Volunteers are an incredibly important part of the production of Europe's favourite TV show. Without them, it wouldn't be possible to produce such a large and dynamic music event.
In Düsseldorf this year 500 volunteers have been employed from all over Germany and Europe, working in different roles, from helping in the Press Centre, to assisting backstage and even driving the delegations from the arena to their hotels.
Eurovision.tv met up with three volunteers at the Press Centre to discuss why they decided to volunteer, their interests and the roles they have been given at the arena.
Coline Weihe is a student of Scandinavian Studies in Münster and can speak English, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish in addition to German. She decided to volunteer because she loves music and the opportunity to experience different cultures. In addition the competition is so close to home so an opportunity like this could not be missed! So far Coline has worked on the pigeonhole desk, helping the arriving press by allocating them a pigeonhole to receive any promotional material from the delegations. In her free time she likes to spend time with friends, doing sport and travelling to Scandinavia and the USA.
Kai Krokowski comes from Bremen and is a self confessed Eurovision fan, following the contest since the age of nine when he watched it for the first time. When Lena won in Oslo last year, Kai just wanted to get involved and went onto Eurovision.de where he contacted NDR and applied to work as a volunteer. From here he went to a casting where he had to answer some questions about himself after which he was chosen to work at the arena in Düsseldorf. In Bremen Kai has been working in a bar for some years and spends his free time travelling around Germany to watch musicals. Working at the Eurovision Song Contest is a dream come true for him and so far he has been working to help journalists organise interviews with the delegations and will soon move on to standing near the interview rooms to organise and supervise the interviews. When discussing his first impressions of the arena and Press Centre, Kai said that it was phenomenal with so many people working there and how amazing it was that the stage was built so quickly!
Marie Tenenbaum decided she wanted to become a volunteer as soon as she saw Lena win in Oslo in 2010. It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. With her skills speaking English, French, Spanish and Russian she was a natural candidate and was offered a position after attending a casting session. Marie is a student studying English, linguistics and Spanish and she also works in a sushi bar in Düsseldorf. In her free time she loves to travel and see the world. As a child Marie was encouraged to watch Europe's favourite TV show and loves the event, admiring it as one of the biggest shows in the world. At the moment she is volunteering at the Information Desk, helping to give out information but she also hopes to be able to work in different areas during the next two weeks.
See some pictures from our interview with the volunteers below: