Eurovision 2021 stage first look

There are just over three weeks before the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 kicks off in Rotterdam’s Ahoy and the stage is now in place. On Thursday the press and some VIPs were allowed to have a sneak peek. The King of The Netherlands was among their number, as was our Esma. Here is her behind-the-scenes report.

 

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First look: Eurovision 2021 stage

The clock is counting down, and Rotterdam is working hard day and night to ensure that audiences will be treated to a spectacular show in May. Erwin Rintjema is in charge of the production of this spectacle, and he talks with passion about Eurovision’s staging: “The Eurovision Song Contest is the Champions League in our profession. It is very special because of the size, the number of participants, the level and the innovations on the stage.”

 

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The Eurovision 2021 stage

The expectations are high this year. Erwin tells more about the technical details of the stage. “It is very diverse and there are all kinds of hidden tricks in it, with which we make the performances beautiful. For example, we have a TV screen that is 52 meters wide and 12 meters high. Inside there are doors that can open. That has never been done on such a scale. ”

 

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Organising the Eurovision Song Contest

There are 150 to 200 people working in Ahoy every day to make the venue ready for Eurovision. Sietse Bakker is the executive producer, and he is very excited for the event to take place: “We waited forty years for the organization in the Netherlands and had to postpone it for another year. And that in challenging circumstances. We are constantly making adjustments. Soon 180 million people will see what it turned out to be. Hard to comprehend!”

 

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A special visit from the king

After a long wait, Eurovision will finally take place in the Netherlands again after Duncan Laurence won the event in 2019. That’s eason enough for the Dutch King Willem-Alexander to pay a visit to Ahoy. The king was given a tour by Sietse Bakker and was very interested in the technical aspects of the hall.  “We can be very proud of what is happening here,” said the king.

 

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What do you think of the stage? Are you excited to see it in action? Let us know below.

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Carla
Carla
1 month ago

The gigant doors hidden in the stage. https://www.instagram.com/p/COK0QPXB96X/

Last edited 1 month ago by Carla
wonder
wonder
1 month ago

Small.. look like 2007 award show stage.. not Eurovision stage.. sorry! boring!

Emkay
Emkay
1 month ago

Looks a little bit more simple than recent stages, tho that’s probably for the best. Covid isn’t done yet everyone.

Aerin
Aerin
1 month ago

God please make Roxen win. We need another design for the stage. Romania has some great festivals with awesome staging, maybe we can see an Eurovision with some badass set-up.

Rúben
Rúben
1 month ago

Guys calm down, i remember in 2018 with one of the biggest arenas in europe, people complained that the arena looked small before the live shows, let’s wait. This actually looks small but i think it’s bigger than 2019, and in 2019 they did a good job making it look bigger than actually was. Camera angles are everything.

Barry
Barry
1 month ago

Well, I am very curious how readers gonna react on this stage after the Grand Final.

Last edited 1 month ago by Barry
Somebody
Somebody
1 month ago

This exactly looks like a size of a tennis court.

Londoner
Londoner
1 month ago

Omg some people here should be thankful there is a Eurovision show this year.

1998
1998
1 month ago

I don’t know, from this point of view, it looks so tiny and tight…

Milan
Milan
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

Yes, and I like it precisely for that reason.

PP77
PP77
1 month ago

Almost every year since 2011 ( except 2013,2014,2016) we have same designer of stage. I would love to see some more to do stage in future.
For me best stage ever 2014 than 1988 (look futuristic for that period).

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

The problem is this: Wieder’s basic, non creative and without identity designs look better on big arenas. Here they brought the stage almost to the middle of the hall, so nothing can hide the fact that it’s just a led wall

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

The stage is not small, it’s where the photos were taken from that make you think wrong lol.

voix
voix
1 month ago

Sometimes less is more but here they forgot to actually design something

Last edited 1 month ago by voix
esc1234
esc1234
1 month ago

I can’t wait for a country to win and not hire the designer who basically puts a led screen and a catwalk. Others can do the job much better

1998
1998
1 month ago
Reply to  esc1234

I’m waiting for another stage with no led screen, because they usually take attention away from the performers.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
1 month ago
Reply to  1998

Aye! Portugal knew what they were doing when they ditched the screens for something as simple as a lightshow. People paid even more attention to the artists. And the bookies’ favorite (Netta from Israel) still won. If the lack of a screen hurt anyone else, it’s because they didn’t prepare appropriately. In the end, the song, the singing and the stage performance matter.

Giorgio
Giorgio
1 month ago

Every year, the same discussion… The size of the stage does not matter, people. Eurovision is a TV show, not a concert. Remember that Loreen brought her own tiny stage (more like a podium really) for “Euphoria” in Baku and she won. It’s all about camera angles and how you fill the space with your presence. Also, speaking about Baku, Bulgaria’s Sofi Marinova was swallowed by the enormous stage, which didn’t do her any favors. Anyway, I wouldn’t call this stage small. Of course it looks small from a distance, but we won’t see many shots from these angles, if… Read more »

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
1 month ago

Love how minimalistic it is. Very on-brand with the logo and slogan.

AdD
AdD
1 month ago

People, you need to get over the whole size of the stage. Keep in mind that you’re looking at an empty arena. The size of the open area between the bleachers in the Ahoy is about the same as the size in Globe in Stockholm, and b8gger than both the Wiener Stadhalle and Malmo Arena. Those where more than adequate in size. Size is not everything either. Remember that the stage for Kiev 2017 was on the smaller size, and the gaudy monstrosity in Lisbon was huge. Ask yourself which stage you prefer. This is larger than 2019.

James
James
1 month ago

You have to see it on TV for a better assessment. It does not have to be always omplex stage designs every year.

dygh
dygh
1 month ago

Those lights are everything.
But it seems all budget went into them and they forgot the stage.

Luca
Luca
1 month ago

When do the rehearsals start?

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Luca

Stand in rehearsals : April 29th
Rehearsals with the real contestants : May 8th

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago

It looks so good and already impressive, this stage is able to do crazy things, so let’s see.
There’s a big golden cage with diagonal bars hidden in the air just above the B stage, it’s intriguing, I wonder for who it is… https://twitter.com/dingadongcast/status/1385473459233374213

Last edited 1 month ago by Esc addict
Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Any ideas?

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

A golden cage.. hmm maybe something TIX will break out off during the last chorus winning over the demons? 😀

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Nice idea! but I don’t think Tix will use the B stage 😉 it’s maybe for an interval act

ESCLightworker
ESCLightworker
1 month ago

it all started when they invited Florian Wieder. And now we’re stuck with these basic, very anonymous stages.

Candy
Candy
1 month ago

Why tf is this so small?

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago

Contrary to what some say here, the stage is not small at all. And the pictures in this article don’t do justice to what they are building there. I have seen images of the lighting that are absolutely spectacular. A stage is more than just the square meters of platform people are standing on. You might not see much buildups that give the stage identity. But that is because most of that will be done by lights, that can come from all directions. Plus the back wall that you see now, has actually two giant doors in the middle that… Read more »

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago

is it just me or is it rly small compared to other stages…im not mad about it but I could walk across that stage in 10 seconds

Jeroen
Jeroen
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

I’m not sure but it looked to me as there was a curtain. I thought it was small too, but if it is a curtain then there should be a lot of space behind it. If it’s not a curtain then you are absolutely right then it’s small

Kim
Kim
1 month ago

Soooooo excited.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

So excited!

Agent 007
Agent 007
1 month ago

I still don’t understand why real audience consisting of vaccinated people is not an option.

AdD
AdD
1 month ago
Reply to  Agent 007

Travel restrictions. Also, most vaccines aren’t effective immediately. It takes about three to four weeks after the second dose of any vaccine currently on the market for your body to build the antibodies needed to fight SARS-CoV-2. Even if 15,000 were vaccinated today, they won’t be fully immunized by the start of the contest.

Danes
Danes
1 month ago

First of all, ‘large’ is not equivalent to ‘good’. In all honesty, I believe the LED screen will do wonders in its own, and a large stage isn’t required to fulfill a perfect staging. I had no problem with last Eurovision’s arena (2019), and I never even thought about its size. I don’t think it really matters in the end, and you won’t pay notice to it later on anyways.
That LED screen will probably be the Netherland’s extra for this staging, and I’m totally fine with that.

ESCLightworker
ESCLightworker
1 month ago

Simple stage, but that doesnt mean it’s not working on tv. Personally i dont like it. I miss a strong identity. This we have seen before. Can they please stop asking Florian Wieder??? Wtf, really. He’s bringing nothing new on table. I do have to admit though that i love the lights and their effect.

Vytautas
Vytautas
1 month ago

Is it just my imagination or is the stage actually THAT small? I’m worried now about certain performances, which rely on filling huge areas. More specifically, I saw how my country representatives (The Roop) looked overcrowded during the grand final. I really hope the stage is bigger than it looks in the pictures.

AdD
AdD
1 month ago
Reply to  Vytautas

Expect this to be about the same size as the 2016 stage.

PuppetOnAString
1 month ago
Reply to  Vytautas

It’s your imagination

Paris
Paris
1 month ago

It seems to be a simpler concept than what we were used to (compared to 2016, 2017 or 2019), but still gorgeous. However, I don’t understand what this gigantic rectangle over the catwalk is… Is that some kind of transparent screen in order to introduce the countries to the audience? (I mean, we can not see it on the photos here but I’m sure I saw it on other pictures x) )

Last edited 1 month ago by Paris
PuppetOnAString
1 month ago
Reply to  Paris

It is a second, semi-transparent LED screen

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

I would like the empty seats covered up on the night, it would be too sad to see them.

Ted
Ted
1 month ago

I actually really really like this stage and concept. Well done. Probably one of my favorites!

blahh
blahh
1 month ago

wait it’s done??

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago

I swear I see people say the same thing every year – it’s too small, it’s boring, it’s empty. Until first rehearsal clips arrive. Then they suddenly shut up. Don’t judge a stage while it’s still in the works. It will look absolutely breathtaking, like it always does.

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Well, sorry to break it for you, but Tel Aviv WAS small, and it was quite visible on screen. They had admitted they used lenses to make all look bigger. If that’s not cheap, then what is it?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Whoareyou?

Small does not mean cheap. Diamond rings are small, they are not cheap.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I love this!

Agent 007
Agent 007
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Agree. Vienna was small but it is the best stage so far.

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Wow, super argument. It looked cheap.

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago
Reply to  Whoareyou?

Your point?

Harm Stirnberg
Harm Stirnberg
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

From the right to left of the stage its 52 meter. How can People call that small???

voix
voix
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Florian, your designs are basic, uninspiring, lacking of creativity and identity.

PuppetOnAString
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

The floor area is about the same size as Stockholm. Eurofans just don’t know what “Bigger doesn’t mean better” means lol

Last edited 1 month ago by PuppetOnAString
Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
1 month ago

The stage looks really small…

euroby
euroby
1 month ago
Reply to  Whoareyou?

I think the main problem is a height of the LED wall and because they moved the entire stage towards the middle because other way the venue would look half empty, even with the green room

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

The stage looks awfully small but at the end of the night, it’s all about how it accommodates performances and how that shows up on tv. #illusions

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Small? Lmao look at the workers. They literally look like ants in front of that screen. It’s not too late to learn how perspective works.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Yes, it looks awfully small. I looked at those workers and they look OK, definitely not like ants. Fierce lions, I say.

Barry
Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

A LED screen with 52m. width is not awfully small.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry

Yes, that’s why I said it “looked” small, not that it “was” small.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Knowing that that screen is 12 meters tall, we will actually understand nothing about that. This is high enough to support the staging, but because the arena is kinda big, the stage seems to be quite small

Ding dong
Ding dong
1 month ago

Looks promising!

purr
purr
1 month ago

Where’s the ‘second semi-transparent LED screen‘ which was confirmed for the 2020 stage? It was the only thing that made the stage somewhat unique and applaudable.

Link to 2020 stage article -> https://wiwibloggs.com/2020/02/20/the-eurovision-2020-stage-will-have-a-second-semi-transparent-led-screen/250339/

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago
Reply to  purr

The rectangular screen in lighter blue on this picture
comment image

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  sTommie

It looks really damn good. Wow.

purr
purr
1 month ago
Reply to  sTommie

oh purr!

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago

What I miss is a bit of a defining element, what sets it apart from other stages. It is basically one big led screen. Although we still have to see the semi transparent led wall in action.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
1 month ago

The arena right now seems to be impressive. Seeing this for the first time, I thought that the stage is so small, but actually this is not true. What seems totally different from previous occasions is that in front of the stage there will be the green room, which is kinda sad, but because of Corona, there’s no other solution 🙁

destiny stan account
destiny stan account
1 month ago

the stage feels like a jess stage- its so small

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago

Everything looks fine, but the stage looks a bit small.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

It looks amazing and loving that the green room is taking all the arena space, very comfy and social distancing.

Will the rest of the seats remain for the public or will they remove them to reduce the number of spectators??

talkaboutkevin
talkaboutkevin
1 month ago

It’s not the worst stage ever but looks a little bit boring to me. Maybe I should see it on action to change my opinion.

Eurovision2016>
Eurovision2016>
1 month ago

I know why eurovision has to be indoors but it’s annoying sometimes because indoor arenas are so small. even the biggest one in Europe only has a capacity of 25k. they should make a special arena for Eurovision in every country and make its capacity at least 50k lmao. I feel like sweden in 2016 felt quite big though so maybe it’s the shape.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

25k is big and Eurovision is a music TV show, not a football match. I would have loved a special edition to be outdoors but weather can be unpredictable, plus sound might be compromised.

Sweden 2016 venue was definitely not as big as it looked, Friends Arena is much bigger than the Globe arena.

sTommie
sTommie
1 month ago

The Johan Cruijff Arena could host a crowd of 50k. But such a big arena has other problems, as we could see in the Copenhagen 2001 stage. The 2011 Duesseldorf stage tried to solve that with the big catwalk and huge satellite stage. It is difficult to fill such a huge space with a stage.

Eurovision2016>
Eurovision2016>
1 month ago
Reply to  sTommie

The 2011 stage is my favourite Eurovision stage lol. I guess I just like grand stuff. Just my opinion though, I’d much rather have a huge arena than a small one as it looks more professional imo.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eurovision2016>
Céleste
Céleste
1 month ago

Are you sure the biggest capacity from an arena in Europe is 25k ? because in France, our biggest arena, Paris La Défense Arena, has a capacity of 40k.

Last edited 1 month ago by Céleste
Eurovision2016>
Eurovision2016>
1 month ago
Reply to  Céleste

i don’t know i just searched biggest indoor arena europe on google.

Barry
Barry
1 month ago

What do you think of all the lighting on the ceiling. Do you want to hold them all in your hand?

Rifki
Rifki
1 month ago

well, the current EBU standard is not that high though (at least 10,000 people in normal capacity), and I am still okay with it. 2019 is the only exception to the standard (Expo Tel Aviv instead of Pais Arena) because of the clash with the Sabbath day (Sabbath in Jerusalem, where Pais Arena is, is stricter than in Tel Aviv because Jerusalem is centre of Judaism).

Lucie Zápotocná
Lucie Zápotocná
1 month ago

Esma thank you so much for this report!!! Love it ?

Last edited 1 month ago by Lucie Zápotocná
Darren
1 month ago

Looks pretty cool under the circumstances and somewhat normal. Well done AVROTROS, well done Ahoy, well done Rotterdam.
It looks as normal as could possibly be. Relief considering I had images in my head of a near empty arena.
I’m excited.