Copenhagen crosses fingers and sticks to harbor busses
From the start, sailing to Eurovision Island has been an integral part of the vision for Eurovision 2014. And the organizers are sticking to it.
This was confirmed today, when the head of events for the Host City Copenhagen company, Ulrik Ammundsen, commented on the subject to dr.dk.
Extra busses to provide shuttle service
Should the wonderful Danish weather cooperate for once, the visitors can look forward to a scenic arrival at the Eurovision venue.
The harbor busses, known as route 991, 992, and 993, sail the inner harbor of Copenhagen with two departures an hour, stopping at nine locations, Refshaleøen being the most northern. For the live shows and dress rehearsals, extra busses will be used to provide a shuttle service, but Movia, the company responsible, does not give any more specifics.
The busses usually have two stops in between Nyhavn, the stop right at the end of Eurovision Fan Mile, and Refshaleøen where the venue is. But in the video by Wonderful Copenhagen, the travel between these two stops appears to be direct. Hopefully, the Eurovision shuttles will travel directly between these locations.
Not enough for exclusive use
With a capacity of 64 passengers, it would take forever for the audience of about 10.000 to cross at the same time, but the busline 9A might be extended to the island from its usual terminus at the Opera House, while Movia is also trying to create some kind of guest delay.
“We are cooperating with Host City Copenhagen to avoid all guests leaving at the same time. It’s about creating some activities for them,” said Thorsten Rasmussen, head of Movia Copenhagen, to dr.dk.
Many might also choose their car, but the planned parking lot at Kløvermarken is a good 20 minute walk away from the venue. Of course, foreign visitors will most likely not have cars and are left with only public transportation at their disposal.
The A-lines of the Copenhagen bus network, which 9A is a part of, see their busses completely filled to the brim in rush hour, in spite of departures as frequently as 9 times an hour, already being under heavy pressure.
The transportation situation is a consequence of the rather bold venue choice by host broadcaster DR, and with the head of Movia trying to create distractions to keep people from leaving simultaneously, they are very much aware of this bottleneck effect. Much like the halls, the location was never intended for an event of this size. It remains to be seen just how they will distract thousands of people who just want to go home.
Use your legs
The yearly heavy metal event CopenHell is the largest event to have taken place at Refshaleøen and the organizers ask visitors to bike to the venue if possible, to “relieve the massive pressure on the busses,” in spite of special shuttle busses being used for the event.
The option of biking or walking to the venue from Nyhavn is possible, and certainly fits Copehagen being the European Green Capital of 2014, but would have been a lot more attractive had the city of Copenhagen managed to finish the many inner harbor bridges currently under construction on-time, to shorten the distance. They unfortunately will not be finished in time for Eurovision, due to many delays and a recent contractor bankruptcy.
Cook up some good distractions!