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Stockholm: "Eurovision is in town!"

04 May 2016 at 11:25 CEST
As more of the 42 participating delegations, journalists and fans arrive in this year's host city, looked into the city's involvement with the Eurovision Song Contest, the upcoming events across town and a topic that is on many people's mind: security.

People are arriving in Stockholm from all over Europe and beyond to celebrate the 61st Eurovision Song Contest. Jesper Ackinger, Executive Project Manager at the City of Stockholm, told "Eurovision is in town! Together with SVT, we have worked very hard over the past months to get ready for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. It is great to see things coming together now, to see the first delegations exploring our beautiful city, to see the press at work at the Press Centre and to show the EuroClub, which we are very proud of." 

More delegations will be arriving, construction of the Eurovision Village is being completed and as more people come to Stockholm for the Eurovision Song Contest, the EuroClub will fill up more and more every night. The city's event team is also putting the finishing touch on the Welcome Reception at the City Hall and the Welcome Party at the EuroClub, on Sunday 8 May. Ackinger: "The City of Stockholm is experienced with hosting and organising large public events. We have in fact just organised the celebration event for our King's 70th birthday. I feel that we are very well prepared to welcome guest from all over Europe and the world to this city."

Some media have speculated that there is a security threat to the Eurovision Song Contest. "Safety and security are important elements for creating a fantastic event - that has been one of our top priorities all along. According to the Police, there are no threats to the Eurovision Song Contest up to today, 4 May. I feel safe and I look forward to go to the shows next week, together with my family and friends," Ackinger said.

For other event locations throughout town, like Kungsträdgården, EuroClub and the Tele2 Arena, the City of Stockholm, together with the responsible authorities, have set up the appropriate security measures, including the standard security measures as required by the EBU every year. For example, all visitors - delegates, staff, artists, fans, journalists and audience - who enter the Globe Arena must pass through security checks similar to those at airports.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU, praised the City of Stockholm for their involvement with the Eurovision Song Contest: "Strong support and engagement from the host city is crucial to the success of the Eurovision Song Contest and we appreciate the good work done by the City of Stockholm." Asking specifically about safety and security, Sand said: "We have full confidence in the authorities when it comes to security. I feel very safe here, both in town as well as at the venue."