On the 11th of May, the first participants will rehearse on the 27 by 25 square-meter stage in the Belgrade Arena. In a race against the clock, contestants from 43 countries will all rehearse twice... in just eight days! Then, before you watch the Contest live on television, each live show is also being preceded by as many as three dress rehearsals. To make sure nothing disrupts the very tight rehearsal schedule, all technical preparations for the dress rehearsals and the three live shows will have to be completed by the 10th of May.
Eventually, hundreds of people will be working in and around the Belgrade Arena to prepare the venue for what's to come. First of all, dozens of tons of sound and lighting equiment - we heard at least 72 tons! - is being rigged into the ceiling of the venue. Then, constructors take posession of the arena to build the confluence-inspired stage. And... let's not forget the roughly 20 cameras that will be used during the show, to give you the best picture on your television at any time.
The stage, originally designed by Chicago-based David Cushing, had to be flexible enough to create a different environment for 43 songs. On top of that, the creative team behind this year's Eurovision Song Contest faced anoter challenge: How to create a different atmosphere for each of the three live shows? They faced the challenge and came up with a solution! Each show is based on a different theme; The first Semi-Final is being created around a city theme, the second Semi-Final around the river theme and the Final is based on the theme of confluence. We can't just give it all away - to see how this all works out in real, you will have to wait until May!
What you don't see on television is the gigantic operation behind the scenes, before, during and after the live shows. In the upcoming weeks, Eurovision.tv will dive into the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest, to show you what it takes to organize an event of such massive magnitude. We will also introduce you to some of the key people behind the contest. How do they prepare themselves? What are the challenges they're facing, and what are their biggest nightmares? Stay with us for in-depth and exclusive coverage of the buzz behind the scenes, and the people who make it happen!