The Winter Olympics have been arranged in smaller locations like Lillehammer and Albertville. However, for the Eurovision Song Contest Malmö will be the smallest host city since Millstreet, Ireland in 1993. The year before the competition was hosted in Malmö.
Location of Euroclub announced
As Melodifestivalen.se and Eurovision.tv reported during the summer, it is thought that the contest will take over various locations in Malmö.
"It is still in the process of being planned but we are considering Gustav Adolfs Torg as the location for the Eurovision Village, where sponsors can set up shop and with space for stages, parties, a beer tent and so on", says Martin Österdahl.
Just a short walk from the square lies Folkets Park, which is planned to be an open location where the official party venue, Euroclub will be located. Now we can reveal in which venue it will be located.
"A lot of the partying will take place at Folkets Park. We hope that it will ooze with festivities there. Euroclub will be located at the Moriska Paviljongen (or Moriskan), a fantastic and magnificant venue", says Martin Österdahl.
"Also, there are other venues located very close by, such as Amiralen, which is a dance palace and where the after show parties and similar will most likely be held. Also located there are Debaser and Cuba Café, which offer a variety of experiences”.
Below is a map showing the location of the Malmö Arena, Euroclub and proposed location for the Eurovision Village:
Bigger than just an arena experience
The smaller size is in many ways an advantage, believes Martin Österdahl. The Swedish organisational group for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest want to turn the whole city into a venue.
"We want to create a super event where with every step you take, you can feel that you are a part of the Eurovision Song Contest experience. When you arrive at the airport and train station, when you journey over the bridge, when you come into the city centre. For each step you take in the city, you will feel “I am there””, he says.
"This presence will be created in Malmö in a very good way thanks to the attitude the city has to the event, and thanks to the fact that it is a slightly smaller city and that we have access to the city’s resources in a good way, with squares, opportunities for decorating and so on. Eurovision will be much bigger than just the atmosphere in the arena”.
Something that makes Malmö stand out is the approximately 166 different nationalities in the city. An area near Möllevångstorget holds the world record for the number of nationalities in such a small area. The Swedish organisers hope to put the various delegations in contact with their respective communities in the area.
"We have thousands of ideas about how you can connect all the nationalities to the event", says Martin Österdahl.
The Öresund Bridge will be symbolic of the basic idea to bridge cultural differences and this is an opportunity we are going to take advantage of, he reveals. In 2001 when the competition was held on the other side of the water in Copenhagen, the Danish organisers used the bridge in a similar way.
"The bridge is a symbol for the region. It’s going to happen but how we use it is too early to say”.
The Swedish organisers want to break with the development of technological shows with big distances between the public and artists, prioritising instead the human closeness of the contest.
"We would not have chosen Malmö if we didn’t the experience of hosing Melodifestivalen in the arena there. It is perfect for TV-production and for making a boiling pot of water to explode with energy”, says Martin Österdahl.
"The communications to and from the arena and the hotels are fantastic. Also, we are close to both Malmö and Copenhagen airports. The infrastructure is extremely good and it makes the program easier to produce, making the event better for the delegations. It will be more comfortable and there will be fewer delays”.
The basic idea behind the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is to create a cultural understanding and to send out a message of all people’s equal value. This idea will permeate throughout the arena and the city.
"For the public travelling to the Malmö Arena, we hope to create an intensive and intimate feeling of the Eurovision Song Contest and the idea behind the competition. The breakthrough for our and Eurovision’s message will be bigger than you can achieve in a bigger city. In Moscow and Belgrade the event just disappeared. In Düsseldorf, which is smaller, you got a different feeling”, says Martin Österdahl.
An example of when a good idea was previously used was, according to Martin Österdahl, the flash mob from Oslo in 2010, which united people from all over Europe in a dance. Now the Swedes have been inspired by it and want to in a similar vein create events in different locations before and during the live shows.
Big screen showings
Tickets will be sold to two dress rehearsals for each live show. For those that don’t get a seat in the arena, big screens will be set up.
"There will probably be a number of big screen showings in Malmö and a party in Folkets Park during the final. We know that events will be held in other locations throughout Sweden and we will try to link these together. Exactly how we’ll see”, says Martin Österdahl.
In Sweden, criticism has been given to the event being so close to Denmark and that the Danish tourist industry will gain at the cost of the Swedish. However, having an open and inclusive attitude towards Denmark and the rest of Europe is seen by the organisers as something positive.
"An idea that has come up is to hold some kind of pre-event at Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen for the Danish fans before travelling over to Malmö", says Martin Österdahl.
In our next article we will look at how SVT plan to use new techniques and to create a world class Press Centre in Malmö.
Thanks to Gustav Dahlander from SVT for providing the above information. Translation provided by Simon Storvik-Green (EBU).