April 30

Hejsan hejsan! First day of artist rehearsals! Now the fun starts! Unfortunately we can't show photos until the 3rd so hold tight!


Apr30 web010

 But here's our lunch break with leftovers from the Riedel barbecue! Mmmmmm......


Apr30 web010

 And here's our wonderful Production Designer Florian Wieder in da house!


Apr30 web010

Jerry gave me a very special call light for when he needs me -- it's very hard to ignore........


Apr30 web010

My fortune cat here to bring us good luck!


Clip of the day comes from 2005 - a good one for sure considering she won!






April 29

Hejsan svejsan and welcome to the CREW BBQ! And not just any CREW BBQ! A new feature this year is that it is the RIEDEL CREW BBQ!

riedel 4zu3 transparent

I happen to know that Riedel does something they call ¨Friends of the Games¨ every time they are involved with the Olympics, which is a get together crew and partners. They wanted to do something similar in conncetion to Eurovision. I said, well........ why don't you do a crew BBQ? They said- great idea! But lets do two! So, here is the first one! Next will happen during show week!

THANK YOU RIEDEL! We really needed this moral boost!


Apr28 37

My Technical Directors Tarmo and Nuno did not read the fine print in their contracts before signing them. They were quite suprised to find that the fine print states that they are in charge of arranging the crew BBQ. They soon realized that they needed more than the smoker to be able to cook for 350 people. So EPC was nice enough to build them two grills as well. Top notch!


Apr28 36

Here are three of our wonderful volunteers helping out - Sara, Veronica and Manu - Thank you girls!!


Apr28 35

Tommy, Rob and Bubbles from Powershop are cowards and were hiding out in the inside seating area. I guess they are not waterproof..........


Apr28 34

We did it during our dinner break, in an area that was approved by our head of security. And within minutes after breaking for dinner, hungry people started to show up.


Apr28 32

Tarmo and Nuno kidnapped Hans as well to help them with all the fixings and cookings. They smoked 30 kg of pork, and grilled 600 sausages. This was served with bread, sauces and home made coleslaw by yours truly.


Apr28 31

Paulo was VERY happy with the food, less happy with the drinks. According to his religion, BBQ comes with beer. Can't argue with that, but security and health and safety can! Thank you SO MUCH SUPER BOCK for getting us 700 sodas for free in the blink of an eye.


Apr28 30

Joao had no complaints either. He looks very focused on his pork sandwich!


Apr28 28

Say HELLO to Lara Oliveira, our Production Secretary! It's hard to lure her out of her office, but when the smell of smoked pork reached her desk, she came running.


Apr28 25

After 3,5 intensive days of stand in rehearsals, we thought it was about time to feed our stand in artists. But don't get used to this guys!


Apr28 23

Say HELLO to Felix Berndt! Felix is in charge of a VERY important container in the OB compound- The EBU Switch!


Apr28 22

And Jose Carlos Silva from RTP is responsible for the connectivity between the venue and the rest of the world. And also in charge of getting Felix a fridge for his container. Without it, I will not get the world cup in Ice Hockey on my monitor, and we can't have that!


Apr28 21

Tobias, Paulo and Joao hanging out with pork in their face. But who is the mysterious woman with her back against the camera???


Apr28 18

It's SARA! Hejsan Hejsan!


Apr28 17

For some reason Diogo looks a bit guilty. I wonder why....... I wonder why.........


Apr28 16

And look at the focus Tobias has when he attacks the sandwich. Like a shark! Or a very hungry dolphin!


Apr28 15

And here is representives from tonights host! Say HELLO to Thais and Fernanda from Team Riedel!


Apr28 14

Do you know what rhymes with Nick Charalampidis? Nothing! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!


Apr28 13

A happy Ana and Ines in a sea of Happy People!


Apr28 12

And the curse continues........ it has been sunny and up to 30° C for two weeks now. On the evening of the crew BBQ, it was raining on and off, and 14° C. Just as usual. Oh well........ at least it wasn't snowing like in Finland in 2007.


Apr28 11

Hang on! Why is Jan and his team from Highlight showing up? I'm sure he told me that they were having a Partner Dinner tonight! Turns out, he just HAD to try the pork as an appetizer!


Apr28 10

Team Opertec is VERY happy today! Especially since the crew BBQ in Kyiv last year was cancelled. Why? Snow............ I'm telling you. We're cursed!


Apr28 9

After a couple of sodas too many I decided to make my move on Noa, who was working with our Stage Directors Marvin & Martin with all the stand in rehearsals. I guess it's obvious that I was not that successful.............


Apr28 8

But who gives a damn when my cow has dressed up for the occasion and looks extra spicy today!


Apr28 6

Our Creative Manager Gonçalo Madaíl on the attack!


Apr28 5

BBQ officially approved by our Venue Head Rigger Kim! And by everyone else of course!


Apr28 4

Mattias, Christer and Tim looks like they never seen an hot dog before. I'm sure they have!


Apr28 3

FOH has done some really long days the last couple of weeks. So it was a tired Matthias showing up. But a happy Matthias!


Apr28 2

I decided to give it a shot with Ana as well! Same result as with Noa. So I ended up going home with my cow..........


Apr28 1

And exactly how appropriate is it that we get a rainbow during crew BBQ evening. I'm sure it's a sign of something. All we need now is pink fluffy unicorns!


Todays flashback takes us back to two Turbo Tomatoes on our stage in 2011. Set Design Florian Wieder, Lighting Design Jerry Appelt.

April 28

Hejsan Hejsan and welcome back! And THANK YOU Joan for your detailed and thorough report from the wonderful world of diesel yesterday!



Apr27 20

The very first concert I ever went to was ABBA! It was the summer of 1974 when they did a tour in Sweden after winning Eurovision. I was 8 years old, but my mum told the guy at the entrance that I was only 7, so I got in for free :-)
I remembered coming home after the concert, all winded up having an extremely hard time to fall to sleep. Because I knew that I just had to get into the music industry one way or the other. I finally did, many years later, but not on stage, as I first expected, but behind. I have NO complaints, 14 Eurovisions down the road, how could I have????



Apr28 web012

And we got a new ham too! The office has been VERY empty the past week, since there was a hiccup in the ham delivery schedule! It was horrible! Truly! But now we got one in the rack, and one on stand by, so we are back on schedule! Pheeeeeeeeeew!


Apr28 web012

Da da dadadada da da da! Tequila!!!!!! Nooooo, there is an alcohol ban on this production, so we have to settle with the Sombrero, which I bought as an alterntive to present to everyone in this production chasing me for a Riedel Bolero.
Proudly showcased by Paulo, here together with Oliver Leigers, our engineer signing off the rib structure and Dennis vand der Haagen from Ampco Flashlight.


Apr28 web012

Crew BBQ is about to happen! So a lot of our waters had to be removed to fit sausages, pork and salad. This will be AWESOME!


Apr28 web012

Remember our chairs from last year? Well........... as we grow older, so do our titles, and maybe they were a bit cooler last year.


Apr28 web012

How many buttons can you have on a Riedel panel???? MANY!


Apr28 web012

Say HELLO to the wonderful Nadja Burkhardt! Nadja is the Event Supervisor from EBU. Love this girl to pieces!


Apr28 web012

And say HELLO to Jan Hermanau who is our Director for Sponsorship & Events from Highlight Event AG. It's good to see the team coming back together in all aspects of the production!


Apr28 web012

Here is a sneak peak from this morning's preperations for the crew BBQ. Yes, from April 28- which means that right now, in this moment, we are SUPERLIVE from Lisbon!


Apr28 web012

We got 30kg of pork neck for the smoker. Here is Tarmo being busy with cutting slices into the pieces, to allow the smoke to penetrate the meat better.


Apr28 web012

It's a dirty job, but someones gotta do it. But I leave that for my people!


Apr28 web012

Oh nooooooo! She is BACK! The scary clown from the 150 year Cinco De Mayo show I did in Puebla is back to haunt the production office. She looks an awful lot like Melanie...........


Lets go back to 2007 today! I was SO sure this song would win the whole damn thing, that I bet 500 Swedish Kronas on it. A couple of weeks after coming back to Sweden, I got the credit card bill. This is when I realized that I made the bet in Euros, which was worth 12 times more at the time. Love hurts...........




April 27

Hey hey hey -- it's Powershop Day! Let's find out what those crazy kids out back have been doing!

Apr27 web006

Here are our hosts this afternoon, Tom Delbaere, Tommy Kerckaert and Wouter Hallaert. They're some of the very few that have seen regular sunshine these past weeks.


Apr27 web006a

And here are the mugshots of Mark Rennocks and Rob Van Herk! The team of 5 plus 12 stagehands put this power world together.


Apr27 web005

And I guess mugshots are appropriate, seeing how the generator farm looks like a prison compound (a pretty one at least!) Safety first! Power comes from a total of 7 twin 400kVA generators (=14), putting out around 5 Megawatts of electricity per day. There are less than 15 people within the entire production team that have access to this area.

10 generators are dedicated to lights and 4 are dedicated to sound, video and broadcast. All engines run at half capacity at all times. If there is any failure in any of them, the load is automatically distributed evenly among the remaining generators.


Apr27 web003

Power first goes to the breaker panels......


Apr27 web004

Then through the distribution panels - one for lights, one for sound/video/broadcast. Each panel is 8000 Amps. We have 16 PD400 distribution panels and 61 various distribution panels (125A, 63A, 32A, ...)

Then the nice neat cable runs in to the venue. We use a total of 37,85km of high voltage cable on this production - 29km single core cable power lock,
4,3 km multi core cable (125A, 63A, 32A, …) and 4,000 meters Earth cable. For you troglodytes that don't understand the metric system, it equals to a hell of a lot of miles of it!

And ends up at this distribution hub, which leads to all the dimmers among others. Lighting alone consumes 854 000 watts!

Fun Facts:

Singlecore cable:

240# 2.650 m

150# 6.500 m

120# 20.400 m

Multicore cable:  4.335 m

Shucko cable:  4.000 m

Triplets: 400 pcs

PD 4000 A 2 pcs

PD 103 pcs

Cableramps 500 pcs

Earthcabling 2.000 m

Generators Twin 400kVA, 7 containers



Apr27 web008

In other news I requested a bolero and somehow got a sombrero, here modeled by Brodd.


Apr27 web007

And the press crew managed to catch me.

But now to the food fun for the day!!

Apr27 web002

We started off early smoking suckling pig...


Apr27 web009

Got some lovely Gouda cheese from our good friends at Ampco Flashlight. They are definitely keeping us well fed!


Apr27 web010

Swedish meatballs at 4:00.....


Apr27 web011

Then on to the pig!


Apr27 web012

This is how I make my friends....


Apr27 web013

But I know that a happy crew is a productive crew! So Christer and Andi, be happy NOW! Like Mattias! That is an order!


Clip of the day takes us 12 months back to Kiev. Set Design by Florian Wieder, Lighting Design by Jerry Appelt and Video Content Design by Falk Rosentahl and his brilliant team at Gravity.



April 26

Hejsan hoppsan and welcome to today's update of the Eurovision Song Contest vendetta right now happening in Lisbon.


Apr26 web008

Variation is everything, and with that mantra, we did our first batch of meatballs in the air fryer today- SUCCESS!


Apr26 web008

We also started with stand in rehearsals for the 42 countries today. It was a bumpy start, as always, but it looked spectacular on screen within soon. I might dare to say that today's stand in rehearsals were the best 1st day in many years.
And I have the biggest Riedel panel as usual- so all is normal.


Apr26 web008

No, it's not a super awesome version of Blue Man Group in town. It's just me and the BIG boss himself, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest! Everybody, a BIG HELLO for Jon Ola Sand!
My new idea to call the scrutineer desk the Jon Ola Sand Castle was received with medium happiness.


Apr26 web008

Our stand ins are absolutely amazing, and so is our stage! Who needs video when you have Jerry Appelt?


Apr26 web008

Of course he does red too! He IS the most romantic lighting designer in the world after all!


Apr26 web008

The Opertec crew operating all our special cameras seem to enjoy themselves, and are doing a great job, as always!


Apr26 web008

Say HELLO to Michael Althaus, Yvan Peard and Cyril Union from Ayrton came to visit today. The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 is the new world record holder for amount of Ayrton fixtures used in one show. We have 713 active Ayrton fixtures in our rig! 112 x Ghiblis, 64 x Mistrals, 60 x Nandobeam S6, 30 x Magicdot SX, 96 x Minipanel FX and oh yeah, I almost forgot, 351 x Magicpanel FX! Founder and CTO Yvan Peard told me that to see what we've done was a dream coming true for him. A dream that he has had since he first started the company.


New day, new experiment with the smoker! Click on the image to see how this is working out!


Why not hop back to 2013 today! This was a very special show for me, since it was my 11th Eurovision (my lucky number) and it was hosted in Malmö Sweden, where I was born and raised. Needless to say, Malmö is like a trillion times better than all other cities in the world, and I am moving back one day. People of Malmö, consider yourself warned!
Set Design by Frida Arvidsson & Victor Brattberg. Lighting Design Fredrik Jönsson and Video Content Design by Mikki Kunttu.

Love this song, and Margaret is hot as shit!

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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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