May 05

 In Eurovision Diary 2018

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……..

Not sure what Tim is praying for……

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!

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.

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.


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.

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

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.

  • 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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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