Eurovision 2013: SVT Explains Malmö Choice: ‘Size Isn’t Everything’

  Eurovision 2013 – After the Swedish national broadcaster’s decision to host the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in the Malmö Arena instead of Stockholm’s Friends Arena, there was much criticism in Sweden and on the Internet. The arena in Malmö is considerably smaller and thus fans are fearing that they may not be able to secure tickets. Now Swedish television’s Eva Hamilton has talked to Radio Sweden, explaining that according to her Malmö Arena is better suited for a show like the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Our prime task is to do an excellent TV show”

“It’s smaller, and we know that for a reasonable cost we can do an excellent TV production, something that will really stun Europe,” she told the radio broadcaster, “while we have never been to the newly-built arena in Stockholm, it’s not even opened up yet. People that are familiar with this event, they remember all the big shows that have been produced in Malmö, they remember how excellent they have been. So that gives a big hope for May. I also think there is an understanding that (the fact that) the audience is very,very large is no guarantee for a very good TV show, it might even be the opposite. And our prime task is to do an excellent TV show.”

She also said that Malmö will be more ready to provide a Eurovision atmosphere: “We’re talking about the arena, the town, all the arrangements, the big parties to be arranged in town… Malmö was the best alternative.” In Stockholm the World Ice Hockey Championships will be held almost at the same time and Eurovision would thus only be another big event, while in Malmö it will be the highlight.

“Everybody coming to Malmö (…) will feel so warmly welcomed!”

Malmö had been in the press for growing anti-semitism and ethnic tensions. Asked about this, Hamilton said: “The whole start of the Eurovision Song Contest after the Second World War was to unite the multicultural Europe with all its different peoples, languages, and religions. That has been the theme of the Eurovision Song Contest during the years, and that is really what we intend to do in Malmö. That is going to be the underlying theme of the entire event. So I can assure everybody coming to Malmö that they will feel so warmly welcomed. By Malmö, by Swedish Television, and by the people living in Malmö, and that includes Israel.”

Why is Melodifestivalen in the Friends Arena then?

Hamilton explains that the Swedish people will already know all the songs of Melodifestivalen and thus be more inclined to cheer the performers on stage. They feared that people may just not feel the same way about songs from Portugal or Malta, whose singer they do not know. They thus decided a smaller arena with a better connection between performers and audience would be better.

Source= Sveriges Radio



17 comments on “Eurovision 2013: SVT Explains Malmö Choice: ‘Size Isn’t Everything’

  1. Sounds like good reasoning to me. The whole of Malmo will get into it, where as Stockholm has other distractions. I can understand how some people would find it dissapointing re audiance tickets. but it is a TV contest and a small venue will add more noise and atmosphere. The semis will have a better vibe with a full audiance. Often the big arenas are half empty for the semis.

    I hope there will be a reduction in cost that will be passed onto countries via the fees they pay. Also I hope that this will mark a return to a more sustainable size and production. Again this could have knock on advantages to countries via reduced costs for them too. Countries could live without the fear of winning and having to go into debt over it. Recent spending can’t be maintained!!

    All the best to Malmo.

    • What I don’t really get is why it has to be downsized in a country that can host a big, great show… i mean if a small country wins they can downsize it.. It’s not like you have to prepare that development over several years….

      • Could Sweden afford Baku 2013, could anyone??? It is an important principle to be sustainable and have a standard sustainable approach from now on. Like I said hopefully there will be cost benefits, that could even result in the Big … but that’s another post :-)

      • I think it’s important that somewhere big and rich like Sweden downsizes it, and it’s something Germany should’ve done in 2011. Baku used the Eurovision as a vanity piece and spent disgusting amounts of wealth and resources on a couple of nights in the spotlight that could’ve gone on public infrastructure and other things badly needed by the Azeri people such as clean running water. By Sweden 2013 being a lot smaller and less flashy than 2011 or 2012, it shows smaller countries that they don’t need to go overboard on hosting. This years contest gave off a vibe of trying to live up to Dusseldorf too much. If the likes of Albania or Bosnia win in 2013, at least they will know that in 2014 they can put on a small show and it will still be successful.

    • Your argument is seemigly valid however I will have to inform thee that SVT could have aranged the semi finals in Malmö and the final in the Friends arena, that way the wievers will still be somewhat familiar with the performers and the arenas would probably be full both in the semis and the final. Your argument is invalid…

      • I think it would have been logistically difficult to have the semis in one city and the final in another one… I mean it’s already a tight rehearsal shedule and they would have to rebuilt the stage in 2 days. If SVT really has a tight budget that would be another problem..

  2. Seems to me that they made up this explanation after they made the choice. You might think that especially for MF where the audience knows the songs and artists, the connection between audience and artist is very important. Thus a smaller venue.
    In the end it is all just blah blah blah. If these people talk long enough why they made this choice, I am sure they start believe in it themselves.

  3. What a load of crap! They probably just made that up on the spot, after they announced Malmo as the host city. I understand that they dont want it too be too big a contest, thus the smaller arena in Malmo would be better than the arena in Stockholm, but technically, Sweden has the money to produce a big show, so why dont they? They’re one of the few countries in Europe that can actually afford to host and put on a great big show! Well, at least Denmark benefits from this decision.

  4. I’m confident that SVT will be able to pull off a great show in a small arena (which will leave a larger budget to do something amazing). But that last point is rubbish! Thinking the Swedish public won’t be familiar with other songs from the other countries (doesn’t SVT do a whole pre-show reviewing the other entries anyway?).

  5. Nice save! MF will love the huge new arena; they have to make room for the tidal wave of glitter and gloss. They do not really care about the songs and its live performance. It’s all about ‘yeaahhh!’ and ‘oh my gooood!’ and not much else. ESC is much more than that. I am sure that SVT realizes that and they will organize both shows very professionally. Good luck! :)

  6. It’s like they read what we said on Friend’s Arena and MF

  7. Everything was understandable until the last statement. Seriously?!? If Swedish people love Melodifestivalen and Eurovision so much, then it’s inevitable that they’ll cheer for whoever is participating. That just implies that Sweden is apparently not inclined to welcome foreigners and even fans. If I was Swedish, I would be totally offended by that last reasoning.

  8. We are a year away from the NeXT Eurovision and Sweden is now saying that Portugal is not a popular country… I don’t understand why Sweden has so much hate about Portugal, so please RTP save some money and leave this contest.

  9. Holding a musically credible and important for Sweden event like MF in the new venue and the biggest musical event in Europe in a smaller one with some nonsense of excuse..That’s sad to say the least. MF could as well overshadow esc this year. MF fights to claim more musical credibility than esc anyway of course which is usually damaged by the dated nonsense coming from usual suspects (see Portugal, Albania etc) or the tacky extravagance coming from the eastern parts so it might as well take over in terms of production..! Not going the right way I am afraid Sweden !

  10. Well if the UK won and hosted 2014, they would definetly downsize the contest and make sure it gets minimum publicity as usual in this country, which is rather sad :( They’d have it in somewhere like Leeds.

    • I’ve actually heart that they’re planing on Manchester if they’ll ever host the ESC again, though I’m quiet skeptical about it.

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