ESC 2011: Stages were Built by Hamburg Workshops

12 points for the stage

It remains the musical highlight and the main event on television of the year: the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2011 live from Düsseldorf. The ESC broke all conventions of a classical indoor event: 36,000 spectators, 3,500 delegation members and journalists as well as 120 million spectators in front of the televisions – worldwide.

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On 14th May 2011, Germany presented itself to the world as a multicultural and a high professional host. Lena made it as number ten and the Studio Hamburg MCI workshops were at the very forefront: the workshops were responsible for the entire decorative constructions of the ESC.

The workshops were engaged by Brainpool TV with the construction of the center stage, the presenter’s stage, the side wings, the crosspiece connections as well as the ‚Green Room’, the area for artists and performers. In cooperation with the project managers Fabian Bäter and Benjamin Neuen, about 40 carpenters, metalworkers, decorators, painters, electricians and technical draftsmen realised a stage as big as a half of a football (GB-Eng!) pitch. From the planning and the final design to the construction, the delivery of the working material, the assembly and finally the dismantling only took four months.

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The central decorative element is the center stage – an upwards slanted, round truncated cone, measuring 1,80 meter height and a diameter of 13 meters on the surface. The basis of the center stage is provided by a steel framework. Above a milled out wood construction is furnished with 720 LED lights – the Mistripes – finished by a plexiglas deck. Around the center stage, the workshop-staff encircled a trench of 50 meter demountable grates for the pyrotechnists. The clou: the entire show, the pyrotechnists sat under the center stage. Therefore they were able to refill the effects like flames, fogs and sparks through valves in the stage gradients and the spectator did not notice anything.

Also the smaller presenter’s stage, the six meter wide satellite and the about 32 meters long curved crosspiece connection between the center stage and the satellite, were constructed by the MCI workshops. Another optical highlight: the side wings, on the right side and on the left side of the center stage, which rise up to 29 meters in the arena-sky. These aluminium frameworks have a length of 68 meters, covered with cream coloured stretch fabric and appear like oversized spoons.

A stage of superlatives, which also sets standards in logistics: 40 trucks with decorative elements were on the way from Hamburg to Düsseldorf. „It was a great challenge, particularly the cooperation with the other workshops and companies on the huge site in Düsseldorf“, Jörn Denneborg, head of the workshops, resumes.

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Studio Hamburg Media Consult International (MCI) GmbH

Studio Hamburg Media Consult International (MCI) GmbH is a systems house operating internationally in the field of professional broadcasting and media technology. Using its own in-house resources, MCI provides consulting, planning and construction services for TV, radio, media and event projects throughout the world.MCI was founded in 1977 as a subsidiary of Studio Hamburg GmbH, one of the largest TV and film production facilities in Europe with studios in Hamburg and Berlin.Media Consult International (MCI) GmbH is the right partner for developing new ideas and concepts. It supplies customised and intelligent solutions ranging from consultancy, technology, equipment and furniture to turn-key installations. The company’s divisions are: Broadcast & Media Systems (systems integration business), Broadcast Consulting, Products (sales and distribution of broadcast products) and Workshops (technical furniture, special solutions, stage and exhibition construction). At Germany’s largest TV production site you will find our team of 100 employees providing creative solutions for implementing the latest technology.

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