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Eurovision fans to be a focal point in Malmö

12 November 2012 at 13:00 CET

When the Eurovision Song Contest comes to Malmö. Sweden wants to create an experience that in turn creates a lasting impression. The fans will be able to get closer to the stage and the artists, and maybe also have a role to play in the TV show. “The fans own the floor”, says the executive producer Martin Österdahl.

At the heart of the Swedish plans for the 2013 edition of Europe’s favourite TV show are plans to reduce the distance. Martin Österdahl has in previous articles at explained the wish to create a stronger relationship to the competition’s countries and artists. However, it is just as important for the organisers to reduce the barriers for the audience.

"The fans are culture bearers"

Martin Österdahl believes that the fans belong to the event’s most important group. Now he and his team want to ignite the spark, making the public an active part of the discussion surrounding the programme and to encourage interaction with the organisers and each other.

"We want to draw attention to the fans and involve them. One of our core values is that we want to create a passion that lasts. It is largely the fans that write our closing chapter. They are culture bearers and important when it comes to passing on our version of Eurovision”, he says.

He highlights a series of measures that are planned in order for the fans to have a good experience.

"It is important that we have a dialog with them regarding tickets and accommodation before the event. They also have an important role to play in the festivities in the town, for example in Folkets Park but also in connection with the Opening Party”.

The fan’s biggest role is, however, to be involved in the TV show. Here, Martin Österdahl reveals that Sweden wants to take a new approach.

"The fans own the floor. They will be able to get closer to the stage and get closer to the artists so we are looking at ways of making the fans more involved in the scenography than ever before. With their flags they serve as an extension of the stage but maybe we can also find other solutions so that they can gain access to something that it is possible to project onto or light up, for example the LED element”.

Preview shows and internet initiatives

The scope to reach out with our message is limited in the programme. With the internet and other platforms there are bigger opportunities to give the viewers some prior knowledge and to encourage a curiosity surrounding the artists and countries.

"Here in Sweden we have a big website and a preview programme each year where we go through each of the entries. Not all countries embrace the show on the same scale”, says Martin Österdahl

Plans for the perfect press centre

A large group that visits the Eurovision Song Contest every year are the thousands of journalists and journalistically active fans.

"We want to provide a good environment for them to do their job. The press centre will be located in the Malmömässan, right next to the Malmö Arena and will have a covered walkway to the arena. The room is huge, a fantastic newly constructed exhibition hall”, says Martin Österdahl.

"The proximity and logistics will be better than anything I have seen during my seven Eurovision visits.  It will be a proper building with real restaurants and decent spaces, walls and chairs. No tents”.

New technology

Even when it comes to new media we want to be ground breaking.

"We are looking at digital solutions for serving the journalists and delegations with information regarding rehearsal times, meal times, transport times, information for those visiting Malmö and anything else they require during the event», says Martin Österdahl.

"We want the journalists to feel that they are being noticed and know that we are prepared for all eventualities. There will be an intelligent, warm hand leading them through the event”.

Next time we will look at how SVT plan to use new recruits to provide key support for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Thanks to Gustav Dahlander from SVT for providing the above information. Translation provided by Simon Storvik-Green (EBU).