany when Take That said they were breaking up!

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest

Funny comment!

CookyMonzta
Guest

No LED screens and no LED floor. Bring your own hi-tech (like Estonia) and hope that they can integrate it into their system, or make do with what’s on the stage. I’m pretty sure every country was sent documentation telling them what the stage CAN do and what it CAN’T do; and they had months in advance to come up with ways to use the stage.

Elin
Guest

Are there only staff from Portugal that will work behandlas the sceen? Whith camera, light etc? And whith the artists? Help them, organize so everything goes smoth and make the artists prepared etc?

Elin
Guest

Behind, not behandlas

Cocooo
Guest

Nearly every year where the Eurovision has been the last decade, the production team has came from all parts of Europe to help produce the show. I believe the only exception was in 2011 and 2012 when it was a sole German team who produced the shows.

Rasmus
Guest

I think it will be fine. I loved the stages in 98,99 and then came some kind of LED in 2000. 2001 was not a great stage where almost everyone wore black but this is fine:)

William Lee Adams
Admin

This staging feels true to the genre of metal. They honestly don’t need an LED for this performance. How it will work out for others remains to be seen…but I’m hopeful.

Catriona Colville
Guest

Too many of the performances will look the same. That was a huge problem. I really dislike their decision to remove the LED screen. It removes a big layer of creativity.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Using LEDs isn’t a guarantee that performances won’t look the same. Remember in 2015 when there were all those tree graphics? Or last year when it was giant heads? 😀

Ola’s production blog has revealed a very sophisticated lighting set-up. The stage is loaded with band new cutting-edge lighting tech. I suspect it’s going to blow our minds in ways we didn’t even imagine!

Kris
Guest

It will blow our minds one way or other! It’s either going to be marvellous or absolutely horrendous and old-fashioned

Erasmus
Guest

agree! And while I agree LED’s don’t bring a lot of creativity, I think they make acts look different from each other, I mean just, because 3 acts out of 42 had their face behind them, you can’t say all of them look the same. (answer for Robin)

Jake
Guest

yes because this run through of Hungary totally looks old-fashioned…its as if an old Lys Assia performance had made a comeback…apparently giant screensaver in the background of people singing is the only way to stage a musical performance

Charles
Guest

… I can see your going to sleep and having nightmares that the 90s Eurovision is going to haunt you down … and you’re screaming “FO the music … give me my LEEEEEDS”.
Sometimes i wonder if we could change the name to Eurovision LED contest to see which LED worked the best … the music is not going add anything if everybody is crying like a baby for those LEDs.

M_K
Guest
Doesn’t it rather add a layer of creativity? Having backdrops is pretty much the easiest way of visualising the meaning (or feel) of a song. There were some entries that really made use of the LED screens in the past and used them both creatively and effectively (Ukraine 2016, Russia 2009, Estonia 2015, Netherlands 2014 etc.) but there were also many, many, many entries that just used some random stock images in the background simply because they had to choose SOMETHING (Italy 2015, Romania 2017, pretty much any entry of 2012 etc.). In 2013, there were no LED screens and… Read more »
CookyMonzta
Guest

I think in 2013 they had an LED screen in the back. Look at the performances from Hungary and Belgium, among the few, which used that screen for their performances.

M_K
Guest

No, actually it wasn’t an LED screen, it was a projection wall.

Hada
Guest

I think this year it’s easier for acts to stand out because the stage is much more versatile. Last year almost all acts were just singing in front of a giant screensaver.

Charles
Guest

That is what has been happening every year since this LED thing took over … It’s an obsession that is driving people mad and it’s odd considering this is a music contest … nobody is talking about the music …

Zebb
Guest

So, then the best solution is to keep a balance and to not overdo a concept…

S.T.
Guest

There is a task for everybody. I think we are good.

Erasmus
Guest

Yeah they have great staging, but this without pyros looks empty af. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, maybe the camera angels will improve + is this stage finish? Because at the original design picture those sticks, or ribs or whatever look way bigger there, than they do here?

Gongas
Guest

The ribs at the back actually move in various angles. In this clip they are in the down position.

Frisian esc
Guest

Maybe because the stage is empty without singers and you don’t see the camera cuts here

impressiveinstants
Guest

I was one of the few people who didn’t mind 2010’s staging. It was a little overshadowed by Moscow, but it was a much more simple, and intimate stage. Plus, it worked extremely well for some entries like Ukraine or Turkey. This staging seems to have a similar concept, but to the tenth power. I can’t wait.

Towy
Guest

2010’s stage was the best one in the Eurovision history! Horrendously BAD stages were in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2016. Even 2009’s could be forgiven compared to those!

Gav
Guest

Wow! ? ?
Exciting!
Love it!
That’s the best I can do with in-depth thoughts at the moment. Xx

Weißbrot
Guest

Well… this is A LOT! Like, Wow.People will get major headache from this and I’m loving it. Bring all the lights, all the pyro and all the Drama, Hungary. Viszlat nyar.