City of Helsinki plans big for Eurovision

by Ilari Karhapää 66 views

Megascreens and the Finnish votes live from Senate�s Square, Esplanadi park filled with music and performances, EuroClub in the heart of the city, Narinkka square as EuroVillage, big party on 11th May and so on. City of Helsinki is planning big and will bring the Eurovision fever to everyone in town and plans on partying non stop for two weeks.

Not only YLE and EBU are in full motion to prepare the Eurovision song contest 2007. The city of Helsinki is collaborating with them full time and will provide its own fun for the first two weeks of May culminating with the big open air party on the eve of the final, Friday 11th May. The programmes will kick off the night of April 30th, with the annual Vappu celebrations that is for Finns a combined carnival and new year’s, what comes to partying and having fun.

The Senate’s Square will play host to “Eurovision population’s living room” and also the Finnish votes will be given live from the steps of the cathedral. People will be able to follow both the semi final and the final on mega screens in the square. A lot of things will happen there during the Eurovision weeks from concerts to fashion shows.

Narinkka square in Kamppi will host the EuroVillage where the sponsors will have their stands and organize own programmes. This is something new to the Eurovision song contest never done before in this scale. EuroVillage will open 5th May.

Lasipalatsi will be the fan center organized by hosting an info point and also the movie theatre with 700 seats where you can also watch both shows live. It is located between Narinkka square and Vanha, the EuroClub, and Senate’s Square isn’t far either. Everything will be within walking distance. Also Esplanadi park in the city center and the main street Aleksanterinkatu will be engaged to Eurovision related happenings.

City of Helsinki will organise a big party for everyone on Friday 11th, the night in between the shows. Music will fill the streets and squares of Helsinki. There will be choirs, bands, dance bands and other performers all over town and in bars and clubs. “We just hope the weather will be kind with us, and the spring comes in time” says Mikko Leisti, the head of the organisation.

“This is a very good opportunity to show everyone what a wonderful city Helsinki is” says Eero Holstila from the city of Helsinki’s cultural council. “I had a note at my table the Monday after Lordi’s victory from the mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen saying “Let’s do Eurovision” and it has been the city’s major project since then. We want to make people return here again after Eurovision.”

Helsinki expects some 10.000 fans and over 1.500 journalists from all over the world. Last time Helsinki hosted something this big was the World Championships in Athletics in summer 2005. “Helsinki didn’t get the media exposure it had hoped for but this time things are different” says Pekka Timonen from the city of Helsinki, “in a big sports happening the journalists sit at the stadium but in Eurovision they follow the artists everywhere. Besides Eurovision is living a very good period, the interest is higher than ever and not only in Europe but also Australia and Japan. Also the USA and China are interested in the format."

Helsinki hosts the biggest Eurovision song contest to date with 42 countries participating. The aim is not to host the biggest one to date but also the best one. And that includes also everything related to the shows.

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