May 5

Hejsan hejsan and happy Cinco de Mayo - celebrated here with Tim and my cow! Which reminds me, I need to name my cow! I can't believe she doesn't have a name........


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Not sure what Tim is praying for......


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And Mrs. Cow had more visitors! From left to right Tobias Scherl, Ivor Lyttle and Kerstin Hahn. Tobias and Kerstin works for Digame whom is in charge for the voting, and Ivor works for the production, looking after our commentators and making sure they have a grand old time and are fed with all the information they need.


We have a special treat for you today -- an authentic Backstage Tour! This year we have had more requests for backstage tours than any other year that I can remember, so we have a special team dedicated strictly to organizing all these groups!

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Bernardo Barata and a WILL FREAKIN FERRELL look alike!! Fake Will was helping Bernardo give tours this afternoon.



And Joao Pinho, ready to go! He just needs to find his group.



The Accreditation Centre is the first contact with the EUROVISION SONG CONTEST.

Before arriving, every worker, delegation member, press and visitor has to arrange for their accreditation, which is then picked up here. A set of essential data has to be sent to the organization for validation by security in order to have the ok to enter the Eurovision City.

  • This is the safest place in the country at the moment.
  • The accreditation process results from permanent cooperation between the security team of the event and national security entities.
  • Approximately 6000 accreditation applications were processed.


Welcome to the Eurovision City!

Thank you so much for joining us on this special visit, where you will be able to see and get to know a little more about how the biggest entertainment television event in the world works.

We are here in Lisbon because, for the first time, Portugal won an edition of EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. It was last year in Kiev, Ukraine, with a very special song by Salvador Sobral.

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This area of the city was chosen as it is especially adapted to receive events of a global scale. A set of infrastructures were built to receive EXPO98, radically transforming a former industrial zone. The technical and logistic characteristics here are of the highest level.


  • It is the largest Music Television Show in the world with the biggest audience: around 200 million viewers
  • It started in 1956, this year being the 63rd edition.
  • In total, the Eurovision Song Contest consists of 9 shows - 3 live broadcast and 6 other shows that are exactly the same except for the voting part, and that serve as rehearsals to the previous 3.
    • May 7, 8 pm - Semifinal 1 Jury Show
    • May 8, 2:00 PM – Semifinal 1 Family Show
    • May 8, 20h00 - Semifinal 1 Live Show
    • 9 of May, 20h00 - Semifinal 2 Jury Show
    • May 10, 2:00 PM – Semifinal 2 Family Show
    • May 10, 8:00 PM - Semifinal 2 Live Show
    • May 11th, 8pm – Grand Final Jury Show
    • May 12, 1:00 PM – Grand Final Family Show
    • May 12 8:00 PM – Grand Final Live Show
  • In 2015, the EUROVISION SONG CONTEST entered Guinness, being the Longest Running Annual TV Music Competition in activity.
  • Portugal holds the highest number of points in a final, won in 2017, with Amar Pelos Dois, by Salvador Sobral: 758 POINTS
  • It is an EBU (European Broadcasting Union) event that is organized by the host broadcast (the Portuguese public media service: RTP)
  • 900 staff + 400 volunteers work at the event. The volunteers provide support in various areas.
  • 72% are Portuguese
  • There are also people from over 30 countries working on the event in Lisbon, including Ukraine, Belgium, Sweden and the USA.


  • The show is inspired by Salvador’s performance: simple and elegant. It is different and distinct, like Lisbon. And solid as EBU requires.
  • The sea, the city of Lisbon and the history of Portugal with its discoveries are the major inspirations for the image of the contest. For the first time, 13 different logos were created using these motives.
  • The ALL ABOARD slogan represents inclusion values that EBU itself promotes.

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This is the work area for accredited press members for the coverage of the event.

A dedicated team assures full support to all the press (broadcasters, radios, newspapers, websites, blogs, etc.), providing information, assisting in interviews and ensuring that this workspace is always operational.

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Journalists can circulate in press work areas, but can only access the shows in special circumstances and accompanied, so there are giant screens placed on the walls with permanent LIVE streaming of rehearsals, shows and press conferences.

  • Close to 2000 journalists from over 80 countries
  • Individual internal mail Pigeon holes for every reporter - 1800 in total.
  • 750 Working posts for press and community media.
  • Lost and found service.
  • Information and Service Desk
  • Reservable interview rooms
  • Luggage area


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Besides the work area inside The Press Center there are also 3 tents with dedicated functions (from right to left of the La Rucula restaurant):

- Interview rooms and a photo studio, that can be booked by the press.
- Event internal radio and web work area and studios.
- Make-up area


After each show, the contestants and their delegation are taken to the Press Conference Room, where Portuguese Pedro Penim and Pedro Granger will mediate the press conferences. This tent for has a capacity for 500 journalists.


This is a lounge and catering area for press people, community managers and special fans.



This is one of the biggest and best concert halls in the country. It was built for Expo 98.

The dome is supported by an original wooden structure that resembles the structure of a ship.

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  • Preparation for Eurovision Song Contest lasts 42 days between load-in and load-out.
  • Build up is 20 days long. Load out is only 72 hours.
  • Each show accomodates 11,500 spectators:
  • It takes 225 people to operate a Eurovision broadcast.
  • We are bringing in 250 Trucks of gear
  • 200 kilometers of cable
  • We are using the prototype of a brand-new strobe- The GLP KV-N Arc
  • Over 88 kilometers of cable just for lighting

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The stage is the center of the whole event.  Everything to do with the stage is planned to the smallest detail since it is the center of attention.

The stage, designed by the German Florian Wieder has 3 suspended structures that are inspired by the armillary sphere of the Portuguese flag.

The background is made up of 56 structures - up to 13.5 meters high.

  • There are 95 rehearsals in total
  • 2 semi-finals: 20 competitors each, 10 go through in each.
  • Final: 10 + 10 + BIG FIVE + Portugal
  • Big Five: Germany. France, Spain, Italy and UK.

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The Greenroom is a 480 m² lounge area for delegations at the end of the arena. It hosts up to 26 delegations at the same time.

To present the Eurovision Song Contest RTP chose 4 women: Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado.

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The commentators' area has 36 booths, which receive radio and TV professionals from 28 countries (including a booth from China)

There are tickets for a special stage area called Golden Circle that cost 299€.

Sound (technical):


  • 20 speaker Arrays will be flown in Altice Arena
  • 239 Loudspeakers
  • 232 Microphones
  • 15 Sound Desks


  • We are using the prototype of a brand-new strobe- The GLP KV-N Arc
  • A total of 14 lighting desks to run lighting.
  • 152 000 control parameters.
  • 300 active DMX universes.
  • 24 Follow spots controlled ROBE RoboSpot Follow spot system
  • The back wall has 351 Ayrton Magicpanel FX
  • Total number of lighting fixtures is 2 632
  • 24 days of pre-programming for the lighting designer and 6 operators.
  • 32 x to run lighting operations in show mode
  • 3 172 main power circuit breakers for lights
  • 88 024 meters of cable.


  • Fog outlets, Wind machines, Snow machines, Smoke bubbles, Waterfall
  • Moving Flames (brand new)
  • Sparklers (brand new)
  • 50 kg of confetti for the winning song!


  • 220 tones of rigged equipment in the roof
  • 45 Riggers to get everything in and out on time.

Communication& Intercom:

  • 175 Intercom Panels
  • Close to 500 Radios, both analog and Tetr
  • 20 km of Signal fiber cables
  • 1150 rechargeable battery sets


  • 4740 kg IT Equipment
  • 12550 meters of temporary fiber optic cable
  • 242 Wi-Fi Access points
  • 8000 Mbit/s Internet capacity


This is the headquarters of each delegation in the Eurovision City during the days they participate in rehearsals or performances.

It is a restricted access area for artists, staff of each delegation and supporting contest staff.

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In order to accomodate the 28 dressing rooms and the support areas, it was necessary to build a mezzanine in Sala Tejo. On the lower floor, with direct access to the stage, all the props and stage materials are housed.

There is a giant screen with streaming of rehearsals and shows and make-up and hairdressing areas.


  • Each delegation has logistical support as soon as it lands at the airport, where there is a special reception desk.
  • Special hosts are allocated to each delegation to help during their stay in Portugal.
  • They travel in buses and there is a program of visits to the city and its surroundings.
  • Access to the Terreiro do Paço Eurovision Village where artists can choose to perform

Around 30,000 visitors (national and international) are expected to arrive in Lisbon, among people directly linked to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Sponsors, delegations, press, fans, technicians and spectators.


To ensure maximum performance and reliability during broadcast 2 twin outdoor trucks (with 2 lateral expansions each) are used simultaneously.

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The two OB Van's have exactly the same configuration, the same version of equipment and the same software version, one of them being responsible for ensuring broadcast and the other guaranteeing the backup.

They are connected through a fiber optic ring guaranteeing 100% redundancy. This device has proven itself in coverage of mega events and allows working with up to 35 cameras.

The sound of the show is assured by another truck.


  • 15 generators with a maximum capacity of 4.4 Megawatts
  • about 40km of electric cable


  • 19 cameras for the show, including a Spider Cam (suspended via a cable system)
  • 2 cameras on rails around the stage
  • 22m crane
  • 2 telescopic cranes
  • 2 steadicams
  • Outside drones
  • 60 people involved to handle broadcast
  • 3 Multicamera Directors
  • Cuepilot switcher programming, allowing changes to the song directing to be made instantly

And with that said, lets go to the clip of the day!


One of my favorite moments from 2010!

May 4

Hejsan Svejsan and Hoppsan! Here is today's report from the glitter cave in Portugal! Full of glamour and awesomness!

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Armenia with Sevak Khanagyan singing ‘Qami’. The creative concept is created about the latest member of Armenia- Mikki Kunttu!


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Switzerland's ZiBBZ rocked the stage with ‘Stones’. Love this performance, very cool attitude! Hot girl- cool song- lots of extra lights- how can I not love this?


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Speaking of hot girl........Cyprus Eleni Foureira performing ‘Fuego’. Did you know Fuego means fire? Great description for this girl! Mjau- and a laser tunnel!


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Norway's Alexander Rybak with his song ‘That’s How You Write a Song’. He doesn't look like he's aged one day since he won in 2009! I wish I could say the same about myself..........


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Serbia's  Sanja Ilić & Balkanika perform ‘Nova Deca’.


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San Marino: Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening singing ’Who We Are’ with robot dancers. We'll get them a nicer riser for next rehearsal.


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Denmark has Rasmussen singing ‘Higher Ground’. They asked for snow, I said, it NEVER snows in Denmark! But I gave in eventually.


Today we are going back to Kyiv in 2005. This was the last year Monaco was in the contest. Check out the insane steadi camera run at 2:08, done by the ultimate master himself, Johan Sandklev.

May 3

Hejsan hejsan! Less than 10 days to go to the Grand Final! Huhhhhhhga!


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Rehearsals are starting to get crowded! We have A LOT of backstage tours this year. 100's of visitors on a daily basis.


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Even the Swedish Embassy came to visit us yesterday. Here is the Ambassador Caroline Fleetwood and Deputy Head of Mission, Sten Engdahl catching up with Sweden's finest - Benjamin Ingrosso! Recognize the last name? You should! Benjamin's cousin is Sebastian Ingrosso from Swedish House Mafia!


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Sietse Bakker came by to steal some of my Estonian gold coin candy. I think he was back last night to take the whole box, because it was not on my desk this morning. Criminals............


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Philipp Kirkorov in da house! His birthday was on Monday - Happy Birthday! He's actually younger than me and wildly famous - considered the Elvis of the Soviet Union. Now he's written many successful Eurovision songs including this year's 'My Lucky Day' sung by DoReDoS representing Moldova.


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Azerbaijan on stage today with Aisel on stage singing 'X My Heart'.


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Eugent Bushpepa singing 'Mall' for Albania


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 Belgium returns again this year with another strong song - Sennek singing 'A Matter of Time'.


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Mikolas Josef from Czech Republic had his second rehearsal today singing 'Lie To Me'. Poor guy hurt his back during the first rehearsal but he seems to be in top form now. How nice to be young -- I'd be in bed for a month if I tried to do a flip.


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Here's Netta from Israel singing 'Toy' complete with 112 fortune cats and lots of bubbles! They gave me one fortune cat for good luck and it seems to be working because everything is fantastic!


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Alekseev sings 'Forever' for Belarus and gets one of our custom stage lifts. This song gets better and better every time we rehearse it. But then again, that goes for most of the songs. And this is exactly why we spend so many days in rehearsals.


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Estonia's Elina Nechayeva with the song 'La Forza' gets video projections on her dress. I told you there would be some video! It looks POPTASTIC!


Here is another one that looks fantastic! Moldova from 2013.




May 2

Hejsan Hejsan! Yet another day has passed in the dream factory. It's all a blur, and I have no idea what day of the week it is, or even what month we are in. But I love it!


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First I'd like to give a big warm HELLO to Chris Ferrante from Aryton who popped in for just one day to see our progress. Great to see you buddy! He also goes under the nick name ¨second hand Jesus¨, but if I tell you why, I will need to kill you, and we can't have that!


Today we're going to visit the delegation bubble! This is the area where the artists and their delegations hang out when they are not on stage, in a press conference or in greenroom. The bubble contains all sorts of fun stuff. There is a lounge, there are dressing rooms, there is hair and make up, a doctor, massage, dry cleaning service, and robots driving around serving coffee!

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A nice warm welcome from the entrance helping folks find their way around. Hi guys!


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The press is already here interviewing artists after rehearsals.


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This is the show desk room filled only with a unicorn right now but this will be buzzing very soon. This means that Christer and his team have moved away from the Production Office, which is now a much more silent and comfortable place!


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A cozy lounge area where the delegations can hang out before and after rehearsals.


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A nice café for the delegations and artists. Notice the nice large viewing screen on the wall!


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Here is the hair and make up studio.


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We have a total of 26 Artist dressing rooms, since that is the maximum amount of contestants that we will have in a show, the Grand Final.


Here is the funny robot coffee machine that will follow this nice young lady around! Click on the photo to watch. One of them chased me the other day!


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Today we visit the wonderful world of German Humor! These are the figures identifying all sorts of things inside the arena, like here, the elevator. Jerry and his team have named them Adolf & Eva due to their haircut.


Click image to watch the best performance in Eurovision this year.... The scary Canadian clown is back to haunt us!


Today we're back in Latvia, and the winning performance of that year. There was really never any doubt about who would win. An amazing performance!

May 1

Hejsan hejsan! It's time we show you kids what went into all the lighting of this wonderful show! Welcome to the pre-programming studio!


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This was already happening back in late March/early April in the pavilion across from the arena, where we also had our production office.


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So let's meet the team! Of course here's the Most Romantic Lighting Designer Jerry Appelt! The new mantra here is ¨Who needs video when you have Jerry Appelt!¨


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You may remember most of the team from last year in Kyiv. Markus Ruhnke is operator for keylights. The couch in the background was stolen from my office, just as in Kyiv.


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Torsten “Icke” Berger is our Spot Caller. He was also a part of the couch kidnapping..........


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 Jan Suiling is our MA3D operator. He claims he was completely innocent and involved in the theft.........


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Raphael Grebenstein "Grebi" adjusts the audience lights to the main design on stage.


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Raphael Demonthy programs all the Show lights. He has A LOT to program for sure!


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Sebastian “Huwi” Huwig is our operator for the Magic Panel backwall and LED strips.


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Andreas Türpe is Jerry's talented assistant and makes sure he's happy at all times!



Nick Charalampidis or "Nick the Greek" is our Media Server Operator. He takes care of all video that is ordered from Delegations.


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 Say HELLO to Martin Rupprecht, our nightshift operator!


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And of course our dear Matthias Rau, Technical Lighting Manager and Gaffer.


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So here are all the bits and bobs:

  • We are using the prototype of a brand-new strobe- The GLP KV-N Arc
  • A total of 14 lighting desks to run lighting.
  • 152 000 control parameters
  • 300 active DMX universes
  • 24 Follow spots controlled ROBE RoboSpot Follow spot system
  • The back wall has 351 Ayrton Magicpanel FX
  • Total number of lighting fixtures is 2 632
  • 24 days of pre-programming for the lighting designer and 6 operators.
  • 32 x to run lighting operations in show mode
  • 3 172 main power circuit breakers for lights
  • 88 024 meters of cable.


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The guys worked long hours in a very dark room but it's paying off beautifully!


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And of course , since we are talking about lighting and lighting designers today, I can't forget our very special visitor yesterday Mikki Kunttu who was our lighting and video designer in 2007 and content designer in 2013 & 2016. He's now with the Armenian delegation. Good to see you buddy!! You look very Armenian these days!


Here's me and Henke goofing around. Click to watch a terribly filmed video!


And since Mikki is in da house, lets take a look at a clip from 2016. Bulgaria was asking for mountains, forrest and rivers in their video content. Mikki decided to do something completely different. He was correct!



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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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