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!
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.............
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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! :-)
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The pile of junk starting to become something amazing! Stand by!
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..........
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.
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!
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?
Which one is Peter and which one is Paul Darby?
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:
Why do kamikazes wear helmets? So many questions...........
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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!
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.
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!
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.........
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.
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.........
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!
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.
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......
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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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