LEDs and lighting, it’s getting exciting! Eurovision 2017 is closer than ever, and in one week the artists will step onto the stage for their first rehearsals. The mammoth stage — which has been compared to a shark, a spaceship, and a woman squatting — is finally ready and throughout this week technical rehearsals with stand-ins will take place before the artists arrive.

It’s a chance for producers — including Sweden’s Christer Björkman — to make sure that their visions translate from mind to stage, and a very important step on the road to the live shows.

The stage was designed by the German stage guru Florian Wieder, who has worked on stages for shows including X Factor and, of course, Eurovision.

He designed the stages for Eurovision in 2011, 2012 and 2015, and many fans will see his signature in this latest creation.

Details include the round stage from 2011 and the dramatic arch from 2015.

The technical rehearsals that began recently are important for a number of reasons. Ideas sketched on paper or planned on a computer screen don’t always translate to real life.

What’s more, the production crew need to acquaint themselves to the performances in motion. They watch every detail to determine how best to bring together sound, graphics, camera angles and lighting — and how long to present the various cuts and crops. That’s a lot to figure out — and there’s no way they could do it all solely in the two technical rehearsals that take place after the artists arrive.

Following each stand-in rehearsal, the delegations will receive a video file of what’s gone down, so they can form an impression and make suggestions and tweaks to the performance even before they get to Kyiv.

Here’s an example of those rehearsals from last year.

Ola Melzig, the Technical Director of Eurovision 2017 (as well as 2016, and the head of M&M Production Management), is once again sharing behind the scenes coverage on his Eurovision Diary blog.

A long-running tradition, he’s published it every year that his company has run the show since 2009 (so 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017).

The blog is full of amusing posts and fantastic pictures of the stage and technical areas that you won’t see during the show.

Keeping up with the times, he’s also published a series of amusing videos, including the following which shows Ola together with Christer Björkman, who has joined the show as content producer. You can also spot Henric Von Zweigbergk, the beloved Senior Floor Manager whose voice welcomes acts to rehearsals, and who also oversees the stage at Melodifestivalen — Sweden’s national selection show.

As you can see, the production crew are having fun and fooling around in front of the stage (but they are very serious when they do their work, so don’t worry).

The rehearsals for Azerbaijan and Portugal took place today, they tell us, so you can start guessing which background we’re seeing here…and if you look at the screens you can see just how good the stage will look on TV. We are so excited.

A look at the finished stage

 What do you think of the stage? Are you excited for Eurovision 2017 to begin?

Photos: Courtesy of eurovision.ua/UA:PBC/M&M Production Management/EBU

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Carin Trano
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Carin Trano

2016 was one of the worst stage’s in a very long time, in my opinion

Varian Jeataba
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Varian Jeataba

Best stages 2000-2009 1- 2008 (really cool design I loved it!) 2- 2009 ( nice a big with large LEDs) 3- 2005 ( I really liked this stage it was just perfect!) Worst stages 2000-2009 1- 2000 (terrible! Bland!) 2- 2001(nothing good about it! It looked like it wasn’t finished ) 3- 2006 (it was really strange with a weird shape) Best stages 2010-2017 1- 2014 (one of the best stages in the ESC history! Lovely!) 2- 2015 ( this one was really cool I liked the shapes) 3- 2017 ( I love this years one so much! Its really… Read more »

anonymous91
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anonymous91

what’s the point of these silly stand in rehearsals anyway

Hada
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Hada

Figuring out technical stuff

Bring Back Denise
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Bring Back Denise

Just some time wasting to check if its working properly

MS
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MS

If I could deside, Florian Wieder, would be in carge of the stage every year! He is the best! If we in sweden win again, I wouldn’t mind if we used a stage similar a stage that has been used earlier year.

Kaden
Guest
Kaden

I think the first stage that wowed was 2003 in Riga, Latvia. Both in terms of shape and clever usage of different colour. (Before then it was particularly hard to see a visual difference for individual songs I think).

That stage both changed the style of future stages and set the mark for future stages.

This year’s stage looks good in my opinion.

Carin Trano
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Carin Trano

Yes I think so to, Kaden

Erasmus
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Erasmus

I did some research and found out: 1. The floor’s led are bigger this year than last year(this year 350 square meters last year 250 square meters) 2. Led screen on walls are bigger this year than last year(1000 square meters this year last year 600) 3. More lights these year ( last year 1500 this year:1816) 4. The height of the stage is the same as in 2015. which is 14 meters last year it was 15 meters. 5. It’s 70 meters wide, last year it was 50 meters wide. 6. It’s depth is 28 meters, last year it… Read more »

Erasmus
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Erasmus

13.Last year it had 22 cameras to broadcast, this year it has 19.
14. Last year it had 143 meter of cable, thisbuear it has 180 meters of cable.
15 The same amount of people will run the show live.
I think the stage this year is better aka. bigger than last year based on these informations.

Mattias Sollerman
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Mattias Sollerman

Thanks a lot! 🙂
It certainly looks gorgeous from afar.

MS
Guest
MS

I don’t think the size of the scen is the most importent! It is importent that we, the telewiers feel that we come close the artist. If the sceen is to big the artist becomes a smal dot. I remember when ESC was in russia. The swedish act became less good in in ESC than in our nationalselection. The cameramen was so intrested in to show what a big stage and arena, and not so intressted to led us come close.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I agree about Russia’s stage, but I don’t think this one has such a large screen.. anyway I hope it will look good on TV I was just making a point for those who thought the stage is small, it bigger than last year’s..

Zebb
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Zebb

Visuals looks better than last year, basing on insta photos and few videos.
Design – lazy reversed combination of 2011 and 2008. I don’t know what was compromised as it’s been said in one of vlog interviews but that didn’t change the concept we saw long before this version. Gladly, projections somehow saves this arc.
Most ridiculous moment for me was when they said – 2016 stage was way too masculine so we wanted to have feminine this year with rounded shapes.
Still somehow I like Florian’s 2015 stage and stage from Copenhagen.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Why is that ridiculous?
He didn’t say it was ‘too’ masculine, just that it was very masculine and they wanted to contrast that.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Because I don’t agree that they need to contrast it. At least not this lazy way as I described.
I really would even prefer that ukrainian national selections stage – ofc expanded, reworked, but same in concept. It could be used in different way, with minor 3d forms across venue – so at least it would be original and never used in recent editions, and would create the atmosphere of involvement.
Thanks for asking!

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Some say ‘it looks so small’ while others say it’s one of the biggest stages.
Can someone supply me with a source concerning the size of different Eurovision stages? Although I fail to see why it should matter. ^^

Erasmus
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Erasmus

read the comment I wrote !:)

Bring Back Denise Now
Guest
Bring Back Denise Now

Very disappointed with this stage. It needs to be like three times as big so the singers look like ants.

James
Guest
James

It already is big.

fikri
Guest
fikri

the arch thing looks kinda jagged and distorted in certain angles and not smooth as i thought it would be. i don’t like it. plus, the whole stage looks empty if it’s not bathed in a thousand lights.

definitely a downgrade from previous years, but oh well– guess we need to just suck it up.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Again a lazy design. A led screen and a sircle stage, so 2011 and so uninspired

Bring Back Denise Now
Guest
Bring Back Denise Now

Stage is built in Nederlande and transport all the way to Ukraine. Due to distance and probably funding problem its a much smaller setup this time. You should go there and make a bigger stage

Hada
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Hada

I just wonder if we’ll have holograms this year too

Anna
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Anna

Armenia is going to put them again.

PP
Guest
PP

Better stage he made in 2011, but this 2017 is better than 2012 and 2015 One of best stage designer is women Paula Farrell from Ireland who are made amazing stage in 1988, 1994, 1997 . My TOP 3 best stage from 2000 to 2016 1.2014 2.2009 3.2008 Worst 3 stage from 2000 to 2016 1.2006 2.2013 3.2010 Best stage from 1956 to 1959 stage from 1959 from 1960 to 1969 stage from 1967 from 1970 to 1979 stage from 1973 from 1980 to 1989 stage from 1988 (one of best stage ever) from 1990 to 1999 stage from 1990… Read more »

Die_4_U
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Die_4_U

The stage is worse than 2016 and lacks interesting elements. I also bet that the floor of the stage won’t have the technical abilities that we enjoyed in 2014 and 2016.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I hope the flags won’t be a problem like in 2015.

Eve
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Eve

I hated those flags in 2015, they’re ruined beautiful Loïc’s performance!

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

That overhead arch thing reminds me of the FiK stage from the previous year when Eneda Tarifa won. You know, the one that looked like a salon hair dryer lol. Very awkward

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Hada
Guest
Hada

I like it. The chandelier looks great in all the photos I’ve seen too. It’s not as big as last year’s, but it looks beautiful.

John
Guest
John

I don`t understand why people say that the stage is small. This is one of the biggest Eurovision stages. It`s much larger than the stages of 2015, 2016, and according to the organizers it is the most technologically advanced stage ever.I am happy for Ukraine, waiting for 3 amazing shows, good luck to all ???

John
Guest
John

Without question marks in the last one, sorry

Greta
Guest
Greta

I’m courious about how they will do croatias technical rehearsal. Will there be two singing person on the stage? ????????????

Hada
Guest
Hada

A hologram?

Astro
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Astro

It has been said that his costume would be split into two so i think there would be two different camera angles

Greta
Guest
Greta

No, he won’t. He said that in a interview. He don’t want to make circus show.

alanshere
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alanshere

Looks like a toilet seat that is stuck half way down.

Avstriya
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Avstriya

The stage looks really generic and boring. Typical Wiedner design without soul

Erasmus
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Erasmus

I don’t agree… The stages in 2011 and 2015 even this stage are very good. I mean last year-you can’t say that that was original.. but Nothing can beat stage in 2014 .

ESC84
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ESC84

It looks heavy

escESCesc
Guest
escESCesc

Can’t wait to see ALMA slay on this stage!!! she will shine and maybe win who knows.

Anna
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Anna

OMG !!! Those colors, effects. Everything is much more beautiful than 2016 stage.
Pay attention on small screens, this is how it’s going to be on TV <3

AndersP
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AndersP

It reminds me of the stage in Helsinki. It’s nice, but it’s not nearly as impressive as some of the recent designs. It should look good on TV though.

D
Guest
D

It will not be better than the 2016 stage..

Sash Animenkos
Guest
Sash Animenkos

The stage looks much better than on project photos, and that’s a relief. I can even go as far as to say that it looks better than last year in Stockholm.

Mufasa
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Mufasa

I’m so excited!! Can’t wait

Guðrún Karlsdóttir
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Guðrún Karlsdóttir

It looks beautiful!!! I can’t wait already haha.

Ananas
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Ananas

Well.. It’s nicely designed and all, but… it is too small! I’m afraid it will be something like JESC 2016 stage, and some acts wouldn’t be able to shine because of it.. :/ It’s a shame…

Getzata
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Getzata

JESC 2016 stage was good enought, here the arena is small…..

Getzata
Guest
Getzata

Sorry, I agree both are small stage and arena… 🙁

Getzata
Guest
Getzata

And if you atke a close look, the JESC 2016 copied the the model of JESC 2015…..