While most TV viewers are focused on the three live shows, the broadcasts are in fact the climax of two exciting weeks in the Host City. What happens during the so-called event weeks of the Eurovision Song Contest?
The event weeks in the Host City usually last about 15 days. A lot happens during the event weeks:
- All participants rehearse individually on stage twice. After each individual rehearsal, the participants meet with press and fans at the Press Centre;
- For most of the event weeks, all accredited delegates, press and fans can come together at the so-called EuroClub, the Eurovision Song Contest's official party venue. Often, participants also throw their own parties, sometimes at the EuroClub, sometimes at other venues. Often, embassies give official receptions to welcome their representative in town;
- At the Eurovision Village, participants perform during the weeks on an outdoor stage. The Eurovision Village hosts sponsor activities, as well as public viewings during the live shows;
- Each show is preceded by three so-called Dress Rehearsals. The first Dress Rehearsal is open to the press, while tickets are being sold for the second and third one. The second Dress Rehearsal also features as recorded back-up, and is the show based on which the juries make up their mind;
- Traditionally, a Welcome Reception and Red Carpet Ceremony are being held on the Sunday preceding the live shows;
- On Tuesday, the first Semi-Final takes place, followed by a press conference featuring the ten qualifiers;
- On Thursday, the second Semi-Final takes place, followed by a press conference featuring the ten qualifiers;
- On Saturday, the Grand Final takes place, followed by a press conference featuring the winner and a grand after-party.
Usually, thousands or even tens of thousands of people travel to the Host City to celebrate the event weeks.