Rene Romkes of esctoday.com and Jeroen Smits of songfestival.web-log.nl are the organisers of the second edition of Eurovision in Concert party in the Netherlands. Several participants at this year's Eurovision Song Contest will be taking part at the biggest Eurovision promo event which will take place on 24th April in Zaanstad on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The busy guys take time out to speak to esctoday.com about the preparations for the concert and how the party will be a great opportunity to meet the artists and to meet other fans from all over Europe!
esctoday.com: How are your plans progressing?
René and Jeroen: As you will understand we're very busy with all the preparations. We want to make sure it's going to be just as great as last year's event! It's a lot of work, but it's very motivating to hear all the reactions from artists and fans based on last year's edition.
esctoday.com: This year's event is outside Amsterdam at Lexion in Westzaan. For visitors staying in Amsterdam what will be the best way to travel toand between Amsterdam and Lexion?
René and Jeroen: It's only 5 minutes from Amsterdam by train. Fans can take the train to Alkmaar and get out at Zaandam Central Station. After the concert there will be shuttle buses from Lexion Venue back to Amsterdam Central Station.
esctoday.com: Prior to the concert there's a day programme as well. Can you tell us something more about that?
René and Jeroen: First of all the mayor of Zaanstreek, Mrs Geke Faber, will welcome all delegations at the Zaans Museum. Right after, all delegations will be offered a guided tour at Zaanse Schans, which can be considered as an open air museum with windmills and tulips included. The artists will visit several typically Dutch workshops like a cheese farm and a wooden shoe factory. So we might even see some artists doing a little dance on wooden shoes! During the tour press in invited to conduct interviews with the Eurovision hopefuls.
esctoday.com: Once again there is a fantastic line-up of performers. As one of the party organisers what are you most looking forward to?
René and Jeroen: Yeah, we are delighted that so many delegations are willing to take part again! We're afraid we won't see a lot of the concert ourselves as we'll be running around behind the scenes. We have no real preferences for any of the participating songs, although it's great that the Dutch representative will take part this year as well. Last year, The Toppers missed out which was kind of strange as it's a Dutch event.
esctoday.com: With 18 acts confirmed for the party so far, will further acts be announced over the next few days?
René: Well unfortunately Poland had to withdraw due to the horrible plain crash, so at the moment we have 17 countries confirmed. We are thinking of showing Marcin's video on the night itself though, to pay our respect.
Jeroen: We're still expecting some more confirmations in the next few days. Some countries are still working on their promotional schedules, but we have good hopes some of them might come to the Netherlands as well.
esctoday.com: With so many participants from this year's Eurovision Song Contesta ppearing on stage, how will you determine the running order and who will be top of the bill?
René and Jeroen: For us all of the artists are top of the bill. The running order hasn't been decided yet, as we're still expecting some more confirmations. However, the most important thing is to have a good balance between ballads and up tempo songs.
esctoday.com: Can you tell us what is planned for the big show? Will there be anybig surprises?
René: I'd love to say now that Carola will make a guest appearance, but unfortunately she won't.
Jeroen: I bet René wouldn't mind to be her personal wind machine..ha ha.
René: There will be some surprises indeed; just wait and see.
esctoday.com: Will there be an opportunity for the fans to meet some of the performers before or after the show?
Jeroen: Last year most of the artists took time to meet the fans as well, so I guess it will be the same this year.
esctoday.com: Can you tell us about the after-show party?
René and Jeroen: The afterparty will be hosted by DJ Ohrmeister from Germany, who isn't a stranger for most Eurovision fans. During the after party some of the artists will sing an extra song and we have reasons to believe that our host, Marga Bult, will treat the fans again by giving a great performance.
esctoday.com: Last year's Dutch Eurovision Promo Concert at The Hague was highly successful with acts from 23 counties and a theater full of highly enthusiastic Eurovision fans. What in your opinion were the highlights of party?
Jeroen: Ukraine was a big surprise for me. I think Svetlana's performance in Amsterdam was even better than the Moscow act.
Svetlana Loboda singing Anti-crisi girl at last year's Dutch preview party
René: I really didn't see any of the acts. My highlight was the reaction of the Schlagerboys (Bless them!) when I introduced them to Jade behind the scenes. I can still hear them cheer and scream. It was so hilarious!
Jade singing My Time at last year's Dutch preview party
esctoday.com: Do you have a special invitation message for esctoday.com fans?
René and Jeroen: We just want to point out that this event is an event organised by fans for fans. Therefore we invite everybody to party a long with us on April 24!It's a great opportunity to meet the artists and to meet other fans from all over Europe!
esctoday.com: Finally, on behalf of esctoday may I wish you the best of luck with the party.
TICKET SALES for the Dutch promo event.
The Dutch promo event is organised by esctoday.com, OGAE Netherlands, www.songfestival.web-log.nl, www.bearecords.nl and Café ‘De Landman’. For more information please visit the official website at www.eurovisioninconcert.web-log.nl. For press accreditation and more info: [email protected]