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).
Here are some interesting facts and figures concerning the rebuilding of the stadium:
- 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.
- 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.
- 2200 floodlights were assembled on the roof of the hall to show the Song Contest in the right light.
- 26 cameras were installed for shooting the event.
- 150 workers worked at full stretch for three weeks to transform the stadium into a concert hall.
- 40 trucks with a weight of 38 tons per truck were necessary to deliver the material for the stage.
- 90 microphones were used during the show and
- 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.