Eurovision 2014 transportation relies on public options
Initially, the surprising choice of Refshaleøen and B&W Hallerne as the 2014 Eurovision venue had people asking “how are they going to turn those halls into a state of the art venue?”
But perhaps an even bigger challenge is the pure logistics of moving over 10.000 people to the same location at the same time, and then letting them go again.
Back in January, event company Host City Copenhagen and the Copenhagen public transportation company Movia first commmented on their plans of using buses and harbor buses to get people to and from Eurovision Island.
The final plans have now been revealed and no new initiatives have been brought to the table. The Eurovision Song Contest 2014 will be accessed by buses and harbor buses primarily.
No cars, thanks
If there’s one thing to take away from the transportation guides from the different official entities, such as Movia, Copenhagen Municipality, and DR, aside from “arrive early,” it’s “leave your car at home.” A single, small road is all that leads to B&W Hallerne by land, so it’s no surprise that cars are not welcome. Security check points will be established to ensure no cars enter the immediate area.
A parking lot will be established east of Kløvermarken, with shuttle buses bringing people up to Eurovision Island. The parking lot is only accessible with pre-purchased tickets and can contain cars for an estimated 1750 audience members.
Go by water
One of the original visions for the contest, the arrival by harbor bus, is definitely the most scenic.
Aside from the regular yellow buses in daily operation, extra boats from the sightseeing companies will be utilized, which have a larger capacity. They will shuttle back and forth between Nyhavn, which sits at the end of the Fan Mile, and Eurovision Island.
Host City Copenhagen hopes that 60 percent will use this method, with an estimated capacity of 2260 people an hour.
In case of bad weather, extra buses will be used instead.
Extra buses deployed
As it was considered earlier, the bus route 9A has been extended to reach Eurovision Island, instead of terminating at the Opera House. The bus runs from the Central Station, through the city, and passes Christianshavn metro station for those coming by metro.
Extra buses, 18 total, will be used to cope with the pressure of the large crowds. The extra buses will carry Eurovision logos and it is estimated that they will be able to handle 5000 people per show.
Walk or grab a bike
To be truly green, it’s possible to walk or bike to the venue. Copenhagen is the city of bikes, with more than a third of the residents biking to work or school.
New bike trails have been established to allow easy access to the island and will bypass the inevitable lines for the buses and harbor buses once the shows are over.
If you don’t have a bike, there is plenty of bike rentals all over the city, like the official white Copenhagen city bike, Bycyklen. You can also jump on one of the many rickshaws that will be able to drive to the island.
If you take the metro to Christianshavn, it’s estimated the walk to Eurovision Island will only take about 10-15 minutes, though being 3 kilometers away that seems rather optimistic.
Host City Copenhagen estimates 1000 people will walk or bike.
A comfortable buffer – helped by distractions
The options made available should create a capacity of 15.800 people per show, which creates a comfortable buffer since each show will be attended by 10-11.000.
Another tactic is creating distractions on Eurovision Island, to entertain those who arrive early and to retain people after the shows are over. There will be musical entertainment, restaurants and other food vendors and beer stands.
While the stage has been completed inside B&W Hallerne, the true test of DR’s choice of venue will not come until the first full-audience show starts on Monday, May 5, when the jury show of the first Semi-Final starts at 21:00 CET.