Are y’all still celebrating that Copenhagen will host Eurovision next year? I certainly am! After months of fear, DR finally put us out of our misery at the prospect of a week in Herning and announced that the contest will be staged at Refshaleøen, a former shipyard in Copehagen’s harbor. If you were exploring Denmark’s beautiful capital last year instead of finding nothing to do in Malmö, you’ve probably seen Refshaleøen: it’s directly across the harbor from The Little Mermaid statue.
Danes have been quick to point out the potential drawbacks. This prime location is viewed as a potential traffic nightmare by Oli Madsen, a professor at The Technical University of Denmark. In an interview with Jyllands-Posten, a top Danish newspaper centered in Aarhus (and the main newspaper covering Herning), he explains that there is only one road that leads to the island. “All the pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles will come from the same narrow road, and it’s completely clear that to avoid chaos, they must move traffic completely on the days [the event] happens,” he says. While new roads projects may help, Madsen feels that they would be unrealistic. “From a traffic point of view, it’s not an ideal location. It’s not impossible, but it will take some thought.” Click here to watch a video which illuminates some of the drama.
Jan Lagermand Lundme, head of the Danish Eurovision delegation, is confident that the location will be a success, and says that the planners are aware of the challenges of Refshaleøen. While cars will not be able to access the island, parking will be situated nearby and shuttles will be available for the roughly 10,000 fans attending each show. Copenhagen already utilizes water buses as part of its excellent public transportation system, and we can assume that those will be increased to meet the needs of the fans. Despite the potential traffic jam, it sure beats the 60-90 minute commute from Aarhus to Herning that we were guaranteed had the contest been held at Boxen.