Worries about preparations for upcoming contest

by Sietse Bakker 191 views

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the forces behind the Eurovision Song Contest do not have the situation under control. However, such stories tend to hit the media every year, just weeks before the contest…

In previous years, as well as this year, the Eurovision Song Contest is being produced in cooperation with a huge staff of Swedish television live-event specialists. Dagens Nyheter have spoken to the Creative Director of this year's festival, SVT's Sven Stojanović, who also assisted LTV last year in Riga. In his words, the situation is “completely sick. Things that should have been prepared already in February are still not completed. There is a crisis within the whole production, we are behind schedule in every aspect.” Stojanovic only had one month to prepare this year's Eurovision Song Contest while he said to need three.

According to people in the production team the main reasons for the problematic situation is “the huge increase of participating countries this year and the problematic bureaucracy at TRT”. Every decision, especially when it comes to written contracts with external partners, takes a long time since TRT have to obey special tender rules. “In Turkey, even buying a paper clip needs official documentation…”, Stojanović says with a sarcastic touch to his voice. Yesterday, the EBU Supervisor Svante Stockselius informed esctoday.com that the tender regulations are indeed a problematic issue.

Stojanović has no idea of how things will work out in the end; “The moment we know for sure whether things will work will be during the live transmission”. Stojanović is responsible for how things will look on the television screens during both the qualifier round and the final, as well as choosing the camera angles for every song. In a 'normal' situation, a full working day of eight hours is necessary to plan only one song of three minutes. This means that the director would need at least thirty-six days of preparations, which is impossible with only eighteen days left for the qualifier round. “If I would decide not to sleep for ten days, I would make it on time with all thirty-six songs”, he says.

Last year in Riga, and the year before in Tallinn, the organisation of the contest was under heavy criticism for delays in the production, and some feared that the preparations would not be finished on time. However, both 2002 and 2003 brought successful contests in terms of planning and control, and TRT producer Muhsin Yildram is optimistic also. According to Yildram, everything is going as planned: “TRT have never produced anything this big before, and have thus relied on outside help.”

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