Düsseldorf the 2nd of May,
Let me tell you about yesterday; the first day working here at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. It really is not like any other press centres I remember.
The concept is openness, everything in one room basically – aside from the venue, about that you hear the same sentence from everyone going there the first time: It is such a long walk, half a round on the big running track and then up and down the stairs.
Sport; that is what the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest can easily be remembered as by us journalists if not for the music. Inside the press centre you find another lane, shaped like an indoor bicycle lane, but with the floor of a running lane. I suggested to my team here that we simply meet each morning half an hour earlier than planned, ready and fit in our running shoes for a couple of rounds before starting on the work of that day. For some reason it wasn’t well received… Eurovision seems to be about eating unhealthier, drinking more, sleeping less and of course stressing more over the work we have to do. I guess we will just stick to the walk to the venue being enough exercise.
For those who generally want a healthier set of weeks it isn’t needed to go to the nearest McDonalds, which quickly turned out to be the journalists’ favourite in Moscow. I did try a salad today for lunch, but I’ll probably not do that again; too old and too dark. For a little snack doing the day I however couldn’t avoid an apple or two… or three… or four – yes, apples were handed out everywhere. Volunteers were walking around offering apples all the time. Now we are just wondering if every day will be an apple day or we might also just get to have banana and orange days… or maybe even a kiwi day. If every day will be an Apple day, we might just all end up being very tired of apples!
Work wise we are really wondering if anyone ever told the Germans about “Ordnung Musss Sein”. Not sure how it happened, but suddenly the rehearsals were approximately 20 minutes delayed and press conferences nearly an hour. Despite the delay the press centre still closed as planned at a significantly earlier time than usual. That might just end up causing problems over the days as we don’t always have enough time to finish the work. Coverage wise we are however quite satisfied with the first day. We got up to a good start with every rehearsal being covered on time and some videos being shot as well. One thing many are complaining about though is just how difficult it is to take pictures in the venue. Concert pictures like for a rehearsal are never easy no matter where it is, but this year it appears to be even harder, also because the stage is very high.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings… one thing is quite sure: Everyone here believes that we haven’t seen the winner yet; meaning it is not among the 10 who rehearsed on the first day.