Planning of the stage for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest began last September. Ola Melzig is Technical Director for the 12th time in 16 years. He coordinates staff, budget, sound, lighting, pyrotechnics, video, stage, automation and basically everything else related to the stage construction. Ola's first year on the job was in 2000, when the competition also took place in the Globe Arena. Much has happened since 2000, and the Contest has even changed since 2013, the last time the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Sweden. The 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is, according to Ola, the best stage production ever in the competition's history: "It's the benchmark to reach, or more preferably, to beat." The scenography in Malmö was completely free of pixels and was high resolution.
This year the technology part takes a step back, but the overall experience makes several steps forward. "This year we don't use the traditional soft shapes. Instead, we use a masculine feel with angular shapes. We want to do an update from 2013 in an abstract and pompous manner. The biggest difference is all the LED screens that provide a completely different edge". A collection of 600 square metre LED-screens on the walls and 250 square metres on the floor will form the scenography. In addition to that the set will include 26 cameras and 1500 lamps, 400 more than 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. The idea is to create a design with light and angles that create new spaces and different feelings for each contestant. Overall, three times as much equipment will be used compared with when the competition was in Globen last time. This production will be the largest ever in Sweden.
Last Sunday the construction work began and is scheduled to be finished by 23 April. After that, rigid work is required to keep the stage in perfect condition, until the first Semi-Final is broadcast live on 10 May. Rehearsals with the contestants begin on Monday 2nd May.