Tag Archives: arrogance

WoCo’s dirty laundry

Updated for 2016: Repayments demanded in Eurovision scandal. You want more?

  • June 2015: auditors’ report! The whole farrago cost DK 310 million,  167% over budget. DR absolved of any blame – although watching this year’s safe pair of hands at work many things came back to haunt me, not least Lise Rønne in the ‘green room’.
  • May 2015: in a piece called Building tourist bridges ESC Insight’s Jenny Wren gets those dirty sheets back out of the linen basket – those Malmö comparisons gotta hurt…
  • Jan 2015: in Berlingske cultural critics DOXA note the absence of any form of self criticism from DR, while WoCo CEO Lars Bernhard Jørgensen resigns, a move spun as a “generational shift”. Let us never talk of such things again.

Three months on, some of the issues flagged up here and in the Danish press are reaching a sort of resoution, although the #escdk repurcussions will drag on for months – if not years – yet.

The international bandwagon has rolled on to Vienna, which, one trusts, will be characterised by attention to detail rather than a det skal nok gå /”it’s not my problem” project management style.

We’ve reached peak Eurovision here, although once national final season kicks off and there’s nowt on Danish TV we may well be back.

See also Metroxpress’ overview page.

Eurovision leadership employed own family
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Eurovision Island (6): a row of tents

Latest trip, Sunday morning, just before the fan press pack arrived. Definitely a different feel in the air – people smiling, tourists wobbling past on hired bikes, lots of working spaniels for the beagles to bark at. Sigh.

Now very much a private space, with a new wooden fence up, areas blocked off, security guards. Having been out there six times I thought we were pretty much inured to the raw look, but heck, it’s grim. And bizarrely, it can be too hot in Denmark in April, if there’s no shade to be had.

Some areas, like the flattened area where eager punters will queue to get in, I just couldn’t bear to take a photo of. Certainly lowered the bar for Eurovision venue environs – maybe that’s a good thing? And once you’ve actually got inside, it will all be forgotten, won’t it?

Click on an image to scroll through the lot.

The harbour bus stop story: alternative arrangements in hand?

CaptureUpdate, 28 April: spotted on Visit Copenhagen’s PDF map! The key part reads: The harbour bus stops are located at the end of Nyhavn, on both sides of the entrance to the harbour. 

Still reckon not quite ready, mind…

If you want a straight answer go to the organ grinder not the city branders extraordinaire. Visit Copenhagen have repeatedly ignored my tweets regarding the harbour bus stop story. Dårlig stil, guys.

On Facebook, the blessed Lone from Movia tells @esckaz Andy:

Yes you are absolutely correct – the bus stop ”Nyhavn” is under construction from the 3rd of March – 01st of June.

However, temporary solutions has been made during the “Gran Prix” from the 05th of May to the 10th of May, so you can use the bus from “Nyhavn”.

For bus read boat…what the temporary solutions might be, we don’t know, but this is a major step forward, and will help me sleep at night.

Some signage might be an idea – I hung around at the top of Nyhavn yesterday next to the building site, that’s how I get my entertainment these days, and there were a lot of confused people from around the globe in evidence, but no boats, obv.

2014-04-26 12.56.48

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

BTW that Facebook wall is a joy. Lone has my very best.

The harbour bus stop story so far

Update, 27 April: alternative arrangements in hand?

On  Wednesday Host City CPH revealed the #escdk travel guide. Frankly it’s about as confusing and long winded as ours. At the top is this picture:

photo: Ty Stange

Rather different from the picture I took on Tuesday:

What’s going on? Here’s the short version – thanks to @esckaz for his support in picking all this apart.

My picture is taken from the right hand side of Nyhavn as you walk towards the harbour, showing the current 993 harbour bus stop. The 993 (Movia details) shuttles between Nyhavn and the Opera.

Host City CPH’s pic is taken from next to the Royal Playhouse, a short stroll from the left hand side of Nyhavn. A Google Image search reveals that it’s not a current image – among previous uses are a Huffington Post article from 2013, Copenhagen flexes its mussels, and a Danish tourist guide from 2012. Tsk tsk.

According to Movia, the 992 harbour bus, which plies the full route as far as Eurovision Island, is not stopping at Nyhavn at the moment due to works next to the Royal Playhouse:

992movia
click to go the page – maybe it’s been updated?

The stop is not due to reopen until 1 June. That’s why I didn’t go looking there on Tuesday.

Repeated requests to Visit Copenhagen to shed some light on #escdk harbour buses beyond the current skeleton details have merely elicited the information that the stop is the stop next to the Royal Playhouse.

Which yesterday looked like this:

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Rather than this:

2014-04-13 12.07.22
Nordre Tolbod, Movia’s suggested alternative to the closed stop at Nyhavn

We’re taking the (regular) bus.

#metroxpressgate: wake me up when it’s all over

So, following the new rule of three there’s another Mumford & Sons in semi 2, it looks like Sweden really doesn’t want to win this year and the theme song is straight out of The Lion King. What else is up?

The countdown clocks are ticking. Over on Eurovision Island there’s no change and bills to pay.

ESC Today's countdown clock
ESC Today’s countdown – can anyone confirm that this total is different from the clock on CPH town hall square?

DR Indefra, a radio programme on DR’s highbrow station, took a look at progress at #bogwhallerne with Head of Show Jan Lagermand Lundme. It was snowing, not least through a hole in the roof, there were cranes and a lot of dirt, but still three months/100/90 89, Jan! days to go.

The reporter had a little #escdk checklist to run through. Back in October they’d only been able to tick off the first two points, but this time all six got a big fat tick, although only on paper and with brackets in some cases, and even that’s generous:

  1. The venue – they’re not moving. Yet.
  2. Theme/slogan – #joinus branding etc; somewhat defensively, JLL stated they were still happy with this.
  3. Lighting and sound equipment etc – on order.
  4. National song, interval acts – 100%, known to the second. So hold #myeurovisionidea. Dancers hired, graphics sent to the printer.
  5. Budget – På plads! ie a done deal. Much the same as for Eurovision 2013 in Sweden, DKK 150 million from DR, with income from ticket sales, sponsors, the EBU.
  6. Host/s – the trekløver, aka a three leafed clover.

Move along here, nothing to see…but what the programme omitted to mention was an article in freesheet MetroXpress, published on Tuesday evening, summarised med det samme by ESC Reporter: Broadcaster threatens to move Eurovision 2014.

Eagerly snapped up by the tabloids (Ekstra Bladet | BT, inc a video with a rather grumpy Exec Producer Pernille T in what we hope is faux fur and not giraffe), leading to a rebuttal from WoCo on DR’s Eurovision site – it’s not DR who need extra money and everything’s hunky dory between the #escdk players. ESC Reporter put the story to bed, but that’s not really the point is it?

Dogged Eurovision bloggers ESCKAZ (Thursday | Friday) and EuroVisionary have covered the increasing costs of converting a dilapidated shed into a modern arena for three nights only in forensic detail. Seems that It’s not just the now famous pillars which are causing a problem – the roof may not be able to hold lighting rigs etc, plus – who knew? – there’s only one road to Eurovision Island and transport plans are still on the drawing board:

They have not been having the right expertise in relation to this creative task and as such have underestimated the project. You can’t base such an arrangement on that it will be good weather or that you can find some volunteers who have a little rowing boat which they can use to sail the guests over. You have to think of a worst case scenario.

That from Leif Skov, former Head of Show, Roskilde Festival, to ESC Reporter. There’ll be a reason why neither DR nor Visit Copenhagen have comment facilities on their Eurovision sites. Regional councillor Mette Abilgaard had to leave a comment on Facebook to make her point, with a handy link to the council minutes.

Now it’s yonks since I sat through the blessed Borgen and atm for me #escdk host Pilou is a chubby ship’s cook w a beard, but never mind the kitsch, Kasper’s spin skills could come in handy. It’s lucky DR landed that one from the stock of 12 Danish actors.

Coming shortly after the latest ticketing crisis (let’s put the green room where we’ve already sold some seats and not tell the ticket retailer so their system crashes) you might get the impression that some people are good at setting fairy tale goals waay down the line but aren’t too bothered about the minor practical details.

We need a Can Denmark host Eurovison story in Eurosong’s Fantasy Eurovision series pdq – after Parken withdrew it’s difficult to see what feasible alternatives there were, although in better news the Copenhagen Arena should by ready for Eurovision 2016. Is it possible this experience might put other countries off the idea of hosting the thing? Glasgow could be up for it – the arena for the 2014 Commonwealth Games is in Finnieston, a gentrified former industrial wasteland.

And despite rebuttals it really does feel like WoCo and DR have fallen out – we’d noticed a certain distancing already, and are starting to really look forward to the uncensored version of DR’s documentary on the long and winding road to Eurovision 2014. Maybe best to show it in January next year, like Sweden did, so we can all bask in the after glow. Because, det skal nok gå. 

Three Danes to do work of one Swede

OK this may feel like old news, but hitting the publish button was delayed due to the pleasure of watching #metroxpressgate unfold. What’s that about then? Coming up next.

At 11:05ish yesterday the hosts of Eurovision 2014 were revealed under a golden shower, just like at the end of Teardrops – if you’ve got an idea, why not flog it to death?

Before that JLL and Pernille of the lovely hair (see our guide to the #escdk players) made a stab at rhyming couplets på dansk, a language not known for its poetry, but soon gave up and handed back to a safer pair of hands. Maybe they should have tried a form of English.

DR (sic) has gone for the troika formation, as seen most recently in Oslo, Düsseldorf and Baku, ie in three of the last four contests, but (crucially) not in Sweden. There is some novelty in that this time it’s two guys and one woman, but isn’t it still overegging the pudding a tad when not everyone can scrape together the kroner to #joinus?

Things may well get a bit crowded out there, but with the previous threesomes someone’s largely been relegated to green room duty (remember: this year the green room’s taken your seat). Plus maybe someone’s being lined up for le coin de la comédie, running round the bits of Refshaleøen the budget didn’t reach in a noir like fashion.

the three #escdk hosts
Who was the Odd Fellow out at Odd Fellow Palæet?

Time will tell. Meanwhile spare a thought for CSMO’C, displaced by three people whose names put together only just exceed hers in length.

As it happens we’re pretty happy with DR’s pack of three replacing Queen Petra. Nikolaj lends a touch of class to proceedings, Lise is a safe pair of hands and well, did you really think we’d get through #escdk without pandering to #scandimania? Plus it means our Borgen tag gets the ultimate run out. 

Following the new rule of three, here’s a selection from the many items of host reveal coverage: ESC Reporter (the classic), EuroVisionary (the empathetic) and Schlagerblog (the unexpected).

Det skal nok gå! The #escdk drawing board

There’s been a touch of det skal nok gå about this week – a Danish mantra meaning it will all be alright on the night, or rather “if we put it in pending it will sort itself out”. Let’s look at the evidence,  which gives two chief impressions:

  • it’s #escscandi – we’ll do what the Swedes did, that went well…but while Sweden stressed small is beautiful from the start the Danes can’t help themselves trying to go large with their very own sparkly Olympics, Games Makers and all – plus more than half an eye on Euro 2020
  • as a result there’s a growing tension between yay Denmark! and a more international spirit – it’s #joinus, not We are one

Those shuttle boats

The shuttle boat problem summed up by Eurovision.tv:

A harbour bus typically has room for 64 passengers so there needs to be put on a few extra round-trips in order to accommodate 10,000 strong audience expected at each show.

Obviously everyone can’t leave at once, so another possibility “on the drawing board” is to extend bus route 9A. Checking trusty travel planner Rejseplanen reveals that the bus hurtles from the central station through town to the Opera in less than 15 minutes, but to reach Refshaleøen at the moment it’s a further 20 minute walk across some interesting topography:

the route to Eurovision Island
the route to Eurovision Island

How will this circle be squared? ESC Reporter senses fingers being crossed.  If you arrive early, what will there be to do on Eurovision Island besides admiring the view? What about the return journey, at gone midnight on Sunday 11 May? And what if it rains?

CPH weather, May 2013
CPH weather, May 2013

The Fan Mile

Strøget, Copenhagen’s main drag, isn’t exactly the Champs Élysées – hordes of flag waving fans are going to get up some shoppers’ noses. Plus what about the Metro building site at Kongens Nytorv? Update: there’s a competition on to hide it.

Meanwhile, three of Host City CPH’s seven attractions are particularly worth highlighting:

  • you’ll be able to get married on Strøget (echoes of a recent DR reality show with couples set up by the producers to get married the day they met)

  • you can drink the tap water in Copenhagen (who knew?)
  • Bejing will be represented on the Fan Mile (Emmelie is popular in China)

See ESC Reporter for the rest, apart from no 7, aka  mixed messages corner, where the right hand of Host City CPH states there will be limited activities on Eurovision Island – while the left hand of transport co Movia said earlier ways of keeping people entertained before the concerts start are being explored.

We’ve lots of ideas, it will be great…

This reassurance is undermined somewhat by the fact that so far most ideas have been a) Swedish b) not quite thought through c) drafty.

Is Team CPH is starting to believe its own hype? It’s all rather more reminiscent of the other recent contest with a virgin venue than the one at a practical arena accessible by regular trains with a shopping centre attached – but det skal nok gå.