In order to succeed with the tech-heavy and tight schedule production, a lot of prepping work was required of the various technical departments before we could pack the cases and in February head towards the first stop at Scandinavium in Gothenburg. Weeks in advance the video team was devoted to cable drawings, prepping of video land and pre-rigging of various video elements at SVT in Stockholm. One week was used for pre-programming of disguise computers at Green Wall in Stockholm.
The basic video setup included approximately 400 ROE sticks, and 380 pieces of Absen 2.5 mm LED panels. These were distributed over five screens, the largest of which was 10 x 5 m and divisible for entrances and stage changes and to reveal rigged light effects behind the screens.
In addition to the basic setup, many artist performances had special effects with everything from free-hanging LED screens to ROE stick formations, LED floors and LED ceilings. For Loreen’s winning number, a LED floor of ROE Black Marbel and a LED ceiling of ROE Ruby 2.3 mm were built, which were slowly hoisted up with motors during the performance.
This year’s tour was the first one in two years where the production moved from week to week, after the pandemic years when the production remained in the same arena most of the time.
What was the biggest challenge with the project?
“The varying conditions for each new location. We enter arenas of different sizes and with different conditions for load-in, power, workflows and so on. We constantly need to think about logistics and build everything in the right order. To reach the goal, everyone must always stick strictly to the schedule, planned by Erik Blomdal, Production Manager at Melodifestivalen”, says Lasse Mossberg, Project Manager at Creative Technology.
Lasse has worked at Melodifestivalen for 17 years and has learned over the years what is important to succeed with large productions.
“You have to be humble and listen to others and not just run your own race. All departments and everyone in the staff need to have a dialogue, advise on logistics and help each other to identify any obstacles. You have to have a plan for everything.”
For the audio experience we delivered a L-acoustics K2 rig as PA and a Yamaha PM5 mixing desk for FOH. On the tour, 48 K2’s were used as main and outfill and 16 KS28’s as subwoofers. A combination of 16 KARA and 24 KIVA II was used as delay in the smaller arenas. All powered by L-acoustics LA12X in 15pcs LA-RAK II AVB with the signal distributed through an AVB network. The audio rig was also thoroughly prepared in advance and through various smart solutions everything could fly and be ready for use in one morning.
When the tour finally landed in Friends Arena, the 48 K2’s were supplemented by another 92 K1’s.
“We entered the arena on the Monday and started rigging the four delay hangers and continued on Tuesday with the rest of the PA. All in all, both the final week and the entire tour went very smoothly”, says Fredrik Kjellin, CT’s responsible Project Manager for the audio delivery.
The light setup was built of approximately 450 moving fixtures, where we got to see the premiere of our new investment in Martin Mac Aura XIP. The power distribution was performed exclusively with PDUs from Stagesmarts and we supplied a complete signal control package with products from GrandMA & Luminex. CT was also trusted to deliver all the rigging for Melodifestivalen 2023, which included approximately 300 motors, steel, and more.
For the grand finale, we supplemented another 300 light fixtures to fill the arena room in Friends Arena. Similar to the audio and visual deliveries, the light setup required careful preparation, as well as pre-production, which was done by SVT’s lighting staff in CT’s facilities in Kungälv.
“Melodifestivalen is a project where you always want to find a new expression, which for us as a supplier means that every year we need to challenge ourselves a little extra as it requires a lot of well-thought-out special solutions”, says Johan Ekblad, Sales Executive Entertainment and Creative Technology’s overall Project Manager for Melodifestivalen 2023.
Photo credit: Creative Technology