Working in collaboration with the production team at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, PLASA is pleased to announce plans for a unique event: PLASA Focus: Backstage Malmö, taking place on 7-8 May, one week prior to Eurovision’s live broadcasts, in Malmö, Sweden.
As one of the world’s most-watched live music productions, attracting in excess of 100 million television viewers each year, the Eurovision Song Contest has become a major annual showcase for the technologies at the cutting edge of the show production industry.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest, produced by the European Broadcast Union (EBU) and SVT, the national broadcaster of last year’s winning nation, Sweden, will be preceded by PLASA Focus: Backstage Malmö – an opportunity for industry professionals to take a first-hand look at these technologies in context.
The event will include a series of exclusive backstage tours during technical rehearsals, followed by Q&A sessions with the show’s design team and technology providers. There will also be a programme of seminar presentations and an exhibit showcasing the technology, plus dinner and drinks with the team in the evening.
“This is something that originated with Sennheiser,” explains Eurovision 2013 technical director Ola Melzig. “Like many of the main technology providers, Sennheiser has for some years wanted to have some sort of show-room for their customers where they can explain, in the dramatic setting of the event itself, just how they overcome all the inherent problems associated with such a unique event. All the technical partners we spoke to liked the idea. And we wanted it to be very much in the mould of a regional ‘PLASA Focus’ event – albeit with a specific Eurovision orientation.”
In fact, with LSi magazine on board from the outset as Technical Media Partner for Eurovision Song Contest 2013, the link with PLASA was already there, and developing it further seemed a natural step. PLASA too saw the benefit of highlighting its members’ technologies being displayed to such striking effect on one of the most popular televised music events in the world. However, there was a clear opportunity for more, and the collaboration has grown to include backstage tours for attendees during preparations for the first dress rehearsals, with a chance to talk in detail to the technical and design teams, plus a separate seminar programme.
Melzig continues: “With the geographical catchment area embracing southern Sweden and Norway, Denmark, and northern Germany, it seems entirely suited to the growing popularity of these PLASA Focus events. We also expect to engage keynote speakers at the trade show, former Eurovision LDs, camera directors and sound designers with in-depth experience of Eurovision and big events who can present on themes such as ‘What are the key tools?’ and ‘How do we use them?'”
The creative team for Eurovision 2013 includes Sven Stojanovic (creative director), Frida Arvidsson and Viktor Brattström (set), Frederick Jönsson (lighting – contest), Emma Landare (lighting -opening acts, intervals & voting), Mikki Kunttu (video), Magnus Johansson (PA system design), Matthias Winter (FOH sound) and Fredrik Stålne (broadcast sound).
Confirmed Technical Partners include Barco (projection), MA Lighting (lighting control), Clay Paky, SGM and Company NA (lighting fixtures), Wireless Solution Sweden (wireless DMX control systems), Sennheiser (microphones & personal monitoring), Green Hippo (media servers) and CAST (whose BlackTrax system will provide what Melzig describes as the ‘Show WOW’).
Lighting, sound and rigging equipment will be provided jointly by PRG and Starlight. AVAB CAC will provide its in-depth knowledge of Midas networked digital audio systems for FOH sound control. Tait Technologies will be responsible for building the stage and set. Media servers will be provided by Beacon and the projection systems by Mediatec, while the pyrotechnics will come from Pyroman.
PLASA’s Head of Events Sophie Atkinson comments: “PLASA Focus: Backstage Malmö is effectively a new departure for PLASA Events – the first time that the ‘PLASA Focus’ brand has ‘focused’ on a specific show and its production technology, as opposed to the regional trade shows that we continue to develop elsewhere in the world. It was always the plan for the ‘Focus’ to be adaptable to include a region, or a market sector, or as in this case, a specific production. We think it will prove an invaluable and highly enjoyable opportunity to see inside the workings of this major show.”
The full website and online registration will be launched next week. The event is €75 to attend, which includes the backstage tours, seminars, and entry to the exhibition, plus dinner and drinks. Attendees will also have the opportunity to book accommodation at preferential rates, at a choice of official PLASA Focus: Backstage Malmö hotels. Numbers are strictly limited, so organisers urge all those wishing to attend to register for priority booking at www.plasafocus.com/backstagemalmo.