lunatX Supplied all Special Effects for the ESC 2011

lunatX had especially developed new effects machines for the Eurovision Song Contest

Acting on behalf of NDR the production company Brainpool TV GmbH commissioned lunatX to supply all the special effects for the entire Eurovision Song contest 2011. The order incorporated the normal rehearsals, dress rehearsal, both semi-finals as well as the jury-final and final. The effects specialists installed a total of 20 tonnes of equipment, for which twelve technicians needed two weeks and a further two weeks for rehearsals. lunatX had less than two months for preparations for Germany’s event highlight of the year.

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7,000 firing channels in the roof construction and a further 2,000 in the stage were implemented by the technical service provider, in order to have sufficient channels available for the jury rehearsals, dress-rehearsal, semi-final, final as well as opening and closing ceremony.

The major challenges were the minimal safety distances to the artists and to the audience. Appropriately large-scale effects had to be used due to the size of the stage. This circumstance posed absolutely no problem, as the effect machines and effects used by lunatX all fulfil the highest safety standards.

In total 29 different delegations booked effects. Of which twelve were knocked out in the semi-finals and 17 made it to the final. Those delegations knocked out in the semis, used the allocated lunatX effects set-up three times. Those nations that made it to the finals used the special effects 5 times. lunatX used different effect machines and effects, like ground foggers, CO2 jets, X-FANS stage wind machines, X-BUBBLES Soap bubble machines, X-FLAMES flames, X-Glass-Breaker as well as indoor pyrotechnics like waterfalls, airbursts, jets with 15 and 20 m in height, gerbs, mines and LX-Shooters.

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lunatX had especially developed new effects machines for the Eurovision Song Contest in order not to just meet their own high demands and those of the director and production company but also to match the effects in size to the tremendous stage. The machines currently available on the market couldn’t fulfil these requirements. So lunatX developed amongst others four new ground foggers X-FOG with eight outlets, 20 new CO2 Jets with extra large outlet, in order to create very voluminous CO2 columns measuring 8 m, five new X-Bubble machines capable of making huge soap bubbles of 20 cm in diameter. Besides three X-FANs large and three X-FANs medium. The noise emission of the stage fans had to be as low as possible for the live broadcast. The extreme silent X-FANs create a directed and “live recording compatible” air stream over 10 m bringing natural movement in to the hair and costumes of the artists.

Besides the countless special effects for each delegation, lunatX was also responsible for the effects for the traditional opening of the song contest. For the spectacular appearance of Stefan Raab with 42 Lena look-a-likes 700 pyrotechnical airburst and 600 jets as well as CO2-Jet in the stage were required for the rehearsals, dress rehearsals and final. 300 LX-Shooters filled with 10 m long white Arena Streamers and confetti were fitted into the roof for the winner’s performance at the end of the show.

A special X-Glass Breaker was developed for the Swedish performance, which enabled a targeted bursting of a glass sheet, taking into account the minimal safety distances to the performers and steadycam cameraman.  For the performance of Azerbaijan, the effects specialists had a customized pyrotechnical waterfall manufactured in the US.

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The final of the Eurovision Song Contest took place on the 14th of May 2011 in Düsseldorf.  The semi-finals were held on the 10th and 12th of May. Location for all shows was the Arena in Düsseldorf, which was able to seat 36,000 per show. Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab presented the TV highlight. 13.83 million viewers alone in Germany watched the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 on ARD on Saturday night. Over 100 million viewers worldwide watched the show. Winners of this years competition was the delegation from Azerbaijan with the song “Runnig Scared”.

lunatX delivered all the special effects at the ESC 2011

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