Copenhagen 2014 - the event details revealed
An information flood hit the Eurovision world today, when the host city, venue, and slogan were revealed by Danish national broadcaster, DR.
Further details were revealed at a press conference at DR headquarters, hosted by news personality. Tine Gøtzsche. She was joined by: Maria Rørbye Rønn, Secretary General of DR; Pernille Gaardbo, Executive Producer of Eurovision 2014; Jan Lagermand Lundme, Head of Show; and Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen.
Is the B&W Hall really the right place?
Rønn was ahead of the curve when she opened the presentation. Acknowledging the fact that the chosen venue may not look like the obvious choice, she argued that the raw venue is exactly the challenge needed to spark a creative renewal of the contest.
Gaardbo further explained the venue choice. “We have chosen the B&W shipbuilding halls because we wish to create an environment never before seen. Refshaleøen, in the middle of Copenhagen harbor, is surrounded by water, much like Denmark is.”
The very large building, 60 meters tall and visible from most of Copenhagen Harbor, will be lit up to draw attention. In front, a large Eurovision Park will be established, full of Eurovision activities for everyone to attend. Finally, as all facilities will be located on Refshaleøen, it will be known as Eurovision Island for the Eurovision weeks. The Copenhagen harbor buses will sail to and from the island, bringing people in from the water side, something DR is very excited about.
The actual capacity of the venue is yet to be determined, probably because the needed renovations are yet to take place. When a journalist estimated 3,000-4,000, Lundme said the number would definitely be higher than that.
A sneak peak of what to expect from the shows
Lundme, arguably the most excited person in the room, gave an unexpected look into how one of the shows might open in May. “Imagine, we’re in the air, flying over the venue. Lights, lasers, and fireworks illuminate the building with the Copenhagen skyline in the background. Then, cut to our host or hosts, standing on top of the hall, 60 meters in the air. They call out over Copenhagen, ‘Welcome Europe!’ Cut to the arena full of eager fans, ready to party with Denmark.”
To calm the lovers of everything glitter, glamour and big dresses that Eurovision is known for, Lundme guaranteed it would still all be present. “But we want to be closer to the viewers and to the audience. I’ve wondered, when people cry from excitement backstage, sharing all kinds of emotions, why don’t we get to see that in the show itself. Now, it will be a part of the story.”
Lundme shared a vision very similar to what Sweden wanted to do this year. “We want the viewers to get to know the artists. Not just where they are from but what they are feeling, to emotionally connect.” This will be present in the postcards, or portraits, as Lundme wanted to call them, using the many stories behind the glamour and glitter.
The ideas behind the slogan “Join Us”
The slogan will be a part of the show itself, the online presence, and the event activities in general around the city. The goal is to welcome everyone to gather and join, in spite of differences, across borders. “With the slogan, ‘Join Us,’ we want to welcome all,” Lundme said. “In short, create a huge party in Copenhagen for everyone.”
The visual identity is still being worked on and will be revealed when ready. Lundme feels it is important to give it the time it needs and not to rush it.
What about the hosts?
One of the big elements of the show is the hosts. But a decision is yet to be made, both for who it will be and how many there will be. According to Lundme, it will be revealed sometime this year.
Copenhagen is ready
Jensen was excited that DR dared choose the B&W shipbuilding halls as the 2014 venue. He expressed confidence in Copenhagen’s ability to lift the large task, having hosted other large international events, like the COP15 UN climate change conference in 2009. “The city is ready with all of our partners,” he said. Copenhagen has an ambition to make it a citywide festival for everyone, welcoming all visitors under the slogan “Join Us.”
The mayor was quick to mention that Copenhagen was named the most livable city in the world this year by Monocle Magazine and has also been named the European Green Capital of 2014 by the EU Commission, something that will definitely tie in with Eurovision.
The Eurovision Fan Mile
To really get the Eurovision buzz going in the city, the plan is to establish a so-called “Eurovision Fan Mile,” stretching one mile from the Copenhagen Central Station, up across the City Hall Square, along the famous shopping street Strøget, finally terminating at Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square). From here, a stroll down Nyhavn will take you to the harbor buses that sail directly to Eurovision Island.
Gaardbo expressed how she and her team couldn’t get over just how big this will be. “Every morning we show up at work and go wow – this is big!” She continued talking about how special it is to get to host the Eurovision Song Contest. “It is not only the largest music competition in the world but also the largest intercultural event. Denmark has participated 56 times but only won three times. This is something special.”
Gaardbo also discussed that. even though Denmark hosted in 2001, it is a show that has greatly evolved. Back then, 23 countries participated for a one-night event. Today, up to 43 countries will join, with an estimated 1,000 delegates, 2,000 press staff, a large number of fans, and 170 million viewers.
All eyes will be on Denmark and DR. “It must be something special, that is our ambition.”