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Eurovision Village opens in the heart of Oslo

22 May 2010 at 22:10 CEST

It was a beautiful evening in Oslo with the sun shining and the temperature a very agreeable 24 degrees celsius. Hundreds of people were out and about, gathering at the huge stage, erected at Rådhusplassen (City Hall Square) in central Oslo.

Here the opening of the Eurovision Village was marked by performances from Norway's entry Didrik Solli-Tangen, Norway's 2008 entrant, Maria Haukaas Storeng and Ireland's Niamh Kavanagh. British/Norwegian boyband A1 also graced the stage during the course of the evening.

Eurovision Village is a concept to involve the public in the contest, and to really offer a big build up by allowing people to come and experience performances by this year's artists as well as taking part in many more exciting activities that take place in and around the City Hall Square.  Maria Haukaas Storeng, who achieved an impressive fifth place in Belgrade with her song Hold On Be Strong, told, "Eurovision being held in Norway is huge. Last time it was held here in 1996 I was 16 and I don't remember there being this much of a build up". 

Over the course of the next week many of this year's artists will take the stage and perform their songs. 

The opening of this event was marked by the three presenters, Nadia, Haddy and Erik coming on stage. Here they spoke about how they were proud to be hosting such a large and important event and that they were really looking forward to three shows.

The first artists to perform were Didrik Solli-Tangen and Maria Haukaas Storeng, who sang a duet together. Didrik then went on to give an imrpessive rendition of his song My Heart Is Yours, which went down very well with the crowd. Didrik said he was very much looking forward to performing on home turf and his backing singers told that they too were excited about standing on stage at the Telenor Arena. 

Niamh Kavanagh was next to perform, giving a fantastic performance of the dance version of her song, It's For You. She was incredibly engaging with the crowds on stage and got a brilliant reception. 

After Niamh performed a host of dancers and children performed the now famous Flashmob dance, which will be a focal point of this year's edition of Europe's favourite TV show. Here the public were encouraged to dance along to the beat. At this point Niamh Kavanagh jokingly said to, "I hope we won't have to do the dance in the green room on the night"! 

In order to prove that it is in fact an easy dance, a certain young reporter and photographer both tried it out only to be caught by one of this year's presenters, Nadia Hasnaoui who attempted to encourage us on. When asked about how rehearsals were going to the big night(s), she said, "We have been at the arena today and are just rehearsing, rehearsing and rehearsing". 

The last act on stage were A1 who came second at this year's Norwegian final with the song Don't Wanna Lose You Again.

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