We don’t have a host city yet. We don’t even know how many countries will take part at Eurovision 2023. But we do know know at least one designer who is ready to build next year’s Eurovision stage in the United Kingdom. Once again, German creative Florian Wieder is ready and willing to take up the task if asked by the BBC — this year’s organisers.
Florian Wieder is no stranger in the world of Eurovision. The German stage designer has worked on stage concepts for many editions of Eurovision since 2011. He’s also designed stages for TV shows in the UK and US, including the MTV Video Music Awards. Talking to German online magazine DWDL, he now reveals he would be more than happy to work on the stage for the contest next year. But it’s not that easy to actually get the job.
“Sometimes there are tenders, sometimes someone is commissioned directly […] The awarding of tenders is sometimes also to be understood from a patriotic point of view.”
Which is to say that organisers often want to commission local talent. For Eurovision 2022, Italy’s Rai called on respected Italian design firm Atelier Francesca Montinaro, who gave us the kinetic sun and turned the green room into a lush garden.
Wieder also explains that he never really “auditioned” for designing an earlier Eurovision stage. On every occasion Wieder was involved, the host broadcaster invited him directly to discuss plans. So if the BBC reaches out to him, he’d be in, as he explained to DWDL.
“If we are asked, we will definitely present a concept. We did that in Italy too. But we have to wait and see if there’s a call coming from the UK.”
Speaking about Italy, Florian discussed the broke down sun stage from Turin. He expressed sympathy for the team who developed the idea of the sun stage. But Wieder, who also was in the race of staging the stage in Italy, makes it clear that his team always has a back-up plan, which wasn’t the case in Turin.
“They made some specific mistakes which are easy to identify for me since it’s my daily business. The construction was kind of a ‘dead end’ since there was no Plan B. I really hope this will never happen to me because me and my team, we always have a backup plan.”
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“It all was very problematic especially because it was Eurovision. In every other TV show you could have just gone to the broadcaster or the production and told only them about the problem. But explaining it to every single artist from all those countries of course makes it even more public to so many people. The artists worked on their performance for the actual stage and had to change a lot because of these technical problems.”
Recently, Wieder designed the biggest stage he ever worked on when he designed the “Bavaria sound” stage, on which a new concert series in Munich, Germany takes place. Wieder compared the stage concept with the “British summer time” event at London’s Hyde Park. On 20 August German Schlager-pop queen Helene Fischer, who fans have wanted to see at Eurovision for many years, took to this stage and sang in front of 130,000 people. British singer Robbie Williams will also perform at “Bavaria sound” on Saturday.
Wieder explains he worked with a lot of large screens for “Bavaria sound” because you need to make an impact with the stage itself if there are so many people in the audience. If his Eurovision 2023 stage concepts would include big LED screens as well was not confirmed.
Fans have made it clear that they want both the EBU and future broadcasters to learn from the stage-fiasco in Turin. Preparing a backup plan could give organizers more flexibility and artists could feel more relaxed.
Did you like Florian Wieder’s Eurovision work in the past? Or do you think the BBC needs to hire stage designers from the UK? Let us know in the comments below.