ESC2017 logo kyiv2017 white

 

WELCOME TO THE 11TH EDITION OF THE EUROVISION DIARY!

Apr4-Apr5 Vlog

I was seriously thinking about cancelling today's update of the blog due to the current terror events happening in Stockholm. But then I thought, FUCK that! This is exactly what they want. To follow their screwed up ideals, and become a victim of fear. So, as a tribute and respect to the victims of todays attack, we'll go ahead and publish this anyway! We will not back down. #fuckterrorism

 

Hello music lovers! Ok, let's continue the catch up! The nice weather is temporarily gone, so the windbreaker came in handy after all!

 

12a gridup

After spending a couple of days banging truss together, running a lot of cables for this and that, and installing 112 Cyberhoists, the mother grid was ready to fly and be dead hung. Good job rigging team!

 

12a gridup

Our stage has arrived! It will be built by Unbranded from Holland. But their massive load of Bitterballen got stopped in customs. Damn!

 

12a gridup

The IEC is a big empty box, which is great since our creative team can be very free in their mind when creating this production, with very little limitations from the venue itself. But this means that someone has to build a pretty big Grand Stand.

 

12a gridup

Imagine that....... Barco HDQ-2K40 with High End MMS mirrors on one of my productions........... shocking...........

 

12a gridup

More fun toys! The brand new Clay Paky Scenius is in da house!

 

12a gridup

We might as well hang some speakers too while we are at it. But we got weeks to go!

 

b andersjohn

Who are these two muppets?

 

b andersjohn

Aaaaaaaaaaw! It's my Operations Manager Anders Karlsson and my Head Rigger John van Look!

 

b andersjohn

We started to build the main arks for the stage as well. The whole structure is outlined by Schnick Schnack.

 

b andersjohn

The video wall is coming together quite nicely. We are using 12mm ROE in the center and ROE 18 on the outer side. There will be a massive matrix of lights behind the screen, including 350 units of the brand new Elation Paladin High Output LED Strobe.

 

b andersjohn

A flock of Cyberhoist!

 

b andersjohn

The lighting team had prepped all the trusses on the ground, so once the mother grid was up, they were rolled in on cases and got rigged VERY fast!

 

 

And now for today's victims.....

12a gridup

Name: Tobias Brodde

Title: He draws pictures

OM: What's on the top of your Bucket List?

TB: Great Wall of China.  OM: Why?  TB: It has a great history! Don't you want to see it?  OM: I've seen it! There was a wall behind the Radisson in Beijing.

OM: What's your best pick up line?

TB: "I'm small and my technique is bad, but I'm very polite."

OM: What are you doing here?

TB: I'm drawing pictures:

TBdrawing

 

And as promised....my first Vlog!!! Click on Vika to watch!

b andersjohn

 

 We're still learning this vlog stuff......

 

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Mar31-Apr3

Hello everyone! Or Tjäääääna as we say in Sweden (in some odd retarded parts).
I'm not sure if I said this, but we had a really stressful first 10 days in this project, where there was no time whatsoever to spend on something as trivial as this diary.
So, we are still in catch up mode, covering these first 10 days of our group holiday trip to sunny Kyiv!

0 cherrypicker

This is one of the most well searched boxes in the entire production! My party case was stuck in customs for a week together with all the other production cases.
Talk about being grumpy not getting your espresso in the mornings.............

 

0 cherrypicker

It was also hard to find enough 30 & 40 meter cherry pickers that were crucial to have to reach the top beams in the highest part of the arena.
We had plently of lower ones, which resulted in that all the audience light was actually hung before we started with the mother grid above the stage.

 

0 cherrypicker

But if you can't trust the fire brigade in an emergency, who can you trust? Their 90 meter lift sure made things easier. Thanks for being a good sport lending it to us!

 

0 cherrypicker

Hall 2 has a huge side annex that we have dedicated for props area and workshops for our suppliers. Here is the PRG-Litecom village.

 

0 cherrypicker

You'll need quite a lot of heavy duty truss if you are building a mother grid that has to support 140 tons over the stage area.

 

0 cherrypicker

Mother grid being installed. Why isn't it called Papa Grid? And why do we still call it dimmer city? Do we have anything dimmable in the big shows that we do today?

 

0 cherrypicker

If you want to see the newest and coolest Elation fixtures on the market, you can go to ProLight & Sound in Frankfurt and check them out. Or you can come here! We have 850 of them!
A bit more than in the Elation booth in Frankfurt.......... We'll go into technical details of all the fun stuff we have in this hall once we've caught up with the past! Be patient! No really, PATIENT! :-)

 

0 cherrypicker

So, since we are running very late with most things in this project, as described on the welcome page, our official APP is not up and running yet. Therefore we have to do it the good old conventional 90's way.
Printed day sheets, menus and bus schedules. We clearly sent someone vertically challenged to by the cork boards to post them on........ (Joan Lyman)....... My Technical Manager for Grandstands John McDonough is not impressed.

 

0 cherrypicker

Some more wonderful rockstars in my team! From left: Technical Director Peter Andersson, IT and Intercom Manager Axel Ekblad, Technical Manager for delegations Robban Roos, and my Operations Manager Anders Karlsson waiting for spring to come.

 

0 cherrypicker

Here is a weird guy in a hat, together with my Technical Manager for Lighting, Matthias Rau. Matthias is also gaffer for our LD Jerry Appelt. Busy guy!

 

0 cherrypicker

This pile of junk is actually not a pile of junk! It will be something really amazing! The most amazing thing ever actually! Stand by!

 

0 cherrypicker

The center piece of our modest LED wall in position. This will be a 70 meter long and 11 meter tall curved wall once we are done.

 

0 cherrypicker

The pile of junk starting to become something amazing! Stand by!

 

0 cherrypicker

It was bloody cold here the first week. But the day after my belowed warm windbreaker arrived together with our production cases, spring decided to arrive, with 20° C (why do I clarify that it's Celicius I'm talking about? All countries in the world but one knows what I'm talking about.......) and sun. Thank you mother nature.

 

Here are some more innocent victims I decided to annoy today..........

dutchy

Name: Prefers to stay anonymous, although his t-shirt gives us a hint of who he works for...We'll call him Touchy Dutchy.

Title: Technical Support Elation

OM: So you seem like a nerd to me. Can you explain this vibe I'm getting?

TD:  You guessed correctly Ola. I'm a proud geek! I have an entire bookshelf of Star Wars books and I like to sleep with them next to me when I have bad dreams.

OM: And yet, you look like a hippie! When's the last time you got a haircut?

TD: Glad you noticed - it was about 6 weeks ago but only a trim on the sides.

OM: And how are we feeling today?

TD: I'm hurrying up with waiting.

 

 nicole

 Name: Nicole Barnes

Title: Technical Production Assistant, Operations

OM: What would you be doing right now if you weren't here in Kyiv with us?

NB: Load in for Coachella.  OM: Is this why I'm explaining Celcius? Ha just kidding. Can you get me tickets for next year?  NB: No. OM: Fine, I don't like it anyway.......bitch.

OM: Who's the most famous person you've ever met?

NB: Ola Melzig!

OM: If you got a naked mole rat as a pet, what would you name it?

NB: Ola Melzig!

nakedmolerat

 OM: Yikes!

 

angry

Name: Peter "Angry" Andersson

Title: Technical Director

OM: Why do people call you "Angry"?

PA: WHY DOES EVERYONE ASK ME THAT??! I DIDN'T MAKE THAT UP!! THIS IS BULLSHIT!!

OM: OK wow, I'll keep this interview short then... Have you been told that you remind some of us of another crew member we've worked with?

angrydarbs

Which one is Peter and which one is Paul Darby?

 

Final note:

Has any crew lost this shirt? It smells nice and fits me well but if you want it back, it's hanging in the production office:

nitrocircus

 Why do kamikazes wear helmets? So many questions...........

 

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Week 1

Hello music lovers! Or as we say in Ukraine: PRYVIT! Ok, lets get this thing started....... This year's adventure will come from Kyiv, and I'm sure you'll recognize quite a lot of people from previous years!

Oh, I almost forgot! There will be a new feature this year! If my technical team can figure out how to do a VLOG, we will make one. It will be the best VLOG in the world. Awesome!

 

1a IEC

Welcome to our home for the next 65 days.......... The IEC (International Exhibition Center) located on the left bank of the River Dnipro. Eurovision will use both Hall 1, Hall 2 and Hall 3 for the production, plus more or less all outdoor side areas.

 

1a IEC

We thought the building accross the street was a mosque for weeks, and then one day we saw the crosses on top. Turns out it is a Ukranian Greek Catholic church - The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Ressurection of Christ! Imagine that! It's drop dead gorgeous!

 

1a IEC

This is a picture from Hall 2 & 3 where the stage will be in a couple of weeks. Imagine 1 800 lights, 9 500 spectators, massive LED screens and tons of other shit! It will be awesome!

These areas were carefully searched by security before we got access to them. We will not get access to Hall 1 until April 09, since there is a shoe trade show in there at the moment. All girls in the office are VERY happy about this.........

1a IEC

Eurovision always comes with a very strict security protocol. Being in a country that is in an armed conflict of course makes a serious situation even more serious. All trucks are brought into a security check point outside the arena, where we do a controlled load out.

 

1a IEC

Every single case and item is sniffed by bomb dogs by this team, but everything is also checked for radiation. The later one is a new one. We call that team the ¨Ghostbusters¨. They did not want to pose for a picture.........

 

1a IEC

This is the first part of the outdoor area that was searched and cleared. We celebrated this by starting to put up a tent for empties!

 

1a IEC

But the area where the catering tent should be was not cleared for the first couple of days, so we had to have it temporarily located during the middle of the load in, not ideal, but it worked quite ok.

 

1a IEC

Problem was fixed after a couple of days, and we have now a lovely tent, with lovely people serving us lovely food and Coca Cola. The later is kind of weird, since Pepsi is supposed to be a local sponsor....... oh well......

 

1a IEC

Lighting and rigging are the first ones in as usual. Here are some of the guys from PRG and Litecom who will be very busy now. The guy in the yellow jacket is Olaf Pöttcher, who introduces himself to all the ladies as The Handsome German. Thought you should know!

 

1a IEC

But since we are evil people, we forced sound to show up earlier than ever too! We needed all their cables installed on the mother grid, so no rest for the wicked. I think it's quite obvious who supplies our audio!

 

1a IEC

Venue Manager in 2016, now forklift driver in Kyiv. The only way is UP Robert Roos! No, actually he is just moonshining as a forklift driver during the first days of load in. His daytime job is Technical Manager for Delegations, Invterval Acts and Openings. I'm not paying you extra for this Robert!

 

And now onto another great idea I had! Instead of just introducing my crew, I thought we should get to know them more intimately! So with that in mind, let's start annoying innocent people with a few annoying questions!

1a IEC

Name: Christer Björkman 

Title: Contest Producer

OM (me): What is your strangest habit?

CB: No matter where I am in the world, every night I go out to my balcony or terrace and just sit in the midnight air.  OM: But you're a non-smoker, what are you doing out there?  CB: I don't know but I do it every night! Just enjoying the peace and I text my friends about how happy I am! OM: You never text me! WTF? CB: Ha ha.

OM: What's the cutest animal you love to eat?

CB: I don't know if it's ethical (or even legal) but I'd like to eat baby deer, you know, like Bambi. OM: That might be tasty! CB: It's more on principal, the damn little things keep eating my tulips!

OM: If you were a rockstar, what's the one thing you would insist was in your rider?

CB: An Ola Melzig to keep me company after the show.

 

 

1a IEC

Name: Hans Cromheecke

Title: Technical Manager, Video

OM: Now Hans, we know you're Belgian, so you must enjoy all the fine beer your country has to offer. I have to ask: running or drinking?

HC: Running.  OM: What are you running from?  HC: YOU!

OM: what's the ugliest animal you love to eat?

HC: Frog legs.

OM: Last question: beach or mountains?

HC: Mountains in the winter, beach in the summer!  OM: Well I can't ski anymore so can I come with you to the beach?  HC: No.

 

 

1a IEC

Name: John von Look

Title: Head Rigger

OM: What color underwear are you wearing right now?

JVL: Pink.  OM: Oh you'll fit right in here.

OM: What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

JVL: Big black scorpions on a stick

OM: Nude or prude?

JVL: Always nude!

 

 

 

How do you know when you have run out of invisible ink?

 

So many questions......... see you tomorrow!

 

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the Eurovision Diary music lovers!

My name is Ola Melzig, and I’ve had many different positions in the Eurovision productions over the years. My first one was as Technical Manager for lighting, video and rigging, I’ve also done two as Stage Producer. My funniest title was in Norway 2010, when I was ¨Technical Coordinator and Manager for the creative department¨. Longest title in the entire production! My two last Eurovisions, 2013 & 2016, I was the Technical Director.

This edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is the 62nd, and my 13th, so I only missed 49 of them…….

I’m returning to Kyiv for my 4th Eurovision production in this city since 2005, and I am blissfully happy to be back. It’s a city that I love, with great people, a lot of parks and green areas, beautiful buildings, a huge river running through the city center and tons of yummy restaurants. A great place to be!

I’m returning to the show as Head of Production. This is normally a job that you start with a couple of weeks after you’ve won Eurovision. But due to circumstances that I don’t necessarily want to describe here, I didn’t hit the ground running until mid January 2017, so, seven months behind schedule on the first day at work.

I’m gonna be quite honest with you, with the creative ambition of this show, and the time frame given to me and my team, this is nothing but mission impossible and a suicidal task.

Will we make it?

HELL YES!

This is our story.

Let’s ROCK this show!

1 fuckerincharge

 

 

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Ola Melzig

  • Europe  +46 704 104 343
  • US +1 719 466 1785
  • ola {at} m-m-pr.com

Contact us

Joan Lyman Melzig

  • Europe  +46 708 204 767
  • US +1 719 466 1784
  • joan {at} m-m-pr.com