The first weekend of February is almost here and it means that it’s about time for Melodifestivalen 2017! Sweden will begin its process of selecting an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in a show that will run for six weeks. Don’t want to miss a thing? Here is the ultimate guide for you to stay up to date with the latest happenings.
Each Melodifestivalen show is held on Saturday but the preparations begin already on Wednesday. From the moment the artists arrive to the host city until the live show is over – this is what you can expect during the semifinals stage of the contest (All times are CET):
- 13:00 – The lyrics and dry performance information regarding staging and props for each entry are published on Melodifestivalen’s official website, along with pictures from the closed rehearsals throughout the day (not on stage)
- 11:00 – First rehearsals for the participating entries on the stage. Short clips of 30 seconds from each rehearsal will be uploaded to the official website.
- 14:30 – One minute of each song (in studio version) will be aired on Sveriges Radio P4 Extra as well as the official website
- 20:00 – Opening ceremony. Possible updates on ESCToday’s Facebook and Instagram
- 13:30 – Second rehearsals for the participating entries on the stage. Live blog updates here on ESCToday.
- 19:00 – First dress rehearsal
- 14:00 – Second dress rehearsal. Incomplete versions of the participating songs (2 minutes 30 seconds) available online on Melodifestivalen’s official website
- 18:00 – Live broadcast of ESCToday’s National Preview with the latest happenings and predictions.
- 20:00 – Live TV broadcast of the show, available for watching worldwide via SVT Play
- 22:00 – Afterparty. Possible updates on ESCToday’s Facebook and Instagram
SONGS, ARTISTS AND SONGWRITERS
28 songs are participating in this year’s contest out of 2478 submitted songs. Ten out of them are in Swedish. For the fans of Linda Bengtzing and other schlager hits, we can sadly say that no traditional schlager songs will be participating this year.
The songs were written by a total of 81 songwriters; 46 are newcomers (56%) and 35 have had at least one song participating in the past. Sixteen songs have at least one female songwriter, and eight songwriters have more than one song in the contest this year. Can you guess who got the most entries? It’s Thomas G:son with four songs in the run.
Forty three people will go on stage as artists; 27 men and 16 women. For 13 of those, this will be the first time on the Melodifestivalen stage while for 30 this is a comeback.
This year’s stage is Melodifestivalen’s deepest stage ever: 31 meters from the back to the front. At it’s widest point, it is 32 meters wide. Sixteen bows create a tunnel-feeling while half of those are hanged at the height of 8 meters. A staircase leads to the greenroom which is three meters high. However, during the final the greenroom will be placed in the middle of the audience.
Only 3700 people will be able to attend the third semifinal in Växjö, compared to 27500 that will gather to watch the final in Stockholm.
Eleven cameras will be used in this year’s tour, with a 12th camera to be added for the final. The broadcast is being transferred to SVT’s headquarters in Stockholm via optical fibers and thence to the households in Sweden and online to SVT Play. If something goes wrong, the broadcast will be transferred to SVT’s headquarters via satellite.
The power consumption of the production is 732 A which equals to the power used by 30 villas or 500 km of Christmas decorations.
Around 100 accredited journalists and photographers will attend each semifinal (including us!). This number will grow to 300 for the final in Stockholm.
The team behind the production has about 415 people: 45 from Blixten&Co and Live Nation who take care of the logistics and technical production, 120 workers of the Swedish broadcaster SVT, among them the Executive Producer Christer Björkman who announced that Melodifestivalen 2021 will be his last edition in this role. Karin Gunnarsson from Radio P3 is expected to replace him afterwards. Additional 250 which are hired locally to help with the organisation of the events in each city as guards, drivers, bartenders and more.
Together, the workers and artists eat about 1500 meals in every Melodifestivalen week or 9000 in total.
MELODIFESTIVALEN 2017 AGENDA
- Semifinal 1 – 4 February, Scandinavium, Göteborg
- Semifinal 2 – 11 February, Malmö Arena, Malmö
- Semifinal 3 – 18 February, Vida Arena, Växjö
- Semifinal 4 – 25 February, Skellefteå Kraft Arena, Skellefteå
- Andra Chansen – 4 March, SAAB Arena, Linköping
- Final – 11 March, Friends Arena, Stockholm
Are you ready to go? Nu kör vi!
Stay tuned to ESCToday for more news regarding Melodifestivalen and Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017