Behind the Scenes – the Dressing Rooms, the Hair Spray, the Stars

DR offers a behind the scenes tour that takes an hour. Go on it. It’s an amazing look at everything backstage. And the 5:00 one I was on today was the first where we could take pictures of the venue. We had a giant tour party of 2 people so it was really nice – we got to see everything.

So first they take you through the press area. You see the lounge (where you will sometimes see interviews of the stars), the cafeteria (reporters eating – boring & a little nauseating), and the work area (lots of reporters banging away on keyboards).

Then onto the delegates/acts area. First the cafeteria for the acts and the first thing I saw was Jedward. They’re in there talking to people at a number of the tables. Lots of people eating – cool mainly for the possible sightings of the stars.

Next is the lounge where the acts can hang out without the press or anyone else bothering them. The Australian TV team was in there but it’s very rare press is allowed in that location. The other guy on the tour is from Australia and he waved an Australian flag he had and the reporter came over. He was in heaven – it was the ultimate meet for him. And nice for me to say hi to her again – I met her last year.

In the lounge there’s doors all around it – a dressing room for each country. A couple of the acts were in there (the lounge – we didn’t go in the dressing rooms).

Next was the hair salon. We could only peer around the edge but it looked like there were 2 rows of 10 or more stations – just for hair. The tour guide said they go through gallons of hair spray per hour. Although probably less this year than last.

Next is a room just for the heads of each delegation. This gives them a private place to trade votes discuss any issues that arise and get away from everyone else (except nosy tour groups).

After that we saw the prop room. No spoilers about what we saw but there were some interesting items in there.

Then right behind the stage where all the stage settings are. Each act’s equipment is on a pallet with rollers so they can move everything up quick, then pull the previous act’s stuff off and place the new act’s stuff up – in 40 seconds. Looking at the layout and the amount of stuff on some pallets I don’t see how they can do all that in 3 minutes, yet they do it in 40 seconds.

Next was outside in back where they have the video and audio control rooms, recording, etc. Plus the backup units. Plus offices for everyone who works there (and has pretty much lived there the last couple of weeks).

They have 3 recordings of each show between the dress rehearsals and jury show. If something goes wrong like a power outage or nuclear bomb, they then switch to the best pre-recorded version – because it’s broadcasting live in 37+ countries and a dead signal would be a bigger problem than an atomic bomb. So the show will go on.

The Venue

I can’t describe the auditorium & the stage. It is beyond incredible. But the impact is so much more than the sum of the parts. Being inside a building where the ceiling is 5 or 6 stories high has impact. Incredible impact. The stage itself which, with the prow pointing out and water along the edges, does give an abstract impression of the bow of a boat.

Note to people who have floor tickets. One of the cameramen working there said the best spot is not at the point of the prow, but instead in along one of the sides of it so you are up close to the main part of the stage.

Behind the standing area (which is about twice the size of Malmo’s), on the floor, is the green room. The acts will be sitting there on the floor watching the show, with each also having a TV screen so they can see the broadcast. That’s a mixed blessing for the – they get to be part of the entire experience. But when they see someone else nail it, that’s going to have an impact. I think it’s really cool that they’ll be right there.

In the entry before the floor when you come in there’s a bar and a shop selling ESC stuff. That’s the last thing I want but if you want a drink before the show – they have it available.

I haven’t seen any performance yet and that’s the true measure. But I am betting that this will present better than Malmo. It’s definitely worthy of Eurovision.