April 24

 In Eurovision Diary 2018

Being out on the road, and travelling the world as many of us do sounds glamorous I’m sure. But besides long days and very hard work, we also pay a high price for you to be entertained. We miss out a lot of things that come with a normal life, from as trivial things as cooking at home or following a TV-SHOW, to missing out on important events in our childrens, families and friends lives. But we do it because it is our passion and love for what we do, and because one day is never the same as the other.
It’s just as much a lifestyle as it is a job.

But every now and then, it’s a bit extra painful to be away from your loved ones. Like today, when the Bullen Awards take place in Stockholm. Pontus ¨Bullen¨ Lagerbielke was a very dear friend and in many ways a mentor. When he passed away from cancer in the fall of 2015, it left a whole lighting community in shock worldwide. He is one of the warmest and most generous people I’ve ever known, and me and many many more miss him on a daily basis.

Since his friendship meant so much to us, me and Lighting Designer Fredrik Jönsson decided to found an award in his name. So every year, we celebrate a veteran with The Bullen Lifetime Achievment Award and a clever innovative designer with The Bullen Visionary Award.
The ceremony takes place in Stockholm at the LLB tradeshow today. And I would give an arm and a leg to be there. But I can’t. It’s the second year in a row that I’m missing it, due to Eurovision. But I get comfort in knowing that Bullen thinks I’m a complete sissy feeling this way, and I can hear him from upstairs telling me to shut the cluck up- because the show must go on. So here I am 🙂 The beautiful award is designed by Bullen’s sister Erika Lagerbielke. I’ll tell you who the proud winners are tomorrow!

Rehearsals are getting closer, and we need to prepare everything that needs to be ready behind, on and in front of the stage. Today we established the area where the delegations will sit and watch the rehearsals. We have a temporary office behind them where me, Christer, Jon Ola Sand and Andre’ Türpe’ (Jerry’s assistant) are sitting.

It was also the first day for the artists for the stand in rehearsals to be in the venue. I hope I didn’t scare them too much!

And it was also the day when we got a visit from the big boss! Say HELLO to the Chairman of the Board of RTP Goncalo Reis! He is the guy standing right behind Maria’s tongue…………

I was asked to give him a demonstration of what the stage can do this year, so I thought, let’s play the Hungarian song and set the stage on fire!

And so we did.

Tarmo and the rest of the team were blinded by the awesomeness of the spectacle.

Of course we had lighting full on as well.

And smoke! A lot of smoke!

And sparklers! Lots of sparklers!

And why not add some more flames to the mix, while you are at it! Goncalo was very impressed, and promised to bring hot dogs for the next visit!

Today’s walk down memory lane takes us to Latvia in 2003. This is the first show ever using Cyberhoist. What we didn’t know, it was also the first show ever having an LED floor. We learned that when we called Barco and asked if there was something in particular to consider when laying their I-Lite 8mm screen down, cover it with glass and use it as a stage. Their spontaneous reply was: What the hell did you just ask me???? You are doing WHAT???
Then I knew we were in trouble. But it ended well.

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