So what does it take to run the world’s biggest song contest? Apparently, 109 tonnes of sound & lighting, over 1700 lights, 158 audio receivers and 220 people backstage to start.
By
Chris Zeiher, Chris Abbott

15 May 2016 - 12:34 PM  UPDATED 15 May 2016 - 12:38 PM

Watch the video above for an exclusive glimpse inside the master control room behind the scenes at Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm with Robin Hofwander, multi-camera director of Eurovision.

Ola Melzig meanwhile, Eurovision 2016’s Technical Director, casually jokes “yes, the Globen is sinking.  It’s sunk by 35 millimetres since the beginning of April.” 

He's referring to the Globen Arena - where this year's event is held.

This is met with deafening silence from the press pack. 

Melzig smiles.  “Well, this is the heaviest production to ever hit the Globen Arena”. 

Originally opened as a premier venue for Ice Hockey matches back in 1989 this year’s Eurovision Song Contest staging is the most technically demanding production to ever hit Stockholm’s premier events venue. 

The rig itself is staggering and due to the weight of the show the volume of individuals allowed on the highest of the domes catwalks is limited to approximately 10.  

Melzig, veteran of 12 Eurovision staging’s, admits that this year’s event is a technical challenge.   “We have 10 generators working out back all networked together”.

“Think about it,” he starts “we have over 900 square metres of LED lights on the main stage alone.  We don’t want anything to go out.”

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Surprisingly the most technically demanding of all the entries this year is not Russia.  “It’s Armenia” Melzig says matter-of-factly. 

“We use over 182 shots for the Armenian entry” he muses almost amazed at what can be achieved for a live show. 

And, what of all those stairs backstage?  Why can’t anyone take a lift? 

Flashback to the staging of the contest in Helsinki in 2007 where one poor act found themselves caught in a malfunctioning lift consequently missing a key cue on stage and delaying the event.  Hence forth all backstage connections between stage and preparation rooms must be done via stairs.

Melzig has 3 favourites.  “Australia, Russia and Armenia”

“Someone really needs to start thinking about the possibility of Australia winning” Melzig quips.  “Where to stage it?  I don’t care – I’ll be free” he laughs.

And there’s always an Aussie lurking in the wings Perth boy Jason is the events Project Manager for Video and on hearing a gaggle of Aussie accents made himself known to the team.   

Some of the technical facts:

 

-        Total amount of cable – 143 kilometres

-        1828 Lighting Fixtures

-        220 Crew

-        64 Microphones

-        12 HDQ 40 video projectors (the world’s largest projectors)

-        152 IEM (in ear monitors)

-        40 Cameras

-        Stage Weight – 65 tons

-        134 Speakers

-        220 sqm of performance area

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