April 15

Hejsan Hejsan! Here we go again! Today's report from the hidden country where dreams come true.

 

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In the complete lack of BBQ, we decided to bring a different type of ribs today........

 

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These beasts are the last layer of the set, and form the physical backwall of our set. We have 28 pairs of ribs, the shortest 4,5 meters tall, the longest one, like the one on this image, 13,5 meters tall.

 

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And look how happy I was!

 

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And look how ecstatic Per-Arne was! I'm pretty sure that Ana Maria and the rest of EPC thinks that we are their weirdest client so far...........

 

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Here is another one of the long ribs coming into the venue.

 

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Once paired up, they are connected with an axel.

 

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Then they are lifted into their postiion in the ground support structure.

 

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Looking like this once that part of the job is done.

 

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This was all overseen by Aleksander Parfenyuk from Opertec that really believes that staging should be ready enough for them to start installing camera rails. Hold your horses cowboy! Your time will come!

 

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 While Erik was very happy to  get into the final phase of the build up of staging.

 

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Look how pretty! Spheres are almost in position as well. Things are coming together quite nicely! Or as Johannes, our production head rigger said: "Things are starting to fall into place." I claim that this might not be a great line coming from a head rigger..........

 

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This is how it looked like this morning.

 

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The EPC night shift has been working hard, and all the ground based ribs are in position. Next task is to build the ballast towers so we can install the 28 Cyberhoists that will add motion to this install.

 

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If you see an empty space anywhere in the venue, you can be sure that thre is a floor light showing up there within soon............ Here are some of the 169 Sharpy Wash that we have in our show.

 

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But what on earth is this???? Maybe it's something that will fill the hole in the stage, that we talked about yesterday! Maybe it's really cool lifts that will do something really cool! Maybe there is only four of these lifts in the entire world!
So many maybes.................

 

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I like entering my office from the north side, becuase there you always get a warm smiling welcome from Inês Oliveira Pires who works in Operations with Ana. Here together with one of our runners, Victor Figueiredo. Thanks for all the smiles Inês! And of course thank you for all the food tickets :-)

 

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Tarmo hanging out with José Luís Lourenço, the Production Manager from Altice Arena.

 

 

I decided to continue this thing with favorite Eurovision Songs of mine. Because I can!

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April 14

 Hejsan Hejsan! Joan is feeling a bit crappy today, so it's all me doing this today. Wish me luck! Not sure how this Joomla thing works!

 

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Some of you might remember the crisis we had last year when some people said that our stage looked like a Russian Head Dress? Well........... I guess those people will just LOVE the shape of our press conferance tent..........

 

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Today was the day to try the bitterballen case! Marc van der Wel is the key account manager from Ampco Flashlight/Pixel Light, and whom better to demonstrate how this will work!

 

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But he had to explain what a bitterballen is to Melanie first. She is from Canada, and they don't have such amazing thing as bitterballen there. Plus that they suck at Ice Hockey! But that is a completely different story! If you also wonder what the hell this is- click HERE

 

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If you ever wondered about how a wall of 351 MagicPanel FX looks like, you can stop wondering now! It looks like this! But it's not completed yet! We're about to add 64 Ayrton Mistral to this wall, but they are not here yet.

 

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We've also completed the install of the 96 Ayrton Minipanel FX that goes into the stage. This is a very fun brand new product!

 

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The stage floor is as completed as it can be at the moment. Something VERY secret is going into this hole, and that will be installed tomorrow.

 

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This is the gap where we will install the circular camera rail.

 

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And the other paseral is almost completed. I have to say that the EPC deliver is flawless! It's on time, and you can tell that they put all their love into the details and the finish of this set- BRAVO!

 

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Clay Paky Scenius Unico is in da house! We got 197 active units in our rig. For some reason I can't access the CP webpage over the weekend, but you can Google it yourself you lazy sods! :-)

 

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The goal posts for the GLP JDC-1 that outlines the floor is in place. Not sure if venue has forgotten that they are supposed to cover the walls with black drapes, or if they plan to do this later. I'll ask tomorrow!

 

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The rig over mainstage is completed, and quite impressive. The thingy that hangs in the middle is one of the Panasonic PT-RZ31 Laser projectors that we are installing for those delegations that will use projection in their perfomance.

 

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Say HELLO to Ana Teresa Mota and Bruno Ferreira from EPC. Thanks for bringing such an awesome team and such an awesome product to the table guys!

 

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Meanwhile, we have 50 ADB Klemantis that are waiting patiently to get installed. We will use these to light the scrim that can be brought in to cover the wall of death!

 

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Something else that is patiently waiting is the Flashlight smoker. Can we PLEASE get some sunshine now?

Beware, there is no proof reading done today, so you just have to live with my notbyjoancorrected English!

 

Finally, I've decided to start publishing songs that i liked from the past, that did NOT win Eurovision! Why? Because I can!

See you tomorrow! Or as Christer Bj Örkman says- Tomorrow is another day!

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April 13

Ok Portugal.......... we need to have a talk about Sangria.......... I'm not sure that is such a great idea.......... But I decided to spend the rest of my life in denial when it comes to Sangria........

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Early birds get the funniest meetings......... Big discussion this morning. We urgently need to find a new position for the upstage dimmer city. We gathered the whole team, discussed our options, made a decision, and now we move on.

 

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How long does it take to hang 351 Magic Panels? Quite long actually!

 

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The front facia of the stage is completed and the lower catwalk is coming in. We'll put a custom made circular camera rail in between the two levels of silver front you see in the image, and all the holes will be filled with the brand new Minipanel FX from Ayrton. 96 of them in total.

 

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The leveling of the three arches is in progress. It's tricky as hell to get this right, but we'll get there.

 

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Look at me! I'm in greenroom! Still some carpet and furniture to go, but the platform is ready.

 

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Audience screens on the way up. We're using front projetion screens and 20K projectors for this. We prefer this over LED since you save weight, and the resolution is much better with projection.

 

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And here is one ot the most secret lights in the world! The inner circle in the round truss is a GLP KN-V Arc strobe. We got 8 of them in total. Put your sunglasses on before we fire up these bad boys!

 

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Opertec is here somewhere! I tried to find their crew today, but I only found their winches for the 2-D system they are installing. Our dear friends from Ukraine also supply our cranes, rail cams and all operators and photographers for our special cameras.

 

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The view from lighting FOH. It's all coming together very well and we are on schedule.

 

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The most romantic area in the house is ready. Jerry's FOH is waiting for a pile of operators, and of course Jerry himself.

 

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My FOH is less impressive? Not sure why........... I need love!

 

Meet Isabel Roma and Rute Filomeno. These poor girls are the assistants of our Master Pony's Christer BJ Rökman and Mattias Carlsson.
I feel for you sisters!

 

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So, besides managing productions for this and that around the world, I've decided to enter the profitable world of catering!

 

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For this, you need machinery! Let me introduce the portable Bitterballen kitchen! It is equipped with an air fryer and a freezer. The built in UPS keeps the freezer at -28° Celcius for 32 hours without power. For those of you using Fahrenheit, I'm sure you have a converter on your smartphone!

 

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There can be absolutely nothing positive coming out of an evening that starts up like this.

 

Once inflated, you pimp everyone with Unicorn tiaras and off you go! This is the first step in turning an innocent little restaurant in the old town into a fully functional Euroclub!

And if you click on the link, you will see an amazing interpetation of the most famous Christer Björkman song ever, performed by our creative supervisor Nuno Galopim, our script writers Pedro Ribeiro and Lucy Pepper.
I can't help thinking of the Swedish chef in the Muppet Show when I see this performance!

 

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April 12

Hejsan hejsan! Busy days inside the arena! And good thing we are inside. It's still raining..........

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The LED strips in the spheres were finalized and tested today. Now we just need to lift them up, put them in an angle, and get all the pieces to work together and actually look like three big spheres- piece of cake...........

 

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Remember this guy? Joeri Swagemaker is in da house! Besides being one of the best Cyberhoist operators in the world, he is also a famous dancer! Click below to see his performance from Eurovision 2007. He's the guy closest to the camera!

 

 

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This was the reaction from other members of the Flashlight crew once they heard about his dancing skills......... Frtiz! Can you please stop hanging lights and go and build the smoker now?

 

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Ruud Werkhoven has no comments..........

 

If you click on this image, there will be a poptastic video showing the build up in the venue.

 

And if you click on this image, you will see another video, showing the crowded roof!

 

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We have 220 tons of load in the ceiling of this venue. It took some time to get this signed off by the engineers...........We are using 177 load cells to monitor the load of the mother grid. We have a total of XXX rigging points, and it takes 45 riggers to bring this in and out.

 

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This is how 3 910 meters of truss looks like on a drawing.

 

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Clay Paky Hepikos is in da house! 86 active units to be precise.

 

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Say HELLO to Benedikt Leister, our project manager from Riedel! Even though he is managing 175 intercom panels, 500 radios and 20km of fiber cable and a quite large team, he looks pretty relaxed!

 

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Say hello to Jose Carlos Silva! Or JC as we call him within the Hip Hop community! JC is responsible for ALL connectivity between the Altice arena and the rest of the world. Feel no pressure bro! And Yo Yo to you too!

 

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Say hello to Maria Mota! Maria is our travel coordinator, and she takes care of all our travels and hotels for our production crew and our suppliers!

 

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How many riggers does it take to look cute? Well......... clearly more than two.......... say hello to our venue Head Rigger, Kim Silva, together with our Production Head Rigger Mr. Schau!

 

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First piece of stage is in da house! I expect this structure to be much bigger tomorrow!

 

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And all of a sudden, the first part of the upstage sphere was in position! Now we just need to match the other pieces to this one.

 

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We started with the wall of death today! The first Ayrton MagicPanel FX is in position. Now we only have 350 more to hang!

 

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Carla Bugalho has now an official country in the contest named Bugalhia. Here she is with her delegation, all in brand new t-shirts with their flag printed on the front.
There have been more nations formed in our office, we will get back to you regarding this.

 

Besides being our layout manager, or CAD muppet if you like, Tobias Brodd is also a famous musical artist. Click on the picture to see him perform a famous piece together with Melanie!

I'm out of quotes in Portuguese at the moment.........

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April 11

Hejsan Hejsan music lovers!
Here is today's update from the dream factory!

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The scenograpic spheres are being built today. They are quite modest pieces....... We got three in total, the smallest being 60 meters long, and the largest 120 meters long. They will be loaded with moving lights and strobes before they are ready to go into their final positions.

 

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Besides being loaded with moving lights and strobes, we are also using 2150 of the total of 3 880 meters of LED strip lights we have in our set for these spheres. Modest.........

 

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 The LED strip lights will be covered with milky plexi, and voila, we have ourselves 2 150 meters of light box!

 

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The build up of the commentator boxes is well on the way. We are building a total of 41 boxes.

 

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All the lights for greenroom are up as well. We did this quite early so EPC could build this while waiting for getting access to the stage area.

 

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So, it was very nice of EPC to show up seconds after the greenroom trusses went up. The greenroom will host a maximum of 26 delegations at one time.

 

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3 x GLP JDC-1 strobes. We got 259 more........Absolutely LOVE this fixture!

 

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We have 250 trucks of gear in this production, but one of them was more important than ALL the others together. The one that held the Jim Bowie smoker from Green Mountain Grill. Me and Ampco Flashlight's onsite Manager Ruud Werkhoven during the Hand Over Ceremony! Now we just need some sunshine!

 

Apr11 web013

The underworld of the delegation bubble is being filled to the rim. Besides the supplier workshops that are in here, it also functions as a holding area for gear that we will need in the venue within soon, including the 351 Ayrton MagicPanel FX that we will start to hang tomorrow. They will form a quite spectacular "wall of death" as the last layer in our set.

 

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EPC moving into their workshop. The supplier that is most creative with this area will win something amazing!

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIK BLOMDAHL! Old readers might remember that we sent him to Chernobel last year, when he turned 30 years old in Kiev. He was glowing in the dark for 8 months after that trip, so we decided to settle for cake this year.

 

Apr11 web013

Several people claim that everything that I write in Portuguese is actually Brazillian Portuguese. Apparently there is a difference. Google translate completely failed to translate Parabens, but I think it means Schnabel Käse or something!

Quando os elefantes lutam, é a grama que se machuca!

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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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