Eurovision Island

Eurovision 2014 is taking place on Refshaleøen, an isolated not quite island to the north of Copenhagen’s harbour area on the distinctly wrong side of the tracks, to be dubbed Eurovision Island for the duration – here’s our analysis of the choice.

Jon Ola Sand: You are bold! #hubris

map
the Eurovision Island concept: explore further on Google Maps

We’ve taken five trips out there to follow the developing story: AprilMarch | February | January | August 2013.

REDA, a property company established in 1996 after the shipyard closed down, is (re)developing the area, now “home to many office spaces, activity centres and even some restaurants” – see Visit Copenhagen’s guide. And it has got bit of everything – views across the water to Copenhagen proper and a clear line of sight to the Little Mermaid, industrial chic, a trendy beach bar (Halvandet), windmills/fishing…but limited infrastructure.

Public utilities have been installed and upgraded (power, heating, wifi, drainage, sewers) and 15,000 m2 worth of giant tents is being erected to house facilities such as restaurants and bars, press areas, dressing rooms, but access remains an issue – just how are 10,000 people going to get there? 

The venue itself is B&W Hallerne – see Visit Copenhagen’s #bogwhallerne profile:

  • two halls built by shipbuilders Burmeister & Wain in the early 1960s, 15,000 square meters in total, among Denmark’s biggest constructions
  • once Denmark’s biggest workplace with 2-3000 workers, a hotbed of communism (relatively speaking)
  • currently home to a storehouse for the national theatre and a paintball arena – which it will become again in June 

Copenhagen’s heritage as an industrial harbour city is an interesting one, rather different from the fairytale image. A number of Refshaleøen tours are being organised during Eurovision, however if you prefer self-guided you can follow the shipyard route (dansk only) around 15 historical locations. See also Kulturhavn’s photo album.

For a glimpse of the site pre-Eurovision see  Jesper Persson‘s photo spheres: #bogwhallerne 1 | bogwhallerne 2 – can you imagine yourself on that stage?

Danish punnage at the choice:

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