Cue the Swedish hamburger: the complexities of Eurovision staging and load cells

Published On: May 12 2023

As Liverpool gears up for the Eurovision Song Contest final this Saturday, one of the biggest challenges has been the complexity of accommodating all of the staging for the acts from 37 countries, plus the interval acts too.

One reporter commented how the backstage activity is almost as interesting to watch as the show itself, with stage crew dashing over the stage “like ants” to change sets at break-neck speed.


Safe under a video screen

There’s no doubt that load cells will be playing a vital role in ensuring all the staging is safe. One of the top-tipped acts is Loreen from Sweden, now safely through to the final. The staging for the Swedish entry “Tattoo” involves the singer performing directly underneath an overhead screen weighing 1.8 tonnes.

According to Swedish reporter Torbjörn Ek:

“Eurovision organisers are generally wary of heavy, advanced stage technology being hung from the ceiling. The demands on the ceiling inside Liverpool M&S Bank Arena — the Eurovision 2023 host venue — are more significant than the ceiling in Stockholm’s Friends Arena.”

However, Lotta Furebäck head of the Swedish Eurovision delegation was upbeat:

“The conditions at Eurovision differ from Melodifestivalen (Swedish venue) in terms of stage size, ceiling weight limit and rigging time, but our feeling is that we will get something very good together.”

Judging by the footage from the first semi-final, any technical issues have been ironed out with what’s been dubbed the ‘hamburger”, and Loreen got through to the finals without a hitch. (Anyone else think it’s a visual mash of Kate Bush and Cher?)


80% video

Australian-born New Yorker Julio Himede is the stage designer for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Speaking to Retropop magazine Himede revealed some of the stats behind the staging which includes:

  • over 450 square metres of staging
  • 220 square metres of independently moving and turning video screens
  • over 700 video tiles integrated into the floor
  • more than 1500 metres of LED lights

Video screens have become an integral part of recents Eurovision sets, but Liverpool will take this to a whole new level, says Himede.

“Eighty per cent of the architecture of the set is made out of video panels and video surfaces – not only on the back walls, but also on the floor, the ceiling, and the side sections – so that allows us to transform the stage design in a matter of seconds, whoever is performing.”


Live in Liverpool

The Eurovision Song Contest Final 2023 will be broadcast live on BBC One at on Saturday 13 May, starting at 8pm, with 26 finalist acts performing. The show opens with the Austrian.

Find full details on the BBC website. 


Load cells and staging

While we can’t 100% confirm the staging specs at Eurovision in Liverpool, we did get a low-down on the staging stats on a couple of previous Eurovision contests. And yes, load cells were very much in evidence!


Need load cells for your next staged extravaganza?

Contact us to discuss your requirements, including wireless load cell monitoring for overhead items such as screens…