Flamboyant Eurovision strips back stage production. Another year, another Eurovision. Bonnie Tyler showed up for the UK, finishing 19th and making a marked (although not exactly memorable) improvement on Engelbert Humperdinck’s second from last showing in 2012. The winners, Denmark, will be taking over from Sweden and hosting the 59th competition next year.
Winner Emmelie de Forest is just twenty, although she had been the overwhelming favourite leading up to the event with her song Only Teardrops. De Forest sang the uptempo tune barefoot, saying before the performance: “It makes me feel closer to the ground, the earth and makes me feel more relaxed.”
As has been the case at recent Eurovisions, viewers from across the globe were treated to a mix of dance beat-driven Euro pop and power ballads, not to mention the odd outlandish stage performance. What was notably different, however, was the production value.
By no means a damp squib, the ever-jolly event was as glittery and noisy as it has ever been, but the event organisers had clearly attempted to introduce a somewhat less-costly sense of intimacy this time around. The Malmo Arena, where this year’s Eurovision was hosted, has a capacity of just 10,500. Compare that with the 38,000 who gathered in Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium in 2001, and the austerity drive is clear to see.
The contest has a reputation for increasing its expenditure year-on-year with each successive host having to dig deeper into their pockets to put the show on. In 2011, the competition in Dusseldorf cost a reported 46m euros. Azerbaijan’s gig? Make that £60m. As a result, the stage production has been at times mesmerizing and, without fail, always epic (regardless of the level of talent on display).
De Forest’s winning song was fittingly simple in its production, complementing the ‘back-to-its-roots’ feel of the evening. Her lack of footwear also chimed with the stripped-back production on stage; the emergence of the Belarus act from a giant glitter ball being perhaps the most impressive stunt.
Most interesting, was the fact that each country had to pay for its own pyrotechnics and stage gimmicks – something which was typically provided by the host in previous years. That left the Swedish hosts the enviable task of simply providing the venue, stage, lighting and sound – the most important backbones of any event and something we at Precise are just as well-versed at doing!