Feel your heart beat.

Because of current events I chose to move the second part of my self-experiment (One day without communication-systems) to next week’s blog post.

Today I want to report about a huge event that took place last Saturday in Düsseldorf, Germany – The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with its huge expenditure of technology and a great marketing campaign for Germany as a beautiful country and a humorous host.

The motto of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 (“Feel your heart beat”) was inspired by a gesture of Lena, the German winner of last year’s contest. To greet all her fans, friends and her family in Germany, she formed a heart with her fingers during last year’s contest in Oslo.

The event took place in the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf which is originally a stadium for the German football-club Fortuna Düsseldorf. The arena was occupied for six weeks for fittings, rearrangement, trial runs, the semi-finals, the event itself and finally the striking of all and putting the stadium back to the status quo ante.

The football-club Fortuna Düsseldorf hold three of its home matches in a mobile stadium with 20 168 seats which was erected only for cause of the Eurovision Song Contest.

But who paid for this event? The major part of about 12 million Euros was paid by the radio license fees of the German television transmitter ARD. In addition, the city of Düsseldorf provided 10 million Euros for the move of Fortuna Düsseldorf, costs of municipal daughters like Düsseldorf Marketing and Tourism Gmbh, extraordinary costs for the arena itself as well as for safety measures and press work. The costs could be refinanced through sponsoring, the participation fees of the countries and the ticket prices.

The first contingent of 32 000 tickets for the final of the Song Contest last Saturday was already sold out on the first day of advance (12.12.2010).

I was totally impressed by the inner room of the arena after the rebuilding measures. The technical expenditure was enormous.  The stage was designed by Florian Wieder.

Here are some interesting facts and figures concerning the rebuilding of the stadium:

  1. The stage measured 13 m in diameters. Designers looked after that the stage wound not be inordinately large so that the artists do not seem decidedly small and that the audience would be involved into the show.
  2. The LED-wall in the background which had measurements of 60 x 18 meters (about 1 100 square meters) consisted of 520 individual lightning units and was opened in cause of the allocation of the points in the final.
  3. 2200 floodlights were assembled on the roof of the hall to show the Song Contest in the right light.
  4. 26 cameras were installed for shooting the event.
  5. 150 workers worked at full stretch for three weeks to transform the stadium into a concert hall.
  6. 40 trucks with a weight of 38 tons per truck were necessary to deliver the material for the stage.
  7. 90 microphones were used during the show and
  8. 35 000 meters electric cables were laid.

A special challenge fort the sound technicians was the long reverberation period. To reduce the echo, lengths of material were hung up in the whole arena.

Because the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf is one of the largest stadiums in Europe the logistic challenge may not be underestimated. There was only 40 seconds time between two acts to reconstruct the stage. These 40 seconds were filled by a so-called postcard filmed with a fascinating technique where everything looks like in a toy train set. The filming was carried out by the television production firm “Brainpool” were Stefan Raab holds shares. Stefan Raab is a is a famous German Entertainer who found last year’s German  Eurovision Song Contest winner Lena in a casting show. Moreover he was a moderator of the Song Contest 2011 besides Anke Engelke and Judith Rackers. Maybe you know that technique from the telecom-commercial.

Aim of the postcards was to show a representative or representatives of the particular county who lives somewhere in Germany. At the end of the clip the slogan of the Song Contest “Feel your heart beat” is involved in the particular language of the country. Have a look:

An event like this can only be realized when many parts work together like gearwheels in a gear transmission.  So many different areas are involved in the realization of a show like this: production, camera, stage, light, associate production, Makeup… just to mention a few. All these different parts can only work together and the planning can only be realized through information technology and communication systems.

The official winners of the contest are Ell & Nikki from Azerbaijan with their song “Running Scared”.

The unofficial winner is surly Germany by being a great host with a phenomenal show with all technical superfluous paraphernalia and at the same time not making an impression of being arrogant. The opinion abroad about the show is without exception positive and the Eurovision Song Contest was so far the most seen show on German television this year with about 13,38 million viewers.

Germany – 12 points!


About NerdyLaura

Born and raised in Berlin, Germany. 20-year-old girl. Studying "International Business Management" at Berlin School of Economics and Law although my Time-Management is really bad ;). Hates: Rainy days and people who are driving 30 km/h when 50 km/h are allowed. Loves: Kitschy staff, jewellery, gardening (green fingers) and movies (good and bad ones). View all posts by NerdyLaura

6 responses to “Feel your heart beat.

  • Marina Zaitseva

    wow!! 90 microphones were used during the show!!
    wow!! Indeed??

    hey, Laura!
    A really good article you wrote on weekends. Fresh with new (and unbelievable!) details! great job! I also like you mention how “Feel your heart beat” appears, I didnt know that it was a gesture by Lena! Cool)
    And this is an article where you combine almost everything: business, IT and a show itself. I didnt actually feel that the article is for our studies for it is so natural and very professional.

    Have to read your previous articles)))))))
    I like your style: independent and objective.

    Have a good day, see you in class tomorrow =)

  • domwoj

    Hi NerdyLaura.
    Very informative article about the Eurovision Song Contest. I guess that everyone knows it, a lot of people have watched it and the audience were on the edge of their seats, but nobody really knows what effort is hiding behind all that show and entertainment. I am really impressed by the amount of technology they used to get the show going, you posted lots of details and gave a good outline of the extent. Moreover I think you took the right choice concerning the videos: Not too long, but effective, above all I liked the postcard film technique.
    Nice one!

  • itjessica

    Hi Laura!
    I can only agree with the other two comments: Great Article! It is really impressive how such a big event comes to life and how many details are behind it. You must have spent hours on research to find all those facts and you really put them together very effectively and it was fun and informative reading your post! Also I think it is a great idea to write about such an up-to-date topic!
    Good job! =)

  • Sophie

    Hi Laura! :)

    I really liked your post, because it shows that you have really thought about the problems of such a huge project like the Eurovision Song Contest, instead of just looking at the nice output without thinking about the input.. :D

    However, I was wondering why the Contest was NOT hold in Berlin, especially because it is the captital of Germany AND on top of that an important player in the music industry.


    I learnt that space was the problem. There was more space in Düsseldorf than in Berlin, ergo, more ticket sales, therefore, more money for the organisers.

    However, I am thinking about the fact that they needed to rebuild a football stadion in order to have an arena big enough to host so much people. They could have done the same in Berlin, couldn’t they?

    What do you think, nerdy Laura?? XD


  • itsonja

    Hey Laura,
    I also liked your blog post a lot and all the detailed information you included. It is especially nice to read a postiive post about the event after all the negative press release especially about the host city of that event. I was wondering what you think of the negative image Düsseldorf received from the press. Since I am from this city, I was quite mad about the fact that the media simply avoided showing the slightest bit of the city but showed every other part of Germany instead. I feel that the media intended to draw a bad light to the city, I wonder if that’s just me being too sensitive or if you, having watched the show, have a similar impression? Let me know what you think :)

  • Düsseldorf- Pride & Prejudice « ITineraryforvision

    […] like to shift from customer relations to public relations this time, inspired by the blog post of NerdyLaura reporting about the recent event of the ESC hosted in Düsseldorf, my […]

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