I am truly honoured to have done this Eurovision coverage with a team of dedicated and professional volunteers. Olivier from France was excellent in texting and editorial sections, Stefan was amazing into booking interviews and provide goodies to the website for the oikotimes 14 years online party, Vassilis made logistics look like a toy for us and provided oikotimes.com with a series of touristic videos for everyone to get to know the highlights of this wonderful city of Vienna; Victor spend so much money to buy new equipment to provide excellent videos for the website. Aleksandar, our affiliate photographer from Serbia this year made a huge effort to bring us photos of the Eurostars and the premises every day. Not to forget, of course, the important contributions from their own bases in their countries: Luka Popovic (Serbia), Jaime Solloso (Spain) and Morten Kaiser (Denmark).
Alongside the collaboration of oikotimes.com this year with http://www.concours-eurovision.fr was simply amazing. Fabrice and Dete made me feel like family to their team while Farouk and Romain got for oikotimes (as well) one of the most stunning set of photo galleries ever published for Eurovision on the web.
THE OIKOTIMES PARTY
Despite the cancellations of Belarus, Denmark and Azerbaijan, the Euroclub hosted the 14th online anniversary party at the Ottakringer Brauerei in Vienna. More than 650 Eurofans and accredited media / press representatives attended the party marking the event as the hottest party throughout the one week EUroclub was opened.
Dozens of articles posted throughout the 15 days of the Eurovision Song Contest with live reports and reviews with direct opinion from each editor. The team worked hard and with barely no sleep to cover as many as possible aspects of the event, inside the arena and backstage bringing ultimate visits this year. This month oikotimes.com (May 1 – May 24) the website had 1,6 million unique visitors and 5,6 million visits, a record for the website since the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade making us all so proud.
Dozens of interview with most of the Eurostars and of course the volunteers presented on oikotimes.com this season. Lots of stunning photos posted as well getting tremendous feedback of positive comments by various colleagues comparing them in quality even with the official website’s photos at eurovision.tv. We managed to have a big amount of videos from rehearsals as well, always targeted to our audience while the touring of Vienna coverage by Vassilis Karelas and his team can really make you feel what Vienna is all about.
Yes, Europrediction result was Italy and Eurovision’s result was Sweden! But, if you see the split results, Italy won the public voting (the most serious and transparent voting format for me) and therefore I cannot claim the poll as failure. 66,891 unique voters cast their votes. We excluded around 19,000 fraud votes from various fans attempting to manipulate the poll in favour of Albania. After all we saw where Elhaida Dani ended up in the scoreboard. The weird thing is that some of them consider us stupid not to see what was going on, or checking IPs etc.
ORF, EBU, VIENNA
Austrian National Broadcaster and the European Broadcasting Union made a 100% excellent job this year. This is not just my impression but everyone’s at the press area. It was the best ever organisation we, the press, had. Even transportation worked somehow this time while problems with the busses and the tram was mainly due to misunderstanding of the information given. The press area was the best (almost like Düsseldorf) and for the first time we had to stand in the red carpet for almost 8 hours but not in vain as the City of Vienna generously gave us unlimited free drinks of any kind (except hard alcohol – and I agree on that). Especially when I personally almost collapsed from exhaustion, ORF immediately got me to the doctors area and 6 doctors and assistants made sure I am OK providing me with medication and instructions to secure I will be perfectly OK.
That’s my “goodbye host city” editorial for this year. Thank you all for visiting oikotimes.com and I personally want to thank my team on oikotimes.com and partners at http://www.concours-eurovision.fr for sacrificing everything in order for our website to look and be perfect – actually more than any other time in it’s 14th history.
Thank you Vienna!