The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest: what's up?
Yesterday, a press conference with the organisers of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest - the Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - took place in Düsseldorf revealing lots of interesting facts about this year's contest and the future of it.
For the second time in a day Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand plus the 2011 Executive Producer Show Thomas Schreiber faced the assembled journalists and fans. They were joined by Executive Producer Event; Ralf Quibeldey and EBU Event Supervisor; Sietse Bakker.
Jon Ola Sand reminded the audience that he had been involved in the contest in various capacities since 1998, and has only missed two in that period, and has seen the event grow and change from the 25 nations in 1998 to the record breaking 43 countries in 2008 and 2011. Though in effect it was the biggest contest ever with the number of journalists and the number of spectators in the arena. He expressed how impressed he had been with the overall logistics of the whole event, and from the EBU view he was very happy with what NDR had done.
Thomas Schreiber announced that around 16,500 people attended the First Semi-Final, and that with the Second Semi-Final he expects a slightly larger attendance of closer to 18,000. The Final is almost sold out, but there are still a few tickets available.
He once again welcomed Italy back to the Eurovision family in his first year in charge, as well as Austria, San Marino and Hungary. He emphasised that he is looking for the contest not necessarily to become bigger and bigger but to be better and better and to be at the cutting edge of world class television.
There will be some other familiar faces around the contest this year, apart from the two winners who are actively competing this year, Lena and Dana International. There will be more previous winners attending than at any other contest, including Lys Assia, Johnny Logan, Sandra Kim, Olsen Brothers and Alexander Rybak.
The changes to the order for the voting sequence were also announced. You can read more about that in our interview with Jon Ola Sand. He also confirmed at the conference that the iconic 12 points will remain in place.
Sietse Bakker expressed that the Eurovision Song Contest was more than just a television show, by the fact that there was almost a record number of fans and journalists using the press centre. The event extends to the online activity, transportation, hotels and sponsorships; so now those responsibilities have been split up and each can focus on their different areas.
Eurovision Song Contest 2012
The provisional dates for the 57th edition of Europe's Favourite Tv Show were announced. It should be noted that these dates can be subject to change.
Semi-Final One Tuesday 22nd May, 2012
Semi-Final Two Thursday 24th May, 2012
The Final Saturday 26th May, 2012
Eurovision.tv looks forward to providing you all the news regarding the 2012 contest over the coming year.