Producing a television show on the scale of the Eurovision Song Contest, which includes three live broadcasts with 42 participating countries, is an ambitious project. The organisation of the event is even more impressive given that the Host Broadcaster has less than a year to assemble a team and prepare to host one of the largest non-sporting events in the world. In part two of our Stockholm Revisited series we meet some of the key members of the production team behind the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and find out what some of the challenges are behind this mammoth project.
One of the original aims of the Eurovision Song Contest was to pioneer new broadcasting techniques and that continues to this day. SVT, the Host Broadcaster of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest produced a flawless series of live broadcasts this year, and set the bar high for future productions.
Technical Director Ola Melzig has worked on the Eurovision Song Contest since 2000 and is responsible for the lighting, sound, video, pyrotechnics, staging, lasers and as he says himself "all the fun things really". It's no wonder he's often referred to backstage as a Eurovision Legend!
One of the challenges for the team is to ensure that the production values of the show continue to evolve. As Ola explains, "It’s hard to find something brand new today because most things have been done. What we are trying to do is to find ways of doing things different and maybe better".
SVT rose to the challenge and produced a spectacular series of shows. "We have a stage that has a higher resolution in video than ever before. The canvas that the content designers are working with has one million and two pixels. It’s humungous! We have some new camera technology we have a 70 metre drop-cam that has never been in this show before", said Melzig.
As for the future, Ola would like to evolve the production to incorporate drones. "I think we could do some pretty amazing stuff with drones both in the competing songs but also with the camera technology. I think that is the next step".Gallery: Behind the scenes of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest
Facts and figures of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest
- 61 750 000 pixels in dissolution
- 220 sq metre video floor
- 8 people in the content design team
- 3 operators to drive the show
- 37 x 10 metre LED wall, 12 metre centrepiece
- 1288 Moving lights
- 4 operators to drive the show
- 25,789 control parameters
- 14 follow spot operators
- 34 tonnes of equipment
- 140 speakers
- 300 headphone sets
- 1 KM of fibre wiring
- 3TB audio files
- 280 engines
- 2,500 schackles
- 1.5 KM of rope
- Production weighs 90 tonnes
- Stage area in total: 320 sq metres
- Scenography width 50 metres
- Scenography depth 32 metres
- Scenography height 15,5 metres
- The stage weighs 30 tonnes
- The catwalk is 32 metres
- It took 10 months to create the stage design
- 30 x flame units
- 20 x CO2 units
- 30 x pyro stations
- 6 x dry ice outlets