In about one week the rehearsals for the 57th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will begin. The greatest music show of the world will take place in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku for the first time in history. Azerbaijan has won the contest last year in Düsseldorf with the song “Running Scared” by Ell & Nikki with 221 points, a margin of 32 points to the runner up Italy “Follia d’amore” by Raphael Gualazzi.
Due to the victory the winning country has the privilege to host the following contest. Baku’s venues have been limited when it comes to big arenas; therefore a new arena has been planned. The construction company comes from Germany and has been built an arena with a capacity of 23.000 spectators at a maximum within a couple of months – a mega record for such a construction. The cost of this building is estimated with more than 100 million Euros. The arena is called “Crystal Hall” which has the shape of a large crystal with window elements. It’s situated on the headland of the southern part of Baku’s grand boulevard at the Caspian Sea – a new landmark for Baku. It’s also a matter of prestige, when the entire world especially Europe will look at Baku. Furthermore, Baku has been applying as a candidate city for the Olympic Games 2020.
It’s the first time that Azerbaijan is hosting such a big international event with 42 participating international delegations. The entire technical equipment has been transported from Germany, as the German production team Brainpool is responsible for the technical part of the show production. As there are two semi finals on the 22nd and 24th of May, with 18 countries each, where 10 qualifiers can go to the grand final on the 26th of May. The Big 5 countries France, Italy, Spain, Germany and United Kingdom are directly set for the final, as they are the biggest financiers of the EBU, the host country Azerbaijan will also have a spot in the final, starting on 13th position.
On May 13th the first countries of semi final 1 will start with their rehearsals. Music, light, choreography and stage set up will be adjusted. Every country has two rehearsals, the first one is for 40 minutes, the second one for 30 minutes. After each rehearsal the delegation has the opportunity to hold a press conference. The rehearsals are open for journalists and fans who can get their first impressions of the entries.
During the two weeks of heavy preparations the artists, delegations, journalists and fans gathering together and the excitement is increasing day by day. The two semi finals are pushing the excitement to another level – the big ubiquitous question is “Which country will qualify for the final”. During the broadcasting of the grand final there are more than 100 million expected spectators worldwide enjoying the 26 entries and the pulsating voting procedure with televotes and jury votes from all 42 participating countries. When the winner is determined, there is a reprise of the winning song and the trophy will be handed over and the winning country has the honour to be the host next year.