The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest television shows in the world. However there is much more than meets the eye. The broadcast is a result of a year of hard work, involving hundreds of people working thousands of hours. Using photographs from the official Eurovision account on Instagram, we tell the story from backstage.
1. The final preparations before rehearsals
Did you know that rehearsals take place before the artists from each participating country even arrive in the host city? Since 2013 the Host Broadcaster has organised stand-in rehearsals where each entry is performed live and the recording is sent to each delegation for feedback. This results in a smoother rehearsal period when the participants take to the stage.
2. The calm before the storm
The press centre usually accommodates more than 2000 accredited press and fans. This means having enough working space (and plug sockets!) for the journalists as well as their equipment. The layout of the press centre also takes into account the local health and safety regulations of the host city meaning that there needs to be easy access to fire exits and toilets. A day after this picture was taken last year the press centre was a hive of activity with journalists and fans from all around the world.
3. Artistic arrivals
In 2016 there was a Delegation Bubble for the first time ever. This was an area where the acts could relax, unwind and get to know each other. Here is Highway from Montenegro having fun before they began their rehearsals. Notice how clean and tidy the area was - it didnʼt stay that way for long as 42 delegations used the space!
4. Rehearsals begin
Prior to the broadcast of the Grand Final there are nearly two weeks of rehearsals with the artists. This post shows Germany's Levina about to take to the stage in Kyiv. Before each artist begins their run through they meet with the production crew to confirm stage directions, timings and camera angles.
5. Backstage interviews
Before each delegation meet the press they are interviewed by the official channels of the Eurovision Song Contest and Host Broadcaster. Here are Estonia's Koit Toome and Laura who were interviewed before they took to the stage in Kyiv this year.
6. Problem solving
The first round of rehearsals are the ideal opportunity for troubleshooting and ironing out any teething problems related to the performance. Here is Australiaʼs Dami Im working with the stage crew in Stockholm last year - the challenge was to help her get down from the large podium that she was sat on whilst not being seen on-camera. Their plan worked and Dami delivered a flawless performance.
7. Magic make-up
Before the live performance each act prepares to take to the stage. As with all television productions, those in front of the camera go into hair and make-up before the broadcast. The mascara, powder and concealer isnʼt always obvious on-screen but without it the artists would look pale and shiny!
8. Join the queue
Timing in a broadcast such as the Eurovision Song Contest is everything. All elements of the show are timed down to the last second. This means that the performers need to be in place, ready to go on stage as soon as the floor manager gives them the green light. Here is Russiaʼs Sergey Lazarev waiting patiently backstage in 2016.
9. The winner takes it all!
The three minutes on stage is the moment that the artists have been building up to for weeks, months and even years. Everything rests on the live performance and the fate of the artists depends on those three minutes. There can only be on winner and in 2017 that was Salvador Sobral from Portugal.
10. Friendship never ends
Backstage is like one big family. The event weeks are intense and strong bonds are formed. This photo taken backstage in 2016 demonstrates the camaraderie that is so much a part of the Eurovision Song Contest.