Center "island" stage planned for Eurovision 2014
Yesterday, we reported that DR, the national broadcaster of Denmark and host broadcaster of Eurovision Song Contest 2014, revealed that experienced stage designer, Claus Zier, will be the man in charge of the Eurovision stage design.
Today, Jan Lagermand Lundme, the 2014 Head of Show, gave a peek into what is being considered for the stage at this point in time of the planning. In line with the unusual and surprising choice of venue, DR is also thinking different when it comes to the stage.
Possibly a center stage
Since the announcement of Copenhagen as host city in September, the idea of Eurovision Island has been a central part of the vision for next year’s contest. The idea of sailing to the old industrial island has served as inspiration for the DR Eurovision planning team.
This is now also being used when thinking about the concept for the stage and the Head of Show is trying to create a connection between Eurovision Island and the stage design. “Right now, we’re working on placing the stage right in the middle of the B&W Hall where the party will be thrown, because in that way the stage will also be an island and a focal point. This is where the contestants will shine and this is where we gather,” said Lundme to dr.dk. The vision is that the stage should be inclusive and full of energy.
A Eurovision first
If in fact the stage will be positioned directly in the middle of the venue, it will be a Eurovision first. Never before has a stage been truly 360, with audience members all around. In Malmö last year, we saw audience placed behind the stage, but barely visible. Perhaps the closest Eurovision has ever been to a center stage was in Düsseldorf in 2011. Here a center stage look was used, with audience circling much of it, but a more traditional end-stage backdrop was still relied on.
A center stage will present DR with big challenges. Eurovision usually requires a lot of prop movement, transporting the many crazy and over-the-top additions to and from the stage, fast in between the postcards. Here an end-stage is useful, as the distance between storage and stage can be smaller. Another challenge is creating good-looking performances through camera work, as the backdrop elements are taken away. This can result in darker and more empty-looking visuals, usually seen when artists enter the runways that most Eurovision stages employ.
How could it look? Below is a video from Danish Music Awards 2011, which was presented with a center stage. Incidentally, this stage was also designed by the Eurovision 2014 stage designer, Claus Zier. (Also pictured at the top.)
No pink venue
Plans for the venue hall and Eurovision Island are also ongoing. One decision that the Head of Show is facing is whether or not to paint the enormous hall. “My first thought was; let’s paint it pink! That’s a true Eurovision color. But I regretted that idea right away. And then I got anxious, because pink might not be to everyone’s tastes.”
Accoustics are also a concern, but a final decision on whether or not to cover the walls has not been made.
The official tourism organization of Copenhagen, Wonderful Copenhagen, is also continuing to work hard on their plans. The organization is responsible for host city aspect of the contest. “Eurovision Island must be full of restaurants, bars and a stage for entertainment. The environment will take advantage of the already existing surroundings, but will also have more edge,” said Ulrik Ammundsen to dr.dk. He also reveals that the volunteers will play a central part, as they will be very visible and welcoming.
- Stage designer selected
- Venue seating plan reveals stage placement is not true 360 center
- Stage construction starts
Source: DR.dk Photo courtesy: Gaffa, Ralph Larmann, clauszier.dk