Eurovision 2019 is five months away but the preparations in Israel are in full swing. The Israeli broadcaster KAN has published tender documents for key production roles. It’s given a lot of interesting information about the technical details of the stage. We’ve trawled through the documents and pulled out the bits that caught our attention. Let’s take a look!
The main document that KAN published this week is the tender for the production company. The company will be in charge of the 2019 contest production in all of its different locations and aspects. We’re guessing the plans are well detailed and prepared, and now it’s time for the production company to turn them into reality.
These are just a few of the high-level requirements for the company that wishes to be the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest production company:
- Experience of at least ten live television productions, productions of at least five concerts with a crowd of 3,000 people and five conventions with more than 1,000 guests — all in the last ten years.
- An annual income of 20 million NIS in the last three years (about 4.5 million euros).
- The bidding company and its key team members cannot have a license to broadcast television in Israel.
The winning applicant will be required to build, supply equipment (from cameras and computers to desks and chairs) and handle the infrastructures and complexes of the contest inside the venue (stage, delegation bubble, press conference area, press working area, VIP area, etc.) as well as all the other locations of the related events (the red carpet event, the Euro Village, etc.).
The winning applicant will also be required to hire manpower in the fields of production, video, graphics, content, transport, logistics, cleaning and all other aspects of this huge production. As for security, a seperate tender was published regarding the security services that will be supplied by a specialised security company.
The production tender also includes a technical schedule, that reveals the future plans and milestones in most of the technical divisions of the production.
The return of video content
In the second page of the schedule, one little word is mentioned that hides behind it a huge world of graphics and motion. Yes, it seems like video content is back this year after its absence in 2018 when LED screens weren’t included in the Lisbon stage design.
As you can see, at the end of March the schedule states: “Virtual programming of lighting and video starts”.
As it was speculated before, it seems that LED screens or a similar video content projection system will be used in Eurovision 2019. It’s a change from the Lisbon stage, which didn’t feature any video content, as a brave and economical decision of the producers. What’s your preference? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Regarding the stage, the plans are to have the set design completed, to make a final choice of all materials and to finalise the seating plan – all by the end of January 2019. The stage goes into manufacturing right after that and will be transported to Tel Aviv in late March and will then be installed in the venue during April.
Other interesting plans: the fine-tuning and polishing of camera movements is planned to be done by the end of January 2019, as well as the end of all negotiations and contracts with all major suppliers. The creative work with opening and interval acts for the grand final is set for February, Scripting will be done during March and of course the Head of Delegations meeting will be held during March as well.
Further down in this post you can read about some more details we’ve found out regarding the schedule and rehearsals for the contest.
The company that will win the production tender will not work by itself on the production, as other companies will join in into this co-production.
Riedel, for example, is a company who is on a long-term contract with EBU and for the 14th year will be in charge of communications and signal distribution solutions for the entire production: delivery of radios, intercom panels, commentator panels, accreditation, fibre backbone, signal distribution, etc.
The production tender also mentions that lighting will be supplied and installed by another company, yet the production company might be asked to supply services or manpower in that field as well.
It was recently published that the winners of the lighting tender of Eurovision were Dakar Azulay and Ronen Najar. Dakar Azulay is the CEO of LightVision, the lighting design company behind the most popular TV shows in Israel, such as: Big Brother, The X Factor, The Voice, etc. He is dedicated to innovation, professionalism and personal attention and considered to be one of the leading experts in lighting design.
Ronen Najar is a lighting designer in theatre, television and concerts. Over the years he has worked with the biggest Israeli stars and designed lighting for popular TV shows.
Got talent 2018/2019???? ???, ?????? ??????? .. ???? .
KAN has also published a request for proposal for speciality cameras services, including telescopic cranes, remote-controlled dollies, 2D cable cam and drop cam systems.
The key personnel who would be involved in the project must have experience of working on similar projects (meaning major international televised sport and/or music events such as ESC, MTV Awards, Brit Awards, Olympics opening /closing ceremonies, FIFA / UEFA major tournaments, international televised music formats). RFP Proposals are due on January 3.
Other than the long list of technical requirements, we found a few hints about the 2019 stage features. Remote-controlled dollies were used in recent years in front of the stage and in the back of the golden circle or next to the catwalk/second stage.
Both in 2017 and 2018 almost all of those cameras were installed on a custom-made circular rails, but this year the request is for three cameras, as follows: “Two of the three tracks shall be approximately 30 meters long and the third one shall be approximately 50 meters long”.
The document states that: “All tracks shall be straight”. That could imply that the stage will not be round and will have straight borders. It fits with the stage design motif that was previously published, that the stage will feature some kind of moving triangles inspired by the Star of David.
Did the Eurovision stage design leak?
In the recent days there has been some speculation online, as Ola Melzig — head of production of Eurovision 2018 and many of the previous editions as well (and for 2019 it seems) — shared a picture from a meeting he had in Tel Aviv with some sketches that seem to have a connection to Eurovision 2019.
We can see some triangles and straight lines on both sketches, so it might just be right.
In response to one of the comments to Ola’s post that said: “It’s the stage design and it looks good”, Ola replied: “No, that is drawing over green room.”
We can’t wait to find out the truth regarding those sketches and speculations.
The technical timelines
In the request for proposal for speciality cameras service that KAN published, there are also expected timelines for the preparations, as follows:
- Technical rehearsals in the venue will begin on April 20.
- Four days of stand-in rehearsals on April 22.
- Opening and interval acts rehearsals on April 26.
- The artists from all the different countries will start their on-stage rehearsals on May 4.
- May 2 and May 8 are considered to be days off due to national remembrance days.
KAN has also published a request for proposal for pyro service, which is similar to the other request for proposal we’ve mentioned earlier (speciality cameras service), except for the parts that speak about pyrotechnics, of course.
There is nothing special that stands out in the document. The requirements are quite similar to the one we mentioned earlier, regarding the speciality cameras service. We can expect more of the general sorts of pyrotechnics we see every year at the Eurovision Song Contest, such as: fire (ground/air), flames, heavy fog, and wind machines.
The information that is provided in the document reminds us exactly how many rehearsals each act is about to have on stage (and in each “Camera rehearsal”, which are the first and second rehearsals, each act can perform about 3-4 times its song and only the last performance in each rehearsal will include the pyro).
KAN states in its document: “Delegations from semi final one and two will do their show with pyrotechnic effects six times, and if they go to final, they will do their show with pyrotechnic effects a total of ten times.
Delegations that are directly qualified to the final will do their show six times with pyrotechnic effects”.
The schedule is also quite similar to the one we published a earlier in this post. But in addition, there are some extra dates:
- Load In – First load in day at arena – April 14.
- Pyro Tests – Fire Marshal acceptance tests – April 19.
What do you think about the plans for Eurovision 2019? Are you excited to see video content back in the contest? Let us know in the comments section below.