This year, Copenhagen will host the Eurovision Song Contest: an annual riot of fun, frivolity, music and (occasionally) madness. The city is already buzzing with excitement thanks to an impressive programme of parties and events surrounding the competition.
Considering the contest’s historic record of big, theatrical statements – and the fact that Copenhagen hasn’t hosted since 2001 – it’s a safe bet that the Danes will be keen to pull out all the stops. Here’s a look at what we can expect from Eurovision 2014…
Refshaleøen, once a hub of industry, will be dubbed Eurovision Island for the two weeks preceding the contest, which will be hosted in a cavernous converted Burmeister & Wain shipbuilding hall. In the immediate vicinity of the venue will be Eurovision Park: a bustling leisure and entertainment space where a spectacular fireworks and laser show will kick off the festivities.
The Euro Club
With two concert halls and three nightclubs, Copenhagen’s sprawling entertainment centre, Vega, will transform into the ‘Euro Club’ for the Eurovision fortnight. Located just southwest of Tivoli and Central Station in Vesterbro, in the heart of the city’s trendy downtown district, this huge venue will host performances from the vast majority of the competing acts – and will likely become the city’s number one after-dark hotspot. Located just a short distance from the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, the Euro Club will be open until 4am on weekdays and 5am on the night of the grand finale.
The Fan Mile
Starting from Copenhagen’s Central Station, the Eurovision Fan Mile cuts through the centre of the city, along famed pedestrian shopping street Strøget and across City Hall Square before finishing at Kongens Nytorv square. Musical performances by home-grown Danish acts, as well as artists from China, Germany and Australia, will be taking place along the route.
The Euro Village
One of the Fan Mile’s principal highlights will be the Euro Village – the site where large outdoor screens will be erected to show the competition broadcasts, to appreciative crowds. For the final, organisers have arranged for additional screens to be placed outside the City Hall, and thousands of fans from around the world are expected to gather here on the big night to fly the flag for their favourite acts and nations.
The rumour mill has been whirring for weeks with speculation around the possibility of a high-profile ‘surprise’ scheduled as part of the grand Eurovision plans. Martin Bender, Executive Vice President of Event & Destination Management for Visit Copenhagen – the man responsible for planning and coordinating all of the city’s Eurovision events and activities – has hinted that there might be a show staged on a boat in the harbour, or on the city’s canals.