I kind of promised you yesterday I’d give a daily update of my Eurovision experience and of course you’ll get one today as well even though not much happened for me today in reference to the hosting commitment I have. The five delegates who arrived yesterday chose to take it easy trying to adjust to the time zone, and Nicoline, our Production Designer, were with the San Marino team at the arena for their first rehearsal most of the day.
Since my delegation said yesterday they wouldn’t need me today (as they didn’t have anything special planned for the day except catching up on emails etc) I was basically just on standby during the day if anything would come up. The delegation had three more arrivals coming in today but I was just supposed to meet up with one of them which left my schedule quite clean. So I started the day at my computer, organizing and updating information we’ve got from our team leaders into our shared gmail calendar and dropbox. For example we received detailed information regarding the Red Carpet Ceremony, the Welcome Reception and the Opening Ceremony – all taking place on Sunday May 8th – a couple of days ago which I relayed to our Heads of Delegation for them to put in our daily schedule.
Since the weather was so lovely I went over to Euro Fan Café, this temporary building they’ve set up on Skeppsbron, just in front of the Royal Palace and right by the water facing a wonderful view of Blasieholmen, Skeppsholmen and Södermalm. While enjoying a tasty salmon salad I hooked up to their brilliant free wifi and watched the snippets of film on YouTube that Eurovision.tv posted from the first day of rehearsals at the arena. After a while another Delegation Host colleague, Peeter (taking care of the Swiss Delegation which arrives tomorrow), joined me and we talked for a while over a fika before walking up to meet with his colleague Frida, arriving from Malmoe today. She’s one of the many hosts who’ve done this before, in both Malmoe (2013) and Copenhagen (2014), and the rest of us – the rookies – are so happy they’ve decided to join us in Stockholm to share their knowledge and experience with us.
After leaving them on their way to visit the arena I went back home to wait for the arrival of our Assistant Head of Delegation, Katherine, who I was supposed to meet at the hotel to drop of our delegates’ accreditation badges, traveller passes etc. She arrived right on time and after a quick chat she went up to her hotel room while I sat down with the two Swedish guys of our delegation, Henrik and Felix, who’d also come over to the hotel to meet up with Katherine at the same time as me. Felix will be the designated driver for our commentators’ and backstage reporter’s crews, and Henrik will act as sound recordist for both crews.
In addition to the accreditation badges all delegates are given a bag with loads of material including a handbook, the official program, a notebook and pen, a city map, a water bottle etc etc. Together with their accreditation they’re also given logins for the official event app through which SVT communicates all information regarding rehearsal schedules, transportation info, maps, contact information and plenty more essential stuff. Each delegation also get a limited amount of Swedish sim-cards to be able to communicate with each other, other delegations and the local crew in an easier and less expensive way.
Two more people from our delegation arrived today; Grant, from Dami’s record company Sony, and Stephanie, who’s our Co-Head of Delegation (together with Paul who arrived yesterday). The two of them were greeted with text messages from us upon arrival at the airport since they’ve said they didn’t needed us to meet up with them in person. Tomorrow’s arrival of Dami’s Makeup Artist Liz will complete the first group of people for the delegation and the next bunch will arrive this weekend when we’re approaching the broadcast week.
Tomorrow morning we’re looking forward to our first proper meeting with the delegation, hopefully getting some more information regarding their plans for the next couple of days. Apart from our well-planned 1st rehearsal day on Wednesday we still don’t have too much information regarding their scheduled activities and wishes so we’re really looking forward to get this party started. Tomorrow’s schedule will also include Dami’s first meeting and rehearsal with our Swedish backup singers Anna and Dea and I keep my fingers crossed that she will like them since they’re both great!
For the people at the arena tomorrow will bring the second day of proper rehearsals when the artists from the second half of the first semifinal enters the stage for the first time, i.e. Czech Republic, Cyprus, Austria, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Iceland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Malta. And after them, our Swedish artist Frans – who, being the hosting country’s representative, is directly qualified to the grand final – will have his 1st rehearsal on stage as well.