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The Executive Producer grilled - This is why we chose Copenhagen

02 September 2013 at 16:18 CEST

Earlier today we announced that Copenhagen, after three and a half months of tireless investigations and tough negotiations, would host the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne on Refshaleøen.

2014 host broadcaster DR spoke exclusively to Executive Producer Pernille Gaardbo to explain why Copenhagen was chosen, asking her some tough questions.

Why have you chosen Copenhagen as the host city?

We have an unparalleled opportunity to create a unique setting for the Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne on Refshaleøen. Here we can produce an innovative TV show that previously has not been experienced in the history of competition. The entire Refshaleøen will be transformed into a so-called "Eurovision Island" where we will gather Danes, the participants and the many fans and members of the press from all over Europe. And Copenhagen also offers all the conceivable cultural and accommodation options that have come to characterise an international city.

What is that B&W Hallerne gives you the opportunity to do when organising the Eurovision Song Contest?

Right from the beginning we have had an ambition to modernise the Eurovision Song Contest whilst of course still respecting its traditions. Refshaleøen gives us the opportunity to create a totally new and unique show, because we ourselves can decide how it looks both inside and out. We can tailor the halls to our requirements and give the show its own distinct character.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has approved DR's decision to award the competition to Copenhagen. What were their requirements?

The EBU believes, just as we at DR do, that the television show is most important. The two Semi Finals and Grand Final that will be broadcast to approximately 170 million viewers all over Europe will have top priority. However, the entire event element surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest is of course also significant. We have looked carefully at the general experience that a host city can offer to all the people that will be there throughout.

Herning and Horsens also bid to get the Eurovision Song Contest to their cities. Why did you deselect them?

Both Herning and Horsens came with two very interesting and carefully prepared bids and we have been in dialogue with the both of them. There was no doubt that Boxen in Herning is one of the best venues in Denmark to produce TV shows and Fængslet in Horsens was also a creative offering. In that respect there have been advantages and disadvantages to all the venues but as we came to see that the concept for Refshaleøen could be realised, it eventually became clear that it would give us a unique opportunity to both gather everyone together and to bring the show to a new place.  

Parken withdrew as a possible venue for the contest, but Copenhagen also suggested a large tent in front of DR Byen. Why did you not choose that?

The suggestion of a tent was indeed an interesting bid, but from a TV production point of view, the many pillars in the tent would just create too many obstacles in relation to the ambitions we have for the show. Also, we are incredibly excited about the opportunities B&W Hallerne will give us.

Are you sure that B&W Hallerne will be ready in time? And that the sound will also be good enough?

We see it as our responsibility to lay the best foundations for the Eurovision Song Contest and create the best venue that gathers Europeans together for a party and makes the Danes proud. We are working closely with the city of Copenhagen to ensure that plans and budgets work together and that the venue is finished in time. It is clear that when we are presented with a completely raw factory hall as a venue, we will really put a lot of effort into making sure that it will be usable in terms of sound. As part of the bidding process we partnered up with the best acousticians and engineers and they guarantee that the sound will be suitable for a professional TV production.

The 2014 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on the 6th, 8th and 10th of May in Copenhagen.