Friday, March 27, 2015


The rehearsal schedule has been published for the 2015 Eurovision song contest in Vienna. It is good to know there's so much more than just the rehearsal on stage than most fans and press see in the monitors or in the arena if it's an open rehearsal. This year again the first rehearsals are with closed doors to let the artists and their team to work in peace and quiet, and not have the media attacking every thing they do as often in this phase various options are still being tried out for the camera shots, lights and even the staging in general before they decided how to proceed.
The first rehearsal day starts with the arrival to the delegation lounge and dressing room then and safety instructions in the venue under guidance of the delegation host. That takes about 15 minute. The wait in the lounge should be about 30 minutes (but I can tell you it can be a lot longer!). Next the artist and the backing singers are taken to a In-Ear monitoring rehearsal that takes about 30 minutes. Sound levels and such are tested and programmed for each singer. Then it's to the next waiting area, backstage. I can tell you become very familiar to the sounds of the act performing before you (poor Greece this year!) as you stay there and wait for 15 minutes minimum. Only after that it's finally time for the on stage rehearsal. The first rehearsal is 30 minutes and you get to sing your song 4-5 times and after each performance there's a short meeting with the ORF crew and run through in the monitors in the greenroom where the rest of the delegation is watching, commenting and making changes and proposals, and all is decided. If all goes fine and you only fine tune some camera angles and special effects it's all fine, but I can imagine it gets rather nervous if the act isn't coming together on stage the way it was hoped and ment to be. Time is ticking and decisions must be made very quickly. 
After that it's to the viewing room for 20 minutes where all is watched again and again, and suggestions and final changes are made with the production team. That could be lighting and color issues, dry ice usage, camera angles, sound.... Anything. All this is noted by ORF's team and these final changes take place in the next rehearsal where is the last chance to make minor changes. Next stop for the artists and backing singers or dancers or whoever who appears on screen is the make up consultation, another 30 minutes reserved for that. The then takes you for 20 minutes for short interviews, promotional videos or whatever they want you to do for the website. And then finally the 20 minute press conference. That's about five hours of nonstop working (and waiting).
The second rehearsal skips severals step and includes only arrival, being ready backstage 15 minutes before your turn, 20 minutes rehearsal on stage, viewing room and press. You should be done in 2,5 hours or so. For the dress rehearsals of the show you have to be on the spot for hours of course waiting for your turn.... But I think I will be missing all that when the rehearsals start in May.... Copenhagen was an awesome experience and I do miss the viewing room already! Maybe....
Below is the rehearsal schedule and in blue an example country, San Marino and their rehearsal times in the semifinals. Should they make the final it's a full day of Friday and Saturday as well. 

Monday, May 11 
Semifinal one countries from Moldova to Macedonia rehearse from 10.20 to 20.35
Tuesday, May 12 
Semifinal one countries from Serbia to Georgia rehearse from 10.20 to 20.35
Wednesday, May 13
Semifinal two countries from Lithuania to Czech Republic rehearse from 10.20 to 20.35
San Marino 11.40-16.05
Thursday, May 14
Semifinal two countries from Israel to Poland rehearse from 10.20 to 21.15
Friday, May 15
Semifinal one countries rehearse from Moldova to Georgia from 9.20 to 19.30
Rehearsal for semifinal one opening from 19.40 to 20.40 (all countries)
Saturday, May 16
Semifinal two countries rehearse from Lithuania to Poland from 9.20 to 19.55
Rehearsal for semifinal two opening from 20.05 to 21.05 (all countries)
San Marino 10.10-12.30
Sunday, May 17
Big5 & co rehearse from 8.00 to 16.25
(Italy, Austria, Spain, Germany, UK, France, Australia)
Opening ceremony and Red Carpet
Monday. May 18
First dress rehearsal for semifinal one 15.00-17.30
Second dress rehearsal for semifinal one 21.00-23.00
Tuesday, May 19
Third dress rehearsal for semifinal one 15.00-17.00
Press conference 23.30-00.15
Wednesday, May 20
Big5 & Co rehearse from 9.00-13.50
First dress rehearsal for semifinal two 15.00-17.30
Second dress rehearsal for semifinal two 21.00-23.00
Thursday, May 21
Third dress rehearsal for semifinal two 15.00-17.00
Press conference 23.30-00.15
Friday, May 22
Rehearsal for the opening of the grand final 11.00-12.00 (all finalists)
First dress rehearsal for the grand final 14.00-18.00
Second dress rehearsal for the grand final 21.00-00.30
Saturday, May 23
Third dress rehearsal for the grand final 13.00-16.30
Winner's press conference 01.00-01.45

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