The two Semi-Finals and the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest took place over three evenings in May, but to actually see those shows on television takes a lot of preparation. Put simply, when it comes to Eurovision, there is much more than meets the eye.
Prior to the arrival of the delegations, so-called 'stand-in rehearsals' take place. Other singers perform each song according to camera and lighting instructions that were given to the broadcaster by the delegations. These rehearsals give each delegation an opportunity to review the staging of their entry before the proper rehearsals have even started, saving precious time during the event weeks.
When the delegations actually arrive at the venue, approximately two weeks prior to the first Semi-Final, it is time to start rehearsing for real. Each country goes to the in-ear monitoring before taking to the Eurovision stage for the first time. Once they’re up on the stage, the artists rehearse their performance for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes it is time for the next act to rehearse and the ones who come off stage go to the viewing room. In this room the delegations give feedback to the production team in terms of camera angles, special effects and lighting. This is the moment where major changes still can be agreed, after the second round of rehearsals only minor changes to the performance can be made.
Meeting the press and fans
When all that is done, it is time for the artists to meet the press. Approximately half an hour is scheduled for questions and answers, led by one of the press conference hosts. There's also time for photographs and one to one interviews.
After the day at the arena is over, many artists still have further interviews, meetings and performances. Time to relax and recuperate is also an important part of the schedule since soon it's time for the artists to do it all again when they return to the venue for the second round of rehearsals.