STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Välkommen till Sverige ! The oikotimes.com team arrived this morning in Swedish capital city. Right from Arlanda airport, we got to Friends Arena for a technical visit organized by Sveriges Television (SVT).
Head of press, Madeleine Sinding-Larsen welcomed us for a quick visit of the arena where Melodifestivalen final will take place next Saturday. Preparations are going full swing here since rehearsals are starting afternoon.
We got the chance to meet the event’s two production managers:
Cecilia Zollitsch, SVT (in charge of Melodifestivalen final for the first time this year)
Mikael Lindström, Blixten.Co (responsible for Melodifestivalen Tour for the 14th year in a row)
For the final, the routine is exactly the same as previous weeks. The stage was dismantled on Saturday night, after the show. And from Monday to Wednesday it is rebuilt in the arena in order to get ready for rehearsals from Thursday to Saturday.
To make it simple, let’s say that this year’s final won’t be big… it will be HUGE! Just imagine, on Saturday night, an audience of 28,000 persons will attend the show! (2.5 times the audience of Eurovision 2014!). If you add the other 5 heats of Melodifestivalen 2015, SVT has sold more than 125,000 tickets!
Yes, the Swedish final is growing bigger. Mr Lindström compared “former” finals with this year’s event. In Globen (the former venue), the audience was just over 13,000, and 5 trucks would be used to transport the equipment. Today, 25 trucks are needed!
The stage will be exactly the same as the one in the other arenas that have hosted the show this year. But, given the size of the final’s venue, much more light and sound are requested! Another change will be the Green room which will be located right in the middle of the audience, for the first time.
Melodifestivalen is definitely the biggest and most popular national final of the Eurovision season, gathering an average 3 million viewers each week (and even more on the Internet or Sveriges Radio).
So stay tuned, the oikotimes.com team will share every moment of this unique experience with you!