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