Tag Archives: cultural canon

The Eurovision Stage Contest is won

Fascinating insight on the inspiration behind the cube:

old style construction in #bogwhallerne

Lots more på dansk here. I prefer sepia tints to seizure inducing LCD displays, but then I’m not a visual person.

Here’s the full vid:


The Eurovision Fan Mile: before

On Tuesday I took a stroll down the Eurovision Fan Mile – backwards. My mobile tracking device tells me that from the middle of Nyhavn (forgot to turn it on) to the top of Rådhuspladsen is a shade over a mile, hurra! With photo stops it took me 30 minutes to walk.

Before we set off towards Rådhuspladsen though let’s imagine we’ve just made it to Kongens Nytorv, “the finest and largest square of the city” and want to take the shuttle boat to Eurovision Island.

Kongens Nytorv

Currently a building site due to works for the new Metro City Ring (current ETA ~2020). If you are emerging from the metro bear right to get to Nyhavn. Simples.

Coming from Strøget, bear left. This will take you past a 10m2 space which will be occupied by a herd of plastic horses during the summer, and quite possibly by our friends from Malmö during #escdk. The back wall is covered by Happy Wall, an “analog interactive pixel screen”which passers-by can turn into messages aka artworks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nyhavn and shuttle boats

Nyhavn, yer classic CPH, lots of heritage, history and hygge. Bottom right you’ll find the 993 shuttle boat stop – see our travel guide for more on arriving by water. Visit Copenhagen’s travel guide offers a rather different vista which we’re still trying to get to the bottom of  – here’s the full story.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Strøget and the squares

Back on message, if you must you can translate Strøget as ‘walking street’ – it’s the original pedestrian precinct, dating from 1962. Actually several streets punctuated by a series of squares (torv, plads), but don’t worry about it.

The shops aren’t much to write home about – a better bet is to duck down the side streets. This church is now an art gallery.

St Nikolaj Church/Nikolaj Kunsthal
St Nikolaj Church/Nikolaj Kunsthal

Pressing on, walking ‘up’ Strøget the first square you come to is Højbro Plads, the potential home for Chinese liondancers and Hamburgers:

Højbro Plads
Højbro Plads

Next up, Eurovision Village, aka Gammeltorv/Nytorv. Hang a left across Nytorv and it’s no distance to Huset and the Euro Fan Café:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rådhuspladsen and the countdown clock

Same deal as Kongens Nytorv, building site. As we’ve seen efforts are being made to cheer things up with a range of artworks being established around Byens Hegn (the City Fence; Facebook). Here there’s Suburbia, a photo exhibition exploring suburban areas at night.

We love the gimcrack countdown clock so much we’ve started a photo gallery – if you are in CPH for #escdk and get a picture of the clock in action, do send it to us!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BTW sorry for the grey filter. According to the weather forecast the sun should come out next Wednesday, and things tend to brighten up a tad by May.

Now, let’s get this party started!

2014-04-08 18.54.58

Featured image at top of post via Blogilkar. Bottom left: Knippelsbro, leads to Christianshavn.

Party for the people in Odense

Updates: 17 March…in his #melfest review @misterjorgensen calls #drgrandprix a “humourless, rule-filled endurance test” while cool Danish online news mag Atlas thanks Birthe for the music, finds show manufactured and soulless. In the deeply serious daily Information Georg Metz makes a few rhetorical flourishes on the way to concluding that DR lacks self critique…22 March: DMGP songs in the Danish charts

In terms of viewing figures, DMGP garnered 1.8 million, the same as last year despite the win, while  #melfest on 3.3 million maintained its downward trajectory.

14 songs and just over a week still to go in national final season. Last night both Sweden and Denmark eschewed New Folk, going for a seventh time lucky schlager ballad sung by a Viking and a catchy 1980s Eurovision ditty from an X Factor reject respectively.

SVT’s slick show had a good flow, kicking off with the ultimate Wonderful Copenhagen from Charlotte Perelli on a rock, now being talked up as host for 2015. Nordic noir reference? Check. The votes from the Danish jury (what?) were read out by Saga from The Bridge

DR gave some of its shiny new ideas a run out on the locals, but you would have to be a real fan to be energised by the prospect of seeing Danni Elmo’s Instagram pics. They also pushed a branded hashtag for the night – having tried #arvingerneDR for the latest Sunday night drama to little avail.

According to Danish Twitter counter Overskrift #drgrandprix has garnered a stonking 12K + tweets in the last 24 hours, and not all of them by Grand Prix DR aka @escdk14 (oh stop it) either – the Danish Twitterati were out in force. Last year’s final garnered just over 14K tweets. Amidst the veritable tsunami of coverage – 144 new photos on Facebook, anyone – was a whoops fingers! #selfie:

The show itself left me with a few questions:

  • why did our winner Basim (4th in X Factor DK 2008) perform in front of a Dannebrog (Danish flag), obscuring the giant #joinus diamond which otherwise dominated proceedings? Bryan Rice would also like to know…update, 17 March: this ran and ran, reaching the satire stage of the news cycle by Tuesday; see Eurovisionary for the full story – at the mo it seems no Dannebrog for Basim
  • nice to see Marcel (2nd in X Factor DK 2009 as part of Alien Beat Club) again – whatever happened the other ABCers?
  • X Factor DK had a Eurovision evening on Friday, how about that! judge Remee, who discovered Basim back in 2008, doesn’t have a great Eurovision record (No Angels, Soluna), could that be an omen?
  • Jakob Riising, why? educational interludes made for a choppy change of tone

Amid rumours of backstage armtwisting, in the end no one rained on Emmelie’s parade. Let’s finish by looking at the two national finals through the medium of the interval act.

Stockholm basked in the joy which is an Abba medley – although maybe not so much in the extended version of Chiquitita. Nice touch with our hosts Anders and Nour, who we’ve taken to our hearts for having personalities, redoing Robin. Shame Robin didn’t redo Robin. Meanwhile over in Odense we had a buckets of folkelig cheer – and more community singing – with Queen Birthe Kjær et al all piling on stage to celebrate the joy of second (and third) place. Olsen Bros doublebooked, or saving themselves for May? It all went down swimmingly with the home crowd. We give you, Sweden a sleek global mastodon:

Denmark strictly a homegrown affair:

They’ll need to step things up a gear in May.

Happy Eurovision 2014!

December has been one dizzying whirl of #escdk announcements, all to be forgotten by 11 May 2014. Did you see the SVT doc about Eurovsion 2013? Haven’t seen so many whey faced Swedes since they last lost to Denmark in the girls’ handball.

an abandoned Xmas tree
Xmas passed (credit: The Hollywood Walker)

Enough of the existential angst, let’s celebrate the fairy tale which will be Eurovision 2014 with all December’s news.

Eurovision 2014 logo
that logo

The diamond in the rough – this rushed looking effort pre-empting Eurovision’s own 60th anniversary has attracted much opprobrium as well as a lot of looky likeys. Here’s the clunky symbolism:

A diamond is sparkling and strong. It has many different aspects and shows the diversity which will be shown on the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest…it shows the visual thinking we have for Eurovision 2014: The raw B & W combined with the sparkling show and in the middle on the stage, the diamond as a combining force, right there where it all takes place.

Thank you, Pernille Gaardbo (in translation). See Eurovision.tv’s gallery of theme art in past years for comparison, plus Internet reactions and ESC Reporter’s critique

Meanwhile. things are stirring around Eurovision Island:

Undercover detective work also reveals that the predicted pontoon is on its way.

#escdk was the 29th most popular hashtag in Denmark in 2013 with 20K tweets (including RTs), 13K of which were made during the show itself. The @escdk14 team has only really been tweeting since September, even if they have changed their bio and/or handle three times, and Twitter isn’t huge in Denmark, so it’s all a bit new, unlike in the UK, where both Junior Eurovision (#jesc2013) and the Albanian national final (#fik52) both trended.

We’ll look at this a lot more closely in 2014, but you can’t knock them for trying. The #myeurovisionidea meme has already garnered more than 2.5K original tweets and DR’s creative team has promised to look at them all – good luck with that! Missed a trick though with not doing an easy Twitter/Faceboook/Instragram aggregation on the #joinus website

And don’t most people go to the loo and recharge their glasses during the interval act? I do – though I hung around for the crawling on the ceiling in 2009: 

What should the interval act – and Eurovision – really be about? Should it “ooze Denmark”? Should the postcards be about the singer or their country? The SVT doc stressed that it’s not about the production team (who looked exhausted throughout) but about the participants and bringing Europe together. Those of us concerned at the #joinus ethos will be playing close heed to the developing Us vs Them balancing act.

Finally, if you’ve stopped by here before you might notice that we’ve freshened things up a bit with the new WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme – more content and lots of on trend pretty pictures to resize. 

We’re spending Hogmanay on a train – see the vid below for how the Danes celebrate the New Year. Best wishes for Eurovision 2014 and beyond!

Keep it real: celebrate Eurovision Island’s industrial heritage

We’ve just updated our guide to Eurovision Island, and will endeavour to keep it up to date in the run up to May. Reckon popup this and that could be a feature – fingers crossed for sensibly priced vegetarian options.

For those more into exploring industrial heritage than urban ranging and gladiator fighting, there’s a fascinating self guided shipyard tour round the area – only in Danish at the moment, so may have to get translating…

Copenhagen’s heritage as an industrial harbour city is an interesting one, rather different from the fairytale image. The new Men & Metal documentary following five former workers on their return to Refshaleøen during Copenhell – in the rain – makes us wish we’d been here back when Copenhagen was real.

“Where words fail…”: spring in Odense

Update, 8pm: another dansk only output from DR on the event. Here’s the gist: it’s gonna be great.

With October come the first signs of the dreaded Danish winter – think grey skies, grey clothes, grey people – but here’s a welcome reminder of spring in the shape of the Danish national final, aka Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, to be held in Odense on 8 March. Hosting duties were officially handed over today, an occasion attended by some old friends:

Yay! See too the video of the boys in action and answering some tricky questions. Despite our encouragement on Twitter, apparently they are “too busy” to enter #dmgp this time around, but we’re sure there will still be sightings in May.

Anyway, back to Odense. All this has never really been news – they kinda booked their spot by not bidding for the big one, and it’s been an open secret since July, but hey! now it’s official. Basically muggins turn, says DR’s Rasmus Ladefoged (great name that), part of a Eurovision spring in Denmark, totally coincidentally taking place on the same day as International Women’s Day and something called Melodifestivalen.

Odense, on the drive through island of Fyn (Funen if you must), is your classic fairy tale Danish town. There’s more to do there than in Herning (there’s more to do anywhere than in Herning), although most of it revolves round Hans Christian Andersen – even the pedestrian crossings get in on the act:

Odense’s Andersen Ampelmann (credit: Kate goes some places)

Anker Boye, the local Boris Johnson and a big cheese in Danish local politics, says Odense is no ploughed field and it won’t all be about Hans Christian – do we believe him? With Eurovision itself going urban it’s hard to imagine being able to avoid marzipan and ducklings.

As both Hans Christian and Abba said let’s let the music speak…1993, the last time #dmgp was held in Odense, marked Tommy Seebach‘s last hurrah. This mashup with son Rasmus doesn’t quite work but is still rather touching:

22nd out of 25, and for singing in the round too.