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May 7

Whoop whoop! We're in the final week kids!



First I wanted to show off our media servers - cozy in their corner up at FOH. We're of course using the Green Hippo Boreal! These will process the content produced by 10 people, served up on 1000 sqm of LED screen with 71 000 002 pixels resolution!

Sebastian Huwig and Nick The Greek (Nick Charalampidis) have decided to use Green Hippo as their preferred Playback solution for ESC2017 due to the enormous amount of video tools that the server is packed with. For this project they also used SHAPE to Map the Arches with 3 different UV maps which is being controlled via DMX control to have the ability to change the look and feel of the Arches. Also SHAPE is being used for 3x more delegations to cover the needs of complex 3D Models. MANet and Timecode on Layer are used to to control the layers and have 100% accurate show as well and 0 delays.
16x Hippotizer V4 Boreals
              9x Active
              7x Backup
35x Active HD Outputs
168x Video Layers
Over 72 Million Pixels
3x 33x33 Lightware Matrixes
2x Avitech Titan 9000 Multiviewers

Hippos and control being provided by SSR Beacon Digigobos AB and FIX8Group / Pixelfield / Bright / Trust Rental
Gravity is making most of the content for the delegations. We'll talk to them separately this week. Stay tuned!

Thanks Nick!



Here he is: Nick Charalampidis or "Nick the Greek" - our lead media man.



Nick Hansen sits next to the Greek. He describes his position as "a weird one....I sit between Jerry's team, Nick and Gravity (our content team). I'm basically the No2 video programmer and I think the title they've given me is Delegation specials programmer." Love it.



Yay Marco! Not only did Unbranded and Marco de Koff bring us bags and bags of bitterballen, we got a deep fryer too! Now we just need to schedule the bitterballen party!



Yesterday was a short day because at 17:00, I had to walk the red carpet for the official opening party at Euroclub. The third floor has a nice balcony, the weather was perfect, and the crowd was looking good!



Wifey getting some nice selfies. Here with Jasmine Wilkenloh (L) and Kerstin Hahn (center) from Digame.



And here's my BFF Måns Zelmerlöw with Edward af Sillén, our script writer in Stockholm last year. Hejsan kompis!  



Our good friends from having a drink with Michael Soul, one of the background singers for Belarus. Michael's vocal coach is Petr Elfimov, who performed "Eyes that Never Lie" for Eurovision 2009.



I need this earring!



Joan also managed a selfie with Slavko Kalezić for Montenegro. His pigtail is over a meter long!



And then she couldn't get a taxi out of the party so she hitched a ride with the Belarus delegation. Thanks for taking care of her guys!


Is there a speed of smell?


So many questions........




May 6

Gooooooood morning Ukraine!

These couple of days here have been Family Days, where crew members can have their families come and visit and watch a few rehearsals. It's nice to come see what your loved ones have been caged up doing for the past month and get a taste of Eurovision behind-the-scenes.



Friends and family got to sit in the grandstands for rehearsals of Ukraine and the Big 5. Here's Spain on stage.



And since the house is full of locals, I wanted to run around with my camera and snap some of our friendly local staff that we run to yelling "help!" on a regular basis. I think I've only introduced Vika and Roman, who I couldn't have done this without (see April 4-5, April 7 and April 18), but I didn't want to overlook some others. Here's the lovely Aliona Zimich, our travel coordinator.



 Inna Vitko, Production Coordinator and frequent problem-solver!



 Natasha Doroshenko, Venue Manager having a goofy moment. Love you honey!



 Vova Shcherbyna, our local production runner. He's very happy he sits next to me!



Our sweet Yulia Bilovus, Production Team Travels.



Bohdan Dzyunko, Venue Manager Hall 1. He actually told me it was a dream of his to work with me! Awwww! It's been a pleasure buddy!



Katia Gundrova, Assistant Venue Manager Hall 1 is always full of smiles and hugs.



Pashok Fylonenko, branding manager for the outside of the arena and red carpet event. Looking great!



Vlad Luchkin, Venue Manager Hall 2 & 3 (and my finger - oops!)



But today Vlad is apparently the garbage transport manager……??


I'm clearly missing many - there are hundreds of people putting on this show!




What do you call a male ladybug?


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






May 5

Hello friends around the world!

It's PYRO day! Let's check out what the crazy Finns are up to this year. Pyro is once again provided by Pyroman out of Finland, led by fearless leader Markku Aalto. I know you recognize him from many past Eurovisions - this will be his 8th and he and his crew were with us last year in Stockholm!



Here's the Pyroman crew, looking very mysterious shrouded in fog (thanks Tobbe Berg for the fog support!) From L to R: Ari, Teemu, Teppo, Markku, Markus and Jaska.

Here's the fun stuff they brought with them:

- 3 units of FireCTRL Firing Desk
- 100 pcs FireCTRL Field modules
- 1 pc  MA DOT2 Dmx desk (for heavy fog + smoke jets)
- 24 pcs TBF Single Shot flame units
- 24 pcs TBF Spraymasters
- 6 pcs Le Maitre Freeze Fog + G300 Heavy fog machines
- 6 pcs Ultratec Floor Pockets for Heavy Fog
- 8 pcs Magic FX Stadium Shots for Streamers
- 8 pcs Co2 powered Confetti Cannons
-16 pcs MagicFX Smoke Jets
- 1 pc TinyFogger (for Finnish piano, radio controlled)
- 36 pcs Co2 bottles / show+ We will use total approximately 120 pcs 40 ltr Co2 bottles on this show.  
- +Tons of cables + co2 hoses
- 16 bottles of Jaloviina
- 1 cigarette lighter

In addition, according to calculations based on their time here so far:

- Total steps taken by the entire crew for the entire time here: 2.47 million
- Beer: 342 litres
- Screws: 3366
- Ice creams: 177
- Saying "Moi!": 4096
- Sleeping pills: 1

- Used gas: 2492 m3 (equal to 72.1 big sea containers)



All effects are pre-programmed and triggered via timecode through the Fire Control desk on the left, with the exception of smoke jets and fog, which are controlled via the grandMA DOT2 DMX desk on the right. This desk has a clear line of sight to the stage so the guys can visually confirm that the necessary areas are all clear and the timecode can be overridden if anything is out of place.



 They make fire! I bring hot dogs! Lets have a crew bbq!



 And waterfalls!



And BIG fog effects! Poooooof Pooooooof!



It looks great with the UK entry, who has a lot of video effects to match.



And Germany looking great as usual! Very stylish, good song and hot girl. No last place for them this year for sure!



No pyro for Italy but nothing a dancing gorilla can't fix! Italy is still a favorite for the victory, but there are a lot of countries closing in on the betting charts.



And all of a sudden Scott Givens from Five Currents showed up, together with one of his co workers Christophe Draye. Scott is a mega producer in the world of sport ceremonies, and has tons of Olympic openings/closings and other mega shows under his belt. Last time I had the pleasure to work for him was when I was Senior Technical Manager for the closing ceremony of the 2015 European Games in Baku. Click

to see the highlights of that show- pretty cool stuff we managed to pull off!



And last but certainly not least.....Happy Birthday to our head of sound-Kai Reiss!! And Thank You! We needed a birthday day cake fix! Love you buddy!



 If Olive oil is made from olives, what is baby oil made from?


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



May 4

Hello! Today I'm going to show you a very special and important area that we haven't seen in a few weeks -- Hall One!


It started like this.....



Remember this? This giant empty room?



Well our own little Sadams has been hard at work for weeks turning this into the area where we house all of the artists, delegations, press and fans, in addition to all the special rooms that they need to do their jobs and performances, before and after.



A few fascinating facts and figures about this space:

-          101 custom built rooms including dressing rooms, offices, interview studios, radio studios, hair and make up, and technical rooms

-          10,500m2 of carpet

-          3km of wall to build these rooms

-          30,000 ‘screw covers’

-          130 doors – and keys! (see photo of the key board below)

-          54 Hair and Makeup stations

-          51 plasma screens with live feed from the stage

-          6 x large projection screens in common areas

-          Press center workroom has places for 1550 journalists

-          Press conference room to seat 600

-          4 x fully equipped soundproofed radio studios

-          5 x interview rooms

-          All local contractors – with the exception of sound!



And here is the keyboard for it all. Get it.........? Love the 'Good Luck Sarah' message from Unbranded!



Here's one of 3 hair and makeup rooms with 20 stations......I've been promised a session in here before my entrance on the red carpet at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday. Stand by!



The press area has a workspace capacity of 1550!



The press conferences are held for each country after their rehearsal. This area has a capacity of 600 journalists.



The sound check room. This is where all delegations spend 30 minutes prior to their first rehearsal to make sure that the settings for their In Ear Monitors are perfect before entering our stage.



In-ear monitor station. This hall has solid white walls so Tom and Julia decided it needed some personality and let everyone start signing it.



And of course a cozy delegation lounge complete with cafe! Monitors are located throughout the Hall so everyone can watch all the rehearsals.


Thanks for the tour Sarah! And thanks for you being you and coming here all the way from New Zealand!


If peanut butter cookies are made from peanut butter, then what are Girl Scout cookies made out of?


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



May 3 Vlog


Let's start with a Vlog!


So I do apologize again for the mono sound and the amateur videography. I'm still training Joan.....

She did manage to capture some nice outtakes if you have some spare time:


And we'll end the day with a kiss:

lotta matthias

Dear Mattias Carlsson was here to say hello as part of the Norwegian delegation. Mattias was our Viewing Room Producer last year in Stockholm. He came to make sure everything is on track and share kisses with Lotta Furebäck, one of our Stage Producers.

Clearly they don't send memos to each other in the mornings about who wears what. Or maybe they do.........


What do sheep count when they can't get to sleep?


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




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Ola Melzig

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  • US +1 719 466 1785
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Joan Lyman Melzig

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  • US +1 719 466 1784
  • joan {at}