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Copenhagen: The first technical rehearsals begin

10 April 2014 at 17:21 CEST

“Everything will be tested, including anything that can go wrong”, tells Head of Production, Kamilla Monies on the day the technical rehearsals begin at the B&W-Hallerne.

Construction has completed on the enormous Eurovision Song Contest stage, the Green Room has been set up and all the rehearsal plans have been organised down to the last detail. There is exactly one month until the Grand Final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, and now all the technology needs to be thoroughly tested.

For the next two days, it is all about technical rehearsals at the B&W-Hallerne, and here everything from sound and lighting, stage equipment and camera positions to power and connections to the OB trucks will be thoroughly tested so that everything is ready and functioning for when the 37 participants arrive for their first rehearsals in the hall.

“All the technology needs to be tested so that we are able to find and resolve any defects, before the ‘proper’ rehearsals start", explains Head of Production, Kamilla Monies, to DR.

Everything must be under control

“All of our technicians sign on at 09:00 and it is the first time they will enter the actual arena, and will need to get used to the place. This means that all the camera men and women need to find their positions and thoroughly check their equipment; then we will start going through and testing everything”, elaborates Kamilla Monies.

For example, communication with the OB trucks needs to be established, the cameras need to be correctly placed, sound and lighting needs to be checked and the screens and graphics on the enormous stage need to function optimally.

In short: We need to be in control of everything!

Biggest Danish TV production ever

A production like the Eurovision Song Contest is unique in both its size and scope, and will be the biggest production ever in Denmark.

“Normally you have just one test day, but we have chosen to have two test days, because there are so many things that need to be checked”, says Kamilla Monies.

Deliberately causing technical failures

When you are dealing with such a huge production it is also important to test anything that potentially can go wrong.

“When everything is set up and running at an optimal level, we are going to deliberately cause a number of failures so that we get to properly test our emergency procedures, and know how to cope if, for example, communication to the OB trucks is lost or if there are failures in other technical areas”, explains Kamilla Monies.

So-called shadow plans have been made for the people carrying out the most important functions so that another person can take over if, for example, a cameraman or lighting technician comes down with food poisoning or is injured.

In addition, there are back-ups for pretty much every piece of equipment so that the production is as ring-fenced as it can possibly be.  

“A good thing if things go wrong”

If something has to go wrong, then it should really happen during the two test days today and on Friday:

“If something goes wrong, then it can only be a good thing, as then we have tested it going wrong. Rather it goes wrong tomorrow than later on”, says Kamilla Monies.

A challenge already confronted by the Head of Production is the floor in the halls, which was more uneven than previously thought. So now the Green Room stands a little higher on the sides than was previously the intention, in order to make the Green Room area completely even.

And even though Kamilla Monies has a lot of power at her disposal, she is nevertheless excited to see if it can cope without the need to use the back-up power, when all the technology is tried out today and on Friday.

From vision to reality

Most of all, she is excited to see whether all the visions for the stage, sound, lighting and technology have been realised:

“Everything has been in peoples’ heads and a piece of paper or a 3D-drawing – now it is all about to become a reality”.