SWEDEN – The melody festival launches as “The whole of Sweden’s party”. But now people in the industry fear that a tour in February and March could instead lead to contagion chaos if Sweden’s largest TV program moves through Malmö, Gothenburg, Linköping, Lidköping, Örnsköldsvik and finally ends in Solna outside Stockholm.
“Whether it is 500 in the audience or in front of no audience at all, it is about 200 people in the production alone, with sound, light and stage technicians, TV photographers, production staff and Melodifestivalen’s editorial staff who will travel by train and plane to and from Malmö, to and from Gothenburg”, says a person with good insight into the Melodifestivalen’s production.
Then there are another hundred people with the artists, dancers, record companies, management who will be with us every week.
And in addition, hundreds of local skills are needed to help build the stage, set up the arena, audience hosts and so on.
The government has announced a maximum ceiling of 500 people at public events. Nevertheless, the organizers SVT, Live Nation and All things live to continue to sell tickets to the Melodifestivalen’s tour, with a total of 18 arena shows with room for between 4,000 and 27,000 in the audience at each show.
Since the corona restrictions were tightened for the first time just before Christmas, the management of the Melodifestivalen has sat in a number of crisis meetings with its co-organizers.
The day before Christmas Eve, the Melodifestivalen’s project manager on SVT, Anette Brattström, promised that the Melodifestivalen would travel around the country:
“As long as the restrictions do not prevent us from going out into the country, the tour will be over, she said then.”
But taking the Melodifestivalen on tour is described by several people in the TV and music industry as a “disaster”.
“Do you really want Mello to become the whole of Sweden’s infection party? It feels like a hole in the head that a public service company with the flag at the top should travel around the country and the kingdom when the rest of Sweden tries to avoid infection, says an industry source.”
During Thursday’s press conference with the Swedish Public Health Agency, Anders Tegnell also received questions about the Melodifestivalen’s tour.
How reasonable is it to have a big arena tour around the country in early February?
“Now we have a set of rules in place with recommendations for how our assessment is today if you can carry out that type of event. Then the Melodifestivalen and those who arrange can look at it and see to what extent and how they can apply these regulations and recommendations so that they really implement this in a wise and as safe way as possible”, says the state epidemiologist.
SVT, Live Nation and All things live have drawn out the message about what will happen with the tour and with the 10,000s of tickets that have already been sold to the audience.
In emails sent to the artists’ team during the week, however, representatives of the Melodifestivalen have written that talks are underway between the organizers and that “decisions will be made on Friday”. But according to the email, what the decision means for the artists’ team should not be announced until next week.
As Aftonbladet was able to report the day before Christmas Eve, SVT has according to sources not had a spare room for a possible cancelled tour.
But several industry sources now tell Aftonbladet that Melodifestivalen is doing everything to get a venue in the Stockholm area to be able to keep all broadcasts in one place.
Several industry sources are now speculating that a possible alternative is to carry out all broadcasts in the Annex, just like last year or in the Friends Arena.
“There are also all possibilities to build walkways and keep distance, which did not really work in the Annex, to be honest”, says a TV source.
An obstacle that was cleared out of the way on Thursday when it comes to Friends arena is a booked electric car fair, where the organizer has now announced that the fair has been cancelled.
an oikotimes original text