Dozens of journalists from the Netherlands and abroad gathered at the hotel in Zaandam for one-on-one interviews, getting a first glimpse of what this year's Eurovision Song Contest has to offer.
This year's contestants from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Georgia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the Netherlands then went to the Zaanse Schans, a famous outdoor museum featuring wind mills, showcasing traditional Dutch landscapes. Ms. Geke Faber, Mayor of Zaanstad, welcomed the contestants. "Although you all have, without doubt, a very busy schedule, I hope you will have the opportunity to enjoy this very special, typically Dutch experience," she said.
Above: Sieneke, the Dutch representative, being interviewed by the Belgian crew of De Rode Loper.
One of the organisers of the event was excited about having so many contestants together in the Netherlands. "This is a good opportunity to promote the Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands, and it is a wonderful opportunity for the contestants to meet their competitors, share experiences and get used to the Eurovision vibe," he said.
Despite the decreasing interest in the competition over the past year, nearly all national media were present to provide their audience with coverage of the day.
Above: Aisha, Latvia's representative, being interviewed by our Eurovision.tv crew
This afternoon, all contestants will gather at the Lexion venue in Zaanstad, where they will rehearse for tonight's concert. The programme, which starts at 21:00 CET, will be hosted by Dutch Eurovision Song Contest commentator Cornald Maas and 1987 contestant Marga Bult, who will host the show in the same dress as she was wearing at the 1987 competition.
Eurovision.tv's reporters spoke with several of the contestants and will make available several video reports in the days to come! Stay tuned for more!