April 25

Hejsan hejsan and welcome to day 21 of this adventure. Weather is still sunny and warm, and we are locked up in a venue. Oh well........

 

Apr25 20

It's with great joy I announce the winners of the 2018 Bullen Awards! Hans-Åke Sjöquist was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and Emma Weil was given the Visionary Award! From left to right- Erika Lagerbielke (Bullen's sister and designer of the award), Fredrik Jönsson (co-founder of the awards together with me) Hans-Åke Sjöqvist, Emma Weil, Saskia Lagerbielke (Bullen's widow) and Eva Dahlgren, famous Swedish singer who handed out this year's awards.

 

Apr25 web014

Today was our first day of camera rehearsals. It's always a bit bumpy start, and you notice a lot of things in camera that need to be fixed.

 

Apr25 web014

We started with host rehearsals today. This is a good way to ease in the crew into production mode since these are a bit more relaxed than the stand in rehearsals for the countries, that we start with tomorrow.

 

Apr25 web014

Since we have four hosts in our show this year we are rehearsing all over the place. Here is Filomena Cautela in greenroom.

 

Apr25 web014

In the underworld, under the delegation bubble rests many secrets. It's filled with props that we can't show you just yet, since that would upset the delegations. But we can show you our 17 followspot operators sitting here, operating their spots out in the venue. I love the Robospot system!

 

Apr25 web014

Since we are running low on bitterballen, and the next delivery is a week out, I decided to stock up with another sort of balls! Meatballs! It turns out that it works VERY well to cook them in the airfryer! I love that machine!

 

Apr25 web014

Lets take a trip around the compound and see how we're doing outside the venue!

 

Apr25 web014

It's really blinding to be outside when you've been locked up in the venue for some time! All tents are up! Here is the Press and Fan lounge tent.

 

Apr25 web014

Remeber the tent that looked like a Russian Head Dress? Oh well......... first of all, IT'S NOT! And this is how it looks like inside. Welcome to our press conferance area ladies and gentlemen!

 

Apr25 web014

Had to do a quick stop at our post office as well! Needed to pick up laundry you know......... say HELLO to some of our WONDERFUL volunteers! We could NOT do this show without you! THANK YOU!

 

Apr25 web014

This is our catering! We had two restaurants that were kind of kidnapped by our security parameter, so we turned them into crew and press catering.

 

Apr25 web014

Speaking of press! The press center is coming together well. All tables for the work stations are ready. All we need now are some chairs, some power strips, some internet and a couple of monitors, and off we go! Press center opens on April 28!

 

Apr25 web014

Close but no cigar. But I stole this sign regardless. No, I will not give it back! It's mine mine mine now!

 

Apr25 web014

Back to the press and fan lounge tent! This is how it looks inside! We'll remove the crazy Estonian before we open this tent!

 

Apr25 web014

Golf cart trip completed! Time to get the car back into my garage. Highlight claims that this tent is for VIP's. I claim it's not! I will not tell you if the ramp survived this test!

 

Our radios from Riedel have a very special man's voice announcing which channel you are on. I guess most people don't think this is as funny as we do! It has been entertaining us for weeks now!

 

Today's time machine takes us back to Eurovision 2010 in Oslo! Lighting Design by Al Gurdon, Multi Camera director Olle Jörgen Grönlund and stage design by the NRK design department. Lets smash some plates and glasses to the floor, scream OPA and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

April 24

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.

 

Apr24 11 
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.

 

Apr24 12

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!

 

Apr24 1

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.

 

Apr24 2

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!

 

Apr24 3

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............

 

Apr24 4

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!

 

Apr24 5

And so we did.

 

Apr24 6

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

 

Apr24 7

Of course we had lighting full on as well.

 

Apr24 8

And smoke! A lot of smoke!

 

Apr24 9

And sparklers! Lots of sparklers!

 

Apr24 10

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.

 

April 23

Hejsan Hejsan and welcome to the wonderful world of Eurovision! The weather is warm and sunny now. Too bad that we are locked up in the venue most of the time.......... oh well......... we're not here for holiday!

 

Apr23 web013

Things are getting busy around the office. The press is starting to show up. And we have a ¨making of¨ team that more or less moved into the production office.

 

Apr23 web013

Office monitors are now in place. Our standin looks very excited. And so does my cow!

 

Apr23 web013

Now here's something beautiful to see on the screen. Mattias looks very excited.

 

Apr23 web013

Meet our Steadicam operator Tim Tønnessen and his Focus Puller Stephanie Amundsen! I got to know Tim back in 2010 when I did Eurovision in Norway. Great guy! Indeed!

 

Apr23 web013

And who is the mysterious unicorn? It showed up in my couch without warning yesterday. Quite scary actually!

 

Apr23 web013

Say HELLO to Thurid Wagenknecht from Riedel! I just made a deal with her regarding our upcoming crew BBQ. To be continued!

 

Apr23 web013

One of our many wonderful volunteers Manu - welcome and thanks for your help! She is from Brazil, and it turns out that she worked on the same venue as Tarmo during the Olympics there! Small world!

 

Apr23 web013

And BOOM! After 10 hours of cooking, it was time to harvest the smoker! We made pork ribs and bone in pork loin.

 

Apr23 web013

Hans volunteered to be the master meat slicer manager. We really need to get a cutting board.........

 

Apr23 web013

And all of a sudden, the office was filled with happy people enjoying the first batch of meat out of the smoker! We'll do a proper full blown crew bbq in a couple of days!

 

No compilation of favorite Eurovision moments can be complete without Verka Serduchka in Finland 2007! Lighting Design and Video Content Design by my dear friend Mikki Kunttu!

 

 

April 22

Hejsan Hejsan and welcome back to Lisbon and the Altice Arena! Pressure is increasing and all departments are working very hard to finalize everything for tomorrow's technical tests, and the start of rehearsals on Tuesday!

Apr22 web012

I'm sure you remember that our Show Producer Carla Bugalho is the Queen of her own country Bugalia. And I'm sure you know that our Contest Producer Christer Björkman is the King of the imaginary country of Björkland. They printed silly t-shirts for their staff, prancing around in the office, giving me a hard time for not having anything created for my country Melzigia...

 

Apr22 web012

Well........... wait no longer. But why do something as crappy as t-shirts, when you can do high vis vests?

 

melzigia

With this awesomemegacheesecool print on the back. I say HAH!

 

Apr22 web012

Say HELLO to Marco de Koff from Ampco Flashlight!

 

Apr22 web012

And say HELLO to our Senior Floor Manager Henrik Von Zweibergh too AKA The Ice Bear!

 

Apr22 web012

And while you are at it, you might as well say HELLO to our backstage managers Pierre Bredstenslien and Carl-Philip Landin. Here being cozy with Mattias.

 

Apr22 web012

And then, it was FINALLY time! The first test smoke in the new smoker!

 

Apr22 web012

First you turn it on, and connect your phone to the smoker's wireless network.

 

Apr22 web012

Then you put the meat in, upload the smoking profile of your choice, close the lid, and come back 8 hours later. The result? You'll see tomorrow! Promise!

 

Apr22 web012

Today was the first day we had the photograpers and operators for all cameras in the house. So we gave them a proper brief of what will happen during the next three weeks. But we kept some secrets from them. Don't want them to run away from the arena screaming , on the first day on the job.............

 

Apr22 web012

And here is the panel that told them everything we know about Eurovision. It took approx 5 minutes..............

 

 Here's our fan test accompanied by sound test and a litttle dance from me! Two out of three was a success!

 

We let Jerry pick today's clip from 2012 in Azerbaijan. I could not agree more! This was an extremely easy victory to predict. As a matter a fact, I actually told her that she will win Eurovision directly after the first semi final of the Melodifestivalen. I'm a wizard :-) Lighting Design by the romantic Jerry Appelt and Multi Camera direction by Ladislaus Kiraly.

 

April 21

Horrible news reached us yesterday afternoon. Tim Bergling is dead. Most of you know him under his artist name Avicci, an artist that has given the world an enormous music treasure that inspired millions and played a very important role in the EDM world.
Nightclubs all over the world celebrated his memory by having a silent minute at midnight. Downtown Stockholm is full of people today, that came down to the city center to honor their idol, and show their respect to a fantastic artist.

In the world of Eurovision, it's quite obvious that we will honor his memory with the Opening Ceremony for Eurovision Song Contest 2013, since that song was written by Avicci together with two other Swedish legends- Björn Ulveus and Benny Andersson from ABBA.

R.I.P.

 

Apr21 web015

The closer to rehearsal start we get, the more meetings about what is happening on our stage are needed. The one about pyro is of course very important, since we try to avoid frying steady cam operators and artists.

 

Apr21 web015

All our OB trucks are in place now. We have two trucks as usual, one main and one back up. The Videohouse is done with most of the cable install now, and have started to place out the 45 large screen monitors we need in all backstage areas.

 

Apr21 web015

And of course all the cameras. We have a total of 19 cameras this year.

 

Apr21 web015

The rail camera that is built into our stage is done.

 

Apr21 web015

And so is the outer railcam with a double headed dolly. Very cool toy!

 

Apr21 web015

Our lighting crew is keeping busy with placing out all the floor lights for Jerry. Every time an area is completed by staging, lighting is there seconds after with lights.

 

Apr21 web015

The backstage area is also very busy right now since we are installing all the wires that will run from the rib hinge in the guide tracks to the counterweight towers.

 

Apr21 web015

And in the far far back of the backstage, we are really busy with preparing all the props requested by the delegations. Here is the Swedish one being built.

 

Apr21 web015

All ribs have a built in lightbox as well, that is pixel mapped by Jerry. It will look VERY cool once it's up and running.

 

Apr21 web015

And Jerry found a way to fit Sharpy Washes in between every single rib as well.

 

Apr21 web015

The annual problem is back. Where to put all the freaking CO2 bottles for flames and smoke? This happens on this day, every year. I'm confident that we will find a solution for this, just as all other years. May the force be with us!

 

Apr21 web015

Heavy fog machines are going into the stage. We have a total of 4 machines and 8 outlets in our stage.

 

Apr21 web015

The scrutineer desk (AKA the "Jon Ola Sand Castle") is completed too.

 

Apr21 web015

Greenroom is completed, but since the amazing sofas from Chateau d'Ax are not here yet, EPC built a 1:1 model in paper, so Jerry and his team can focus this area.

 

 

One of my favorites from 2002 and the first show ever using Catalyst media servers!

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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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