A tale of two cities…

Greetings from Dusseldorf!

Well, actually it’s greetings from Dusseldorf and Cologne…

Dusseldorf does not have the capacity to cope with the thousands of people that have flooded into the area for the event. And also, we’re not willing to pay *hundreds* of euros each per night for a room in Dusseldorf. So as a result Karen, Milija and I are staying in a lovely house in Cologne (yes regular readers we are reunited once again at Eurovision!). We will be joined by other members of the Eurovision Research Network (ERN) during the week, ahead of our events on Thursday-Saturday (if you’re interested check out the details at www.eurovisionresearch.net).

It’s a bit of a schlep to get to the arena and the press centre (more like 90 mins), but when we do the venue is stunning:

The press centre is similarly impressive…

All in all it’s a much bigger set-up than last year – and actually more impressive (to me) than Moscow two years ago. As always, there is evidence of the event in and around the host city…

…with evidence of ‘brand Lena’ (the returning German singer defending her crown again this year) also around town…

I made it to the arena with a couple of minutes to spare before Blue kicked-off their final dress rehearsal. You will be reminded of my rather dodgy camera work, but here are some images of a confident performance…

For some reason, whilst other countries (as you will see) have taken the opportunity to use the panoramic (stunning) LED screen as the backdrop to their performances, the UK have opted to use small screens behind Blue – which makes them look like they are trapped in a small box (you’ll know what I mean when you see it!)…

But all in all I am the most impressed I have ever been by the UK at this stage of the rehearsals (in my four years at the event). It’s a pity that our entry doesn’t use the huge LED screen to better effect, because as you will see it really has an impact.

At the end of the day we went to the first ever San Marino delegation reception. Senit will represent them with a song that, if you heard it on Radio 2, you would quite like. And she did a great job of covering all her bases with a Eurovision karaoke.


Whilst the catering was a bit dodgy (huge bowls of parmesan cheese and salami, with some bread sticks) the wine flowed, and the Euro ‘celebs’ were working the room.  Here I am with the Russian singer Alex Sparrow…

And here are Karen, Irving and myself engaing in some R and R

So a busy first day in Dusseldorf/Cologne. Monday sees the first rehearsal of the first semi-final.  Word on the street is that Ireland have got this Eurovision in the bag.  I’ll let you know after I see the show on Monday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “A tale of two cities…

  1. Looks like a great venue – wonder what the UK logic is with not using the big screens?

    Mr Russia looks nice 😉

    Keep us posted with all things eurovish Phil!!

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