Eurovision 2018 stage design honours Portugal’s connection with the sea

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Florian Wieder — the man behind the Eurovision stages in Düsseldorf, Baku, Vienna and Kyiv — has today been confirmed as the designer of the Eurovision 2018 stage in Lisbon.

Building on the Eurovision slogan “All Aboard” and its accompanying series of sea-inspired logos, the stage is, in the words of the EBU, inspired by “the hull of a ship and reflects Portugal’s history and culture.”

“The rich history of the Portuguese as a maritime nation reflects, without any boundaries, all of the values that make the Eurovision Song Contest unique today,” Wieder said in the EBU statement.

“Portugal and especially Lisbon are historic melting pots enriched by the impressions of newly discovered cultures that were brought back to the home port. This is mainly due to the Portuguese sailor men, who traveled the seas with courage and outstanding skills of navigation.”

“The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will take you on an expedition through many different cultures in Europe and around the world. A journey through the high seas of music that pursues to discover, connect and ultimately unite the nations. Portugal stands for bringing together countries and their cultures. In 2018 Portugal will unite the music of Europe. With this Eurovision Song Contest stage, Portugal will be the navigator and compass again.”

Paulo Resende, Deputy Executive Producer of Eurovision 2018, had this to say:

“The conceptual requirements aimed to breathe a Portuguese identity, to be elegant, modern and, at the same time, unique and distinctive. To ensure the difference from previous editions this stage should represent a strong statement by itself. The result was an outstanding masterpiece designed by Florian Wieder that entirely meets the concept and editorial narrative for this project.”

“It reflects a Portuguese identity in a very elegant and distinctive way, addresses a certain modernity respecting the Portuguese legacy and, moreover, the created visual ambience underlines a consistent difference. This will be the right staging for all the performers to express their songs and artistic moments and, certainly, no one shall remain unresponsive and indifferent.”

RTP’s officials have repeatedly said that they plan to stage Eurovision on a budget. But clearly they have found cost efficiencies elsewhere, as the stage — perhaps the second most important element in the competition after the artists and their songs — looks nothing short of spectacular.

RTP’s team have also laid out precisely how the stage builds on Portugal’s culture and history, explaining that it nods to navigation, the sea, ships and maps.

Navigation: “the armillary sphere becomes the visual key element in the design concept.”

Sea: “the stage shows a modern interpretation of a sweeping wave and its organic shape.”

Ships: “the structure of the stage is inspired by pieces of boatbuilding art.”

Maps: “the radial lines of a map spread out in different directions.”

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Who is the Eurovision 2018 stage designer?

Wieder is well experienced with Eurovision, having previously designed the stages for Eurovision in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017. His stages have frequently featured circular stages and undulating curves, and have always included awe-inspiring LED screens that help the acts really pop.

As well as Eurovision, Wieder has also worked on X Factor in both the United States and United Kingdom, the MTV Video Music Awards, and numerous German shows

What do you think of the new stage design? How does it compare to previous years? Tell us what your think below!

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