Like any great performance, the Eurovision Song Contest generates a lot of audience participation, but this year’s show in Sweden is allowing viewers to make their mark from home. In partnership with the host Stockholm, Munich-based Osram is lighting seven landmarks around the city that will change color to indicate the popularity of each song. Viewers with the free LIGHTIFY app can vote for their favorite songs turning the tower, building, or Eurovision’s Globe Arena itself, different colors: red (12 points), for the most popular, orange for slightly less popular, green for meh, and so on down to blue for one point.
The lighting designer for the project was Niclas Arvidsson from Interlite AB, and the installation was overseen by Kristina Kaase, head of business development for Osram’s wireless portfolio. Kaase says, “Light is color, and color is emotion. This lets us show our emotional connection to each song.” The seven landmarks lit by Clay Paky’s Mythos fixtures are Stadshustornet (city hall tower), Hötorgsskraporna, Strömsborg, Kaknästornet (TV tower), Gröna Lund amusement park Eclipse ride, the Cityskylinern in Eurovision Village and, of course, the Globe Arena where the competition is held.
There are 10 Mythos illuminating the smallest landmark and 90 for the competition arena. The hybrid Mythos is known for its versatility but to encompass the massive dome of the Globe, the largest in the world, Osram had to install scaffolding on some adjacent buildings to house the fixtures. Jasper Ackinger, Stockholm’s executive project manager for the ESC was happy to smooth the path for the installation. He says, “This was an exceptional opportunity to show Stockholmers what can be done with illumination. Everyone gets the same number of hours of daylight, but not everyone gets the same distribution of those hours, and in our city in the winter the sun rises around 9 and sets by 3. Lighting is important for us!”
Ackinger also wanted Eurovision fans to feel a connection to the city during the event, and viewers can see images of the buildings on Stockholm’s webcams, through the app, and the livestream. Osram’s Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of specialty lighting, says, “We are very proud not only to be part of the show but to transfer the outstanding atmosphere to the whole city so that everyone can join in.”
Although voting through the app is independent of the contest’s phone voting, in previous years popularity with the public has been an accurate prediction of the final winners. So if you are placing a bet on the outcome at your Eurovision party, Stockholm’s illuminations can help "shed some light" on the odds.