Palats Sportu, the venue for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, is '95 percent ready'. Marko Markovic, press officer at host broadcaster NTU, said that to esctoday.com. Delays because of the presidential elections in 2004, a change in NTU's management and contract negotiations with Palats Sportu caused a reserved attitude of fans towards the organisation.
Time as enemy
It has never been a secret that NTU considers time to be its biggest enemy. Reconstruction of Palats Sportu was scheduled to start in January and was supposed to be finished by March. Management changes within NTU and negotiations about the rental price of the venue caused an enormous delay, which forced both NTU as well as the management of Palats Sportu to reconsider their priorities. Svante Stockselius, supervisor of the contest, said: “I am confident about the venue. The commentator booths have already been built, the curtains have been washed. The old chairs may not be replaced, but that will not affect the quality of the television shows as well as the pleasure of the audience. The useful areas inside the venue are huge”, he said. And the stage? “It will look so good!”
Working in shifts
To make sure everything is finished by 9th May, production teams are working in three shifts. “We can solve this time problem with working in three shifts. Ukrainians can do anything in any time”, Marko Markovic said. Bohdan Dziunko, one of Tarmo Krimm (show producer) his assistants, assured that everything is on schedule now. On the 26th or 27th of April NTU organises an excursion for journalists, photographers and camera crews, to show the media how things are going.
On 23rd of April all technical equipment for the contest will be delivered. A total amount of 120 tons of steel, light, cables and computers will be installed. 38 tons on eye level, 82 tons above your head! Usually, all technical equipment for the Eurovision Song Contest is being delivered about 3 weeks before the rehearsals start (12th May).
“This year's Eurovision Song Contest will be remembered as the best from the technical side and stage design. There is a lot of know-how among the people involved with this production. We planned interesting surprises for our guests, a spectacular show in Palats Sportu ánd at the streets of Kyiv”, Markovic said. “Those who cannot see the show from Palats Sportu, can watch the big screens at Indepence Square”, he added.
Currently, several main streets in Kyiv are being renovated. Are the preparations going to be ready in time? We will know for sure when we arrive on 9th May. But at the end, not making the deadline is no option for NTU!