Melodifestivalen 2019 is due to begin in just over two weeks, and now broadcaster SVT has revealed one of the most important aspects of the show: the stage design. The stage of 2019 promises to have the widest Melfest stage yet, and comes with a versatile arrangement of lighting and LEDs.
The biggest feature of the 2019 Melfest stage is its width. The stage is 11 metres deep and a record-breaking 22-metres wide, described as the “widest danceable surface ever”. With Melfest allowing up to eight performers on stage, can we expect more “wall of sex”-style power dancing?
As well as width, the Mello 2019 stage is bringing all the lights. Rather than choosing between a traditional LEDs wall or Lisbon-style lighting effects, Melfest has opted to have both. SVT compares it to the sort of staging used with Måns’ Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes”, which used both wall effects and arena lighting effects to create the overall staging.
Also reminiscent of Eurovision 2015, the stage will include a giant circle in the back wall of the stage. The ring will be over six metres wide and weighs 1800kg. It’s loaded with powerful lights and lined with LEDs and will be used to create effects behind the performers.
Designer Viktor Brattström noted that the stage is versatile. He said, “The stage should be able to make at least 35 different expressions. It is a bit more of a chameleon than last year, with its rounder forms.”
And just in case the stage was threatening to get too high-tech, it also includes a very classical feature. Along the back of the stage, there will be a curtain. But as the stage is wide, so is the curtain: it’s made up of 37 sections measuring 7.6 metres each.
The limits of Melodifestivalen
The six Melodifestivalen shows come with their unique restrictions. As Melodifestivalen is a touring show, the stage must be able to be quickly disassembled, packed up and driven to the next town, then reassembled for the next show.
And while the grand final is always held in the large Friends Arena, the stage must still be designed to fit the smallest venue in the show each year, usually a small-town ice hockey arena.
This size limit is also why Mello can’t have a standing audience. While it would work at Friends Arena, the stage and camera angles have to be planned to work with the venue with the lowest roof.
You’ll be able to see the new stage in action at the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2019. The show begins on Saturday, 2 February, kicking off at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg.
What do you think of the new Melfest stage design? Would you like to see a stage like this at Eurovision? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!