Eurovision 2014 Day 5 – The EBU Press Conference

Press gathered in anticipation at an official press conference today, where both representatives from host broadcaster DR and Executive Supervisor for the EBU Jon Ola Sand together with Event Supervisor Sietse Bakker had a few treats in store as well as important information surrounding the contest to impart to those present.

Today’s press conference held by the EBU saw four representatives from both the host broadcaster DR and from the EBU meet the press with updates and information. Meeting the press were Jan Lagermand Lunde, DR’s head of show and Pernille Gaardbo, DR’s Executive Producer for the event. With them were Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor and Sietse Bakker, Event Supervisor with the EBU.
All gathered were welcomed by Pernille Gaardbo to the host city Copenhagen and she explained a little behind the direction of the show this year. The choice of logo was explained as showing that even something seemingly impossible can be achieved – the hard, masculinity of the logo and the glitter and glamour assosciated with the event were embodied perfectly in the diamond logo. She also went on to explain that DR wished to involve the audience and fans a lot more. One of the means to do so was the production of a book, a greatest records book, summarising lots of the wierd and wacky that has taken place in the 59 years of the contest. Ukraine won the record for the most silver seen on stage with Verka Seduchka‘s 2007 entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai, and Spain lifted the award for use of the most la’s in an entry with Betty Missiego in 1979 and Su Canción.
The press gathered also gained a little insight into the production behind this year’s postcards, which DR has taken to a whole new level. We got to see Conchita Wurst recreating the austrian flag with red and white ballgowns in a theatre, TEO from Belarus recreated the belarusian flag on an ice hockey rink with green and red hockey pucks and UK entrant Molly supervised the creation of the Union Jack flag with the help of fans dressed in blue ponchos among red double decker buses and postal service vans. Highyl creative and extremely entertaining.
We also were given an exclusive preview of something rather spectacular – DR added the finishing touches only last night to one of the most innovative spectacles yet witness at Eurovision. As Jan Lagermand Lunde explained, fans from all over Europe had sent in their best clips of them singing notes from last year’s winner Emmelie de Forest’s Only Teardrops which had been combined to sing the slogan of this year’s show Join Us by a huge virtual choir. We were also told by the DR spokespersons that the first semi final would have the theme "Join us in Denmark", the second semi final would be themed "Join us, the world" and that the grand final would be themed around the concept "join the competition". Jon Ola Sand mentioned that the EBU was currently in dialogue with a number of broadcasters around Europe with the aim of arranging a special 60th celebratory event. German broadcaster NDR was mentioned, as was the possibility that a grand event could possible be taking place in Berlin next year. We were also told of the ongoing work of the EBU to digitalise the entire Eurovision archive in conjunction with the diamond jubilee of the event next year.
But there were also some serious matters to be addressed today. Jon Ola Sand discussed the initial scepticism when he first encountered Refshaleøen as a venue in the winter and how the venue had been transformed into something inspiring. He also mentioned the challenges Europe is facing at the moment with the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and how the EBU has been in continuous dialogue with the two broadcasters to ensure that they are committed to making the very best efforts in order to achieve good results. Jon Ola Sand also mentioned that, with only a few notable exceptions, it has become something of a proud tradition for the winning country to act as host the following year, and that the EBU were fully focused on obtaining guarantees, both financially and in terms of security and logisitics from both countries, should either Russia or Ukraine win on the 10th of May. 
Last years allegations of attempts to influence the voting for a specific act were also on the agenda of both Jon Ola Sand and Sietse Bakker. They explained the whole voting process, how an entire list of jury names from each country has been released and that both all of their individual scores as well as detailed results of the pubic televote will be revealed on the official website after each contest – transparency was paramount for the EBU to avoid a repeat of last year’s situation. Sietse Bakker could also reveal that the winner of last year’s Junior Eurovision, Gaia Cauchi from Malta would be coming to Copenhagen and would be participating in a special Junior Eurovision Song Contest press conference to be held on the 9th of May. 
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