The Eurovision Song Contest celebrated its 53rd anniversary with an exciting edition packed with great music. For the first time in history, the program included two semi-finals. The closing show was held at the end of May 2008 at the Belgrade Arena (Beogradska Arena), one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe, inaugurated in 2004 with 23,000 seating capacity. 25 countries participated in the event broadcasted live in 43 countries throughout the world. Tele-votes crowned the Russian artist Dima Bilan with song “Believe”.
About 100 workers worked non-stop on setting up the lighting and sound systems, while metal carriers had been put on the roof of the “Arena” by seven large cranes, carrying up to 70 tons of equipment. The giant stage construction on the arena floor which was 25 metres wide and 27 metres deep. 72 tons of light equipment were mounted to nearly 2,500 metres of truss.
Clay Paky was on stage with the 136 Alpha Sport HPE 1200, with which LD Per Sundin created and achieved pyrotechnic lighting effects. Per Sundin is a Lighting Designer whose professional curriculum includes several partnerships with the great director Ingmar Bergman. It is also highly regarded by Eurovision Song Contest having managed its lighting design from 2002 to 2005 with an average world audience of about 100 million.
In its hands, the Alphas created custom lighting for each artist so that each performance was characterised by a studied play of effects and colours. The light show was made attractive to both the large audience in the Arena and home viewers by the attentive layout of the numerous and different light sources including 120 square meters of Barco OLite 510, 24 square meters of Barco SLite 10 and about 400 square meters of Martin LEDs LC2140. Like in 2007 and 2006 the event was again controlled by a sophisticated grandMA system.
PROCON Event Engineering GmbH, Germany, was the general technical supplier and provided lighting, sound, video, stage building, rigging and power. Production designer was Goran Joksimovic. Sven Stojanovic worked as art director. The event was broadcasted and organized by RTS (Radio-televizija Srbije).
Photos: Copyright – Procon