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April 16

Scooby Doooo!  First off, sorry for the delay yesterday - we had some technical difficulties with the diary so you were watching me dance as a bunny for 2 days. Sorry - we'll get caught up today!

The adventure in Kyiv contiunes. Just looked at the weather forecast, and the current cold front will hang around for another week or so. Thank you!


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Let's take a quick peek into the wondeful world of Sarah Adams! Hall 1 is the hall in the IEC complex that we got access to at last. This is where we will have the Delegation Bubble, Dressing Rooms, IEM rehearsal studio, Press Center, Press Conference and Fan Areas.



Here is Maryna Kalashnikova whom is head of the Delegation Buble together with our Head of Show Desk Helena Brodén, Vadym Vnukov from our venue management team and Sadams herself!



All containers are placed, our blue carpet is coming in, dressing rooms are almost ready, and we'll start with lighting and sound tomorrow. It will be AWESOME!



Back in Hall 2 the grandstands are taking shape - here's the SR side - YELLOW!



Some spaceship seating in the middle? Naaaaaaah, this is the Jon Ola Sand kingdom- the  scrutineer desk, locaded on the stage right grand stand.



And the SL blue side. The commentator boxes will be placed on the very top of this bleacher. 26 on this side, and 26 on the other side. But it will only be one side that has an elevator, so be careful when you pick dear Delegations :-)



PRG container is back there somewhere buried behind all these cases. At least it used to be there............



Our helmet station. If you pass this point, you have to have a helmet. And if you don't own one, we'll let you borrow one of these orange creations.



So I of course wear my safety-approved cowboy hardhat.  Well........... actually this picture only exists because Sadams didn't approve with the one we used for her interview. You know the one with the hilarious kangaroo story........... girls......... but it is actually a real hard hat I'm wearing!



Cameras are getting set up - we'll start meeting the crew this week.



Name: Helena Brodén

Title: Head of Show Desk

OM: How many Eurovisions have you done?

HB: (runs to ask Christer....)  12!  OM: Wow that's almost as many as me! That means we're cool.  HB: It does?

OM: What's the best thing you know how to cook?

HB: Tea!   OM: Well then what food you you like to eat?  HB: I guess I figure it out when I look at a menu. I usually don't even realize I'm hungry until I sit down to eat!  OM: Are you hungry now?  HB: I don't think so....  OM:  Mmmmmm......ribs.......



Name: Per Arne Janssen

Title: Art Director/Project Manager Set Design

OM: What is the cutest animal you like to eat?

PAJ: I don't know.....sparrow?  OM: You eat sparrow?  PAJ: I think it could be nice.  OM:  Mmmmm.....ribs.....

OM: When is the last time you got new shoes?

PAJ: Really, this is what you want to know about me?  OM: Very much.  PAJ: 3 weeks ago.  OM:  Wow....that's awesome!

OM: What's the last gift you got?

PAJ:Some books from my wife.  OM: Were they dirty books?  PAJ: You are so strange.....


And the Vlog of the day! I decorated the production office with my flying cow. Roman filmed it in slo-mo...... Click photo to watch. I know....... that vlog thing didn't really work out as planned..........


Why is it that only adults have difficulty with childproof bottles?


So many questions........




April 15

Happy Easter Everyone!!



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 First Easter Hug yesterday was delivered by a Eurovision Winner!


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 My Associate Head of Production Roman together with Ruslana and our Head of Security Ali happy together on our beutiful stage.


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 And here is the man himself! My boss and dear friend! Ladies and Gentlemen - The Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 - Mr. Pavlo Grytsak!


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Final finish applied on the stage, with the built in Ayrton Magic Panel FX.


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This is what you get if you bring the Bee Hive all the way down to the floor, and ask my wife to crawl inside to take a picture of it. Plus a grumpy wife of course!


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I forgot my Easter Bunny outfit back in Sweden, so my la la vodka shirt had to do. A basket full of candy and some annoying singing from me later, we were officially off on Easter Break!



Well........ it was kind of more like a party than a break......... We've put a couple of hectic weeks behind us, so I figured it was time to do the traditional crew BBQ yesterday. Mother Nature said F off and gave us 6° (if you need this in Farhenheit, you can multiply 6 with 1,8 and add 32, makes so much sence.........)   so we had to come up with a Plan B really fast. So, we rented the ballroom at Bratislava, which is one of our crew hotels, had them to serve us a pile of really good food, and a couple of drinks.  Here is our Head Rigger Eric together with Avo, whom is our Technical Manager for the TV Compound.



Jonnymac hanging out with Oskar.



 My haircut friend from Unbranded.



The Big White Bear is back in town! Henric von Zweibergk , often referred to as Hence von Z was the Senior Floor Manager for Eurovision back in 2005, and he is back for another run this year. Here together with his team mate Christine Erdmuthe Bungalahty Matulessy Gullström, also referred to as Sumatrafrallan. Next to her is Linus Kannerberg whom is our Assistant Viewing Room Producer and across the table you'll find Zain Jose Ribes Odelstål, also known as Kalle, whom is our Opening and Interval Act Director. I sure managed to catch a bunch of weird names in the same shot.............



 And of course our Show & Contest Producer Christer Björkman, also known as Krille Björknoff!



More happy people eating good, drinking apple juice, and water in very small glasses.



 Thank you very much for arranging this wifey! Here together with the Angry person!



 Food food food!



 And more happy people!



 Not a sad face in the room. Must have been thanks to my awesome Spotify playlist.



Our Stage Manager Tobbe together with one of his stage crew guys Sjöland, who toured with Motörhead as their Lighting Designer for 12 years, but now enjoys a good old schlager just as much!



Robert and Erik



Ira and Maryana, two of our translators



Natasha, Lena, Inna, Pasha, and Vika. I love my team - thanks everyone!



We were also enjoying ourselves with building statues with water bottles and small and medium size water glasses.



OK.....last call for a charcoal grey McLean brand XXL t-shirt, returned from laundry 2 weeks ago. Anyone?? Anyone??


Good price! I promise!

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes? Why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

So many questions..........




April 14


I knooooooooow, most of you don't celebrate Easter until tomorrow, but who cares, today is the day in Sweden, and since this is my blog, you just have to live with it!


couch theft

So.... fridge thief and lighting designer Jerry Appelt strikes again........But of course he didn't come to steal my couch himself............ He has people...........Everyone in this picture just lost the right to go to Euroclub on their accreditation....... we will get back to these criminals later.........


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The sub structure for our grand stands are more or less ready, and the seats are being installed. Progress every day!


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Still a ways to go though. And I know, it's a shocker....... but the seats are yellow and blue!


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Stage is almost ready as well. We've been working extra hard the past couple of days to catch up enough for us to have a LEGENDARY Easter Party at the Bratislava Hotel tonight. There might be some pictures of this tomorrow..........


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Our B-stage is also completed and put into position.


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And our Green Room is making progress as well. All good gummi snodd!


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We have identified one of the couch thiefs as Markus Ruhnke - He is doing keylights when he's not out and about stealing my stuff during the night shift. Please do ask him what happened at Pizzeria Napule last time he was in Kyiv in 2013...........



I see a My Little Pony and a Turkish carpet used as a mouse pad. What do you see? Joan! I got nothing..........

JLM: Last year all the operators named their sessions after My Little Pony characters. That's all...I just wondered if this fascination with these small horses was coincidental?  My Little Pony 2016



Name:  Sarah Adams "Sadams"

Title:  Production Manager Hall 1

OM: So, you are from New Zealand right?  SA: Yes.  OM: What happened to Old Zealand?  SA: Weirdo

OM: But you lived in Australia as well?  SA: Yes.  OM: Oh, so you speak boomerang?  SA: What?  OM: The local language.  SA: Weirdo

OM: Did you hear about the news on the TV last week?  SA: What?  OM: All kangaroos hopped in the ocean and swam from Australia to New Zealand!  SA: Nooooo Way!  OM: Yes, this is true, because they'd rather get f****d than shot!  SA: Hahahahahahaha, you are SO weird!  OM: Well...... two days ago they came back to Australia.  SA: Really? Why?  OM: The sex wasn't that great!  SA: I'm leaving now.............


[JLM: And he takes jabs at my material???]





April 13

Hey people! Let's talk about reality while Swedish press is still writing articles about Melodifestivalen for some odd reason!


Our technical compound is getting really crowded. In less than a week, the cluttered area on the right hand side of the picture will be our prop storage, so I guess we should start cleaning. I've volunteered to remove the golf carts.....



After many if's and's & but's, the sandwich wall separating Hall 2 from Hall 3 has finally been removed, and we even got a doorway opened up. The door is to make the secret route from the stage to Green Room possible. What? Did I say secret route? Naaaaaaaah............



Another day, another cake........... This needs to stop since my pants are getting really tight now! Happy Birthday to Sara Svensson! She is our Executive Production Assistant and she is a true Rock Star. Love you girl!



And the fridge returns?? Noooo....... I did not steal it back from Jerry Appelt. I just ordered a new one......... because I can......... But I hear rumors about Jerry being after my sofas in the production office. I think I have to lock the door when I leave tonight. Lighting designers............ can't trust them................



Speaking of the fridge stealing......... I mean Ligthing Designer Jerry Appelt. Here we're having a meeting at FOH about something very important and of course top secret. Note that he brought his own cozy lights for FOH. Professional!



Now here is a weird story. Last summer, me and Joan decided to take the kids for a 4-week car trip around Europe. On our second morning, we stopped at a gas station on Autobahn to have breakfast. We get out of our car in our Litecom jackets, and this guy says: "Hey! You work for Litecom?" We explained that this was not the case, but they were our supplier for lighting and rigging at Eurovision 2016, we got some Litecom swag. Cool he said, I work for them all the time. 10 months later, walking up at FOH this afternoon, we meet again! How weird and cool is that?  Say hello to Michael Matz, known from Autobahn, and the Eurovision 2017!



Here is a new call thing! We do not have a single followspot operator up in the roof this year. All 16 followspot operators are working off 16 x PRG Ground Control System for the front and diagonal spots and for the back followspots. These systems open up amazing opportunities for our industry, since with this new technology, we can put the lighting source exactly where we need them, without thinking about how to get operators to and from these positions in a safe and comfortable way.



Each system has a monitor that shows a real-time image of what you are doing. It's VERY cool! And people that are afraid of high heights can all of a sudden operate a followspot!



Name: Matthias Rau

Title: Technical Manager, Lighting

OM: Have you ever spit liquid out of your nose?

MR: Uhhhmmm................   OM: That's a long pause - don't you remember?  MR: Maybe I don't.  OM: Maybe you were with me (both LOL)

OM: What's your favorite Disney character?

MR: Uhhhhhmmmmm........   Daniel Düsentrieb!  OM: What?? Who the hell is that??  MR: It's that duck, don't you know? The one that makes things out of other things! Here, let me show you (pulls out iPhone)  OM: OH!! You mean Uppfinnarjocke? 





Name: Joan Lyman Melzig

Title: Technical Production Assistant, Operations

OM: So do you like working on Eurovision?

JLM: Really? Are we gonna do this? You know the answer.....I wouldn't keep doing this if I didn't love it!  OK, but I'll play along. What do you want to ask me?

OM: Do you have any strange habits?

JLM: Well, I guess I talk to myself a lot.  JLM: What?  JLM: Shut up - I'm doing an interview!   OM: Ok..............

OM: If you had a "hall pass" - what famous person would you take home?

JLM: I don't need a hall pass. There's a saying in Texas...when you strike oil, quit digging. ;)



Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

So many questions...........



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April 12

You guys are crazy! We've already 1 420 123 hits in April. Who would have thought that when I did my first Eurovision Diary back in 2002 from Estonia. Back then, it was written in Swedish, and was only done so family and loved ones of my crew could follow our adventures in the Wild East.
You guys are amazing, thank you SO much for reading my rantings............. LÖVE YOU!


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And speaking of LÖVE! His nickname is Angry, but Peter Andersson might be the happiest and kindest person I know. He got his nickname from Bullen by the way, back in the late 90's when they were doing the grand opening of carbo box factory. Sounds exciting! Anyway, he turned 27 (again) yesterday, so silly hat, lots of balloons, and cake again!


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Weather is getting better again, so why not celebrate that with a romantic lunch on a road case. Robban and Erik together with a crazy woman from New Zealand - Sarah Adams. We'll get back to this wild child later!


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Whoooooohoooooooooo! We finally got a second fridge in the production office. Two minutes after this picture was taken, they took it away and brought it up to FOH. WTF?????


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Whoooop Whooooop! The most expensive RV is here! This is our main OB truck in position in the TV compound. We'll go into detail about this baby later.


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This is our back up truck that runs parallel with the main truck. We'll come back to that one too!


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Here is the sound truck. This is where we mix the broadcast sound. We use the sound room in the main OB truck as a back up for this one. We'll revisit this one as well!


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And here it is! Our stage! Designed by Florian Wieder and built by Unbranded.


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Here is the bigger picture, with cherry pickers and other crap in front of it. We'll clean the floor one of these days........ I promise.



 And here he is...... the fridge thief and Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt! Welcome to Kyiv buddy!

Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

So many questions...........



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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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