Tag Archives: Denmark vs Sweden

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:


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


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:


And to Hyllie:


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?

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.

#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).

Sweden kicks off Eurovision 2014 with a whistle

With the first heat of Melodifestivalen last night (plus a little matter of two finals) Eurovision 2014 is finally GO!!

#melfest can be a bit Seaside Special and the songs were nothing really to write home about – Swedish cheesecake from a Sanna Nielsen soundalike took the honours – but what keeps people coming back is the show.

A barnstorming opener exhorted Europe to Burn the penny whistle!:

Over on Facebook no one seems to be too offended, they’ve got the same humour you see…hopefully the #escdk team were taking copious notes, rather than necking the Carlsberg outside #bogwhallerne, but who knows?

That done the Eurovision twitterati proceeded to boot up every device in the house so as not to miss anything from Helsinki or any of the other Eurovision locations for the evening:

Meanwhile, in Kreuzlingen, Emmelie tripped onto the stage with her drummer boys, while the first Eurovision 2014 entry to really catch our imagination was preparing to put his lips together and blow…

An authentic paeon to Alexander Rybak and Emmelie, we’re as happy to imagine Sebastiano lawyering in Zurich in Italian tailoring as to support him, Marco, Rocco and the rest as the Swiss answer to Mumford & Sons in Copenhagen (don’t miss the Seb at home vid). Until something else halfway decent comes along, that is.

Next week sees the Swiss boat sail off to Malta, where Emmelie will reveal her new single Rainmakerthe Eurovision song for 2014 (tempting fate, no?). Who would dare to guess whether bells and whistles will be involved? We’d love to be there when Hunter and Prey and Hunter of Stars meet, watched over by smiley Dr Malta – perhaps they’ll head off to Valetta’s premier folk club for a post-final jam – Emmelie can do authentic too when she gets a chance.

Tonight Latvia’s second semi has to be worth a punt. Nice to see the #melfest participants doing drawings à la Stockholm 1975, but Latvia is taking the idea to a whole new level, according to eeurovicious:

the artists have all been given potatoes to decorate with matches, tinsel, buttons and cocktail umbrellas

Sounds like a pretty sustainable #myeurovisionidea to us!

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.