Tag Archives: branding

Transport, the fan mile revisited and issues of signage

I last walked the fan mile a month ago, checking out the locations for Eurovision related activities. How’s it all looking now?

On the afternoon of the first semi we started at the central station. There’s a discreet sign on the boards near the clock:

at central station - and that's it

And that’s it. No guidance as to which side of the road to take the bus from once you find the stop, nothing on fares and tickets, alternative forms of transport, the tourist office…there is transport information on the Web, but it’s organiser oriented, confusing and ever-changing, plus there’s very little on the street, and what there is may only be på dansk.

Compare and contrast with Malmö 2013:

At the station, as well as information boards there was a desk manned by volunteers offering Eurovision maps and a pocket sized leaflet with details of buses, trains, ticket prices etc. The butterfly branding acted as a consistent identifier for Eurovision locations and transport – and for fun. Oh, those Swedes.

CPH has tasteful #joinus signs in a font I still have problems with fighting a losing battle with posters for the upcoming European elections, no tasteful minimalism there, creating my old favourite, a jarring disconnect:

I may not be able to vote in Scotland’s referendum but at least I can play my part in deciding whether Denmark joins the European Patent Court.

CPH also has this:

dressing

Also comes in pink. Easy to miss, unless you are looking at your feet and avoiding all eye contact.

Moving on to the fan mile proper, the banners hang but there’s no music playing and some of them are the ‘wrong’ way round.

2014-05-06 17.07.49

At Eurovision Village the concert area on Nytorv felt very Danish, although to be fair there was no concert on at the time, while there were fewer food trucks on Gammeltorv than on Sunday:

No lion dancers or Hamburgers on Højbro Plads yet, and Malmö’s effort defo a bit token:

2014-05-06 17.46.16

Like the events I’ve been to it all felt rather flat and underwhelming, despite the oodles of hype WoCo pushes out.

Before we hop on the boat, just a thought re the harbour bus service. With the changes, I was wondering if it would still be possible to hop on and off. Here’s the stop at Det sorte Diamant/Royal Library:

2014-05-06 15.21.13

På dansk only. Basically, the harbour bus has been turned into a Eurovision shuttle, tough luck if you wanted to use it to go somewhere else.

Anyway, our boat trip to Eurovision Island went swimmingly both ways. We walked on to canal boats and tried out both sides of Nyhavn, oh yes, a free experience, if a little chilly. (Are the regular harbour buses free? How about the 9A?)

Others weren’t so lucky.  On Monday David from Wiwi Bloggs was still calling transportation an absolute disaster (if anyone is still lost, see our post Transport us to Eurovision Island).  He directed particular ire at signage. At Nyhavn “there are multiple locations along the canal where the harbor bus is supposed to dock, but nothing to tell you which location is where it will be”.

Summing up the Danish approach to signage:

As we said before:

After we arrived back at Nyhavn we sighted host Pilou getting into a taxi at Kongens Nytorv – he stopped to congratulate some Icelandic fans, who commented that he looked familiar.

The metro and train home were rammed with Justin Timberlake fans coming back from the concert at 2001 Eurovision venue Parken. Just one more jarring disconnect.

2014-05-07 00.05.35

Semi 1: #joinus in Denmark

Update, 7 May: 7/10 for both of us. Neither of us predicted San Marino or Iceland, although we’re more than happy to see both #joiningus. Mik dropped Montenegro, while Ann dropped Ukraine. Making up the 10: Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and yay! The Netherlands.

The semi was not sold out so we were able to move forward and had a bird’s eye view of the green room for some sweet Montenegro moments. You can also see us arriving on @drgrandprix’s timelapse, at around 24 secs:

Back on Thursday with more predictions.

We’re off to semi 1 this evening, sitting in Olsen as a tribute to the snubbed Jørgen and Noller. From Twitter and the bloggage it’s pretty easy to work out how the show will pan out, but we’ll cover that elsewhere.

The public areas have been done in the nick of time, and maybe don’t quite live up to the pre-show hype:

A big round of applause herfra for the creative use of shipping containers, which we’ve been anticipating for months, not so much for the less than subtle branding for Host City partners REDA. Danes on Facebook noted a lack of twin touchstones hygge and Danish design, plus someone commented that it looked like it had been thrown together in a couple of hours…

What about the music? Below are our predictions for semi 1, with a full ranking from ordensmenneske Mik. It’s tricky, because after you’ve heard the songs more than three times you have a love/hate relationship with them all and can’t decide if you like them or not, but we need to lose six of these lovelies. Bolded is out. Check back on Weds to see how wrong we were.

Armenia

Ann: a class act but not likeable and not enough of a story arc for the big win

Mik: Intriguing 3 minutes. If he catches the camera right and doesn’t look too stressed or serious this goes straight to the final. (1)

Latvia

Ann: charming tipping over into annoying, maybe rein Jöran in a tad to go through

Mik: Recipe for hyggelig amateurism, convincing though. And a very good draw, makes a nice contrast to Aram Superstar and his serious business. (7)

Estonia

Ann: the most complete show of the night, entertaining without resorting to gimmicks

Mik: Contemporary catchy dance and singing class. (4)

Sweden

Ann: manufactured and clinical; those ornamental flourishes grate but soars to a climax

Mik: Professional plastic sing-a-long, straight from IKEA. It will give you goosebumps. (2)

Iceland

Ann: trying too hard. LT United without the xtra factor (who was your favourite?)

Mik: LT United light, but we can’t all be Winners. And it has been 8 years. (14)

Albania

Ann: trying too hard (2), but lovely voice

Mik: Little girl with great voice, but uninspired & whining song with poor Albanese English lyrics. (15)

Russia

Ann: best use of twins, best use of mystifying props; effective if unexciting

Mik: Cutesy twin girls will do the trick, with their charming, though very calculated act on stage. (8)

Azerbaijan

Ann: Dilara doesn’t do fur – what’s not to like? Answer: the trapeze in a church gimmick.

Mik: Impressive stage show helps this classic jury jewel. Very convincing. (3)

Ukraine

Ann: ticked off – a poor effort, first ever NQ for Ukraine?

Mik: Gets on your nerves, but Crimea crisis will give this contemporary trash some sympathy vote. (10)

Belgium

Ruslana2
Ruslana shows her appreciation at the Belgian national final

Ann: should be safe enough, as long as pple remember it’s a song contest, with added interpretive dance UPDATE: Out; might have made it with a Ruslana hologram

Mik: Belgique’s got talent goes Eurovision, but the sentimental old fashioned style won’t make you pick up your iphone. (12)

Moldova

Ann: a slight led down from my fave country – borderline, needs more Pasha, plus Aliona’s smile

Mik: Fascinating and Barbu-esque. Maybe too shouty for some, but it sticks to you. And we all love her accent. (9)

San Marino

Ann: a pearl in a shell, a diamond in the rough…too many metaphors. Ave atque vale – and arrivederci! 

Mik: There is no pearl in the shell: Old fashioned boring Siegel trademark. (16)

Portugal

Ann: it’s Beautiful Song without Anmary, no #suzyshake here

Mik: Suzy-shake flying the flag for Portugal, but without charm, sparkle or cheekyness. All that’s left are her very poor vocals, but Martha does a good job! (13)

The Netherlands

Ann: unexciting but does enough for now

Mik: This years dark horse: real musicians, real emotions, real chemistry between them and it looks very good on TV. The jury will love this! (5)

Montenegro

Ann: no Zjelko ripoff – this is the real deal musically. Despite Skating Dolly goosebumps city – see you in Cetinje!

Mik: Now we understand why Montenegro once joined the Serbian Republic. Zjelko has inspired many in a good way, but he wouldn’t approve of the roller skating. Might just miss out. (11)

Hungary

Ann:  I have nothing to say. MTV fodder.

Mik: Contemporary catchy believable song with a message and a hunky Hungarian. (6)

Eurovision Island (7): quicker to get to Malmö

I popped out to Eurovision Island on my  own yesterday to see how things were going, particularly on the transport front. The fan press pack hasn’t been too complimentary so far – I’ve a haul of quotes I’m going to sit on until after the event, as there are a range of factors at play and extra services from today, but for a sneak peek see Transport us to Eurovision Island.

One comment which tickled me was whether it would actually be quicker to get to Malmö, or the arena in Hyllie, last year’s venue, at least (whatever happened to that option?).

Here’s  a smörgåsbord of options from Rejseplanen for a journey from our south CPH suburb to Refshaleøen:

rejseplanen

And to Hyllie:

malmo

So pretty equal on time, but hands down to Hyllie for ease of access.

I was also interested in signage:

The evidence on the ground – click to scroll.

And #bogwhallerne itself? Part of the diamand in the rough metaphor, or just run out of money?

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.

Eurovision Island (5): branded to f**k

After our Holmen excursion we couldn’t resist taking another opportunity to peek at Eurovision Island itself. Now up to five trips and counting, it had started to feel like our place, but suddenly there are loads of people trespassing on our space and sticking up nasty blue notices.

We drove past Head of Show Jan LL with a couple of his mates and gave him a wave, but he seemed rather preoccupied.

Host City CPH’s Emil Spangenberg stressed to Ekstra Bladet last week that they aren’t finished yet (the old doors are still there, for starters), and it looks fantastic inside.

Click on an image to scroll through the lot.

 

#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.