Eurovision Song Contest 2021: audio – lights – rigging

1782 automated fixtures: Ayrton, Robe, Clay Paky, GLP

Control: 16 grandMA3 light, 30 Processing Units

Follow-Me 3D: 64 follow spot fixtures, PSN-motion integration

Robe RoboSpot follow spot system + Motion Cam

6 Capture stations: pre-prog lighting, content, broadcast

2653 Metres of trussing

506 electric chainhoists

220 tons of static load


298 Speaker cabinets: L'Acoustics, Synco


4 DiGiCo Quantum7T Consoles


20 Shure Axient digital quad receivers


4200M of speaker cables

May 25, 2021

Open up!

Duncan Laurence’s win in 2019 brought a lot of wheels in motion, which came to a sudden stop due to COVID. We will always remember how much our industry had to endure, and will always be proud of the way our industry dealt with the immense challenges. Eurovision was one of the events that marked a new beginning, some light at the end of the tunnel and was an honour to work on. Let’s hope that all our event colleagues all over the world can work on their passions as soon as possible. Keep safe!

May 24, 2021

A tribute to the graveyard shift

Daytime in Ahoy set the stage for delegations, directors, rehearsals, make-up and audience. When the night falls, our graveyard shift wakes up: during loadin, during rehearsal- and showdays and during loadout AHOY is their territory: Maintenance, repairs, checking network and hardware statuses, keeping all components in perfect condition and if needed working in the grid with cherrypickers. Our valuable vampires were also on the spot right after the award ceremony, clearing the stage and floor to make way for the grid to be lowered. As we speak AHOY will be almost empty, and our crew can almost relax and spend some time off..

Looks familiar? Yes, just like in early april, only now in reverse order..
Techdecks dismantled, our vampires are picking up speed!
Gear packed and ready to be picked up. Next stop: de-prepping in our warehouse.
May 23, 2021

What a journey..basta!

Congratulations to Italy, and a big thank you to all involved in this wonderful journey.

Our job is not done on saturday. The same amount of skill and dedication that went into the build will be shown during load-out.


Focused up to the last notes: audiocrew fixing the microphones for the winners.

That is not what we expected from our tape-artists, but still it looks colourful
Quick Load out tip: just cut all the safeties instead of unscrewing them. Time is money!
May 22, 2021

The amazing world of TV

The Eurovision Song Contest is primarily a TV show and the amount of technology used to get the show on your screen is amazing, a technology that we are also a part of. One of them is the way that cameras, lighting, video and motion are controlled by one system, resulting in spot-on timing and control. Photos: Nathan Reinds / Ralph Larmann

A little while ago we showed you the previsualisation and preprogramming room in Amsterdam. LD’s and Multicam Director used Capture 3D rendering making it possible to determine camerashots and visuals in advance.

All cues are fed into CuePilot, controlling all camerashots and content for each contestant resulting in almost 2 hours of programmed performances, 2280 vision cues executed, over 2000 media files shared.
With 50 contributors and 50 app-users monitoring the cues, The system can -besides camerashots- also control video, lighting and motion for complete control of the show. And it worked…

More TV-info via our colleagues at NEP-The Netherlands

May 21, 2021

Nerd alert part III: Audio specs

Besides the usual challenges in a competition with many different kinds of artists and 200 million viewers on TV, this year COVID forced the audioteam into extra measures that worked out flawlessly.

For all you audiogeeks and gearheads:  read the full audio gearlist here


The wireless distribution center where delegations receive and test their equipment
FOH and MON position under the balcony. Also hosting system drive and wireless receivers/transmitters.
Amps and power supplies on dedicated decks in various locations, hoisted up into the roof. Read the full audiospecs here!
May 20, 2021

Semifinal 2: in the pocket

Semifinal 2 was one to remember. Now let’s get some sleep and prepare for the finals on saturday…


May 19, 2021

Nerd alert part II: Lighting specs

Yesterday’s semifinal 1 finally showed the result of all the lighting we installed in Ahoy. Curious about the types and numbers?

Download the speclist here!


Lighting Designer Henk-Jan van Beek and his team at Light-H-Art specified a wide range of equipment.
Lights are placed in the grid, but also on the floor.

But it doesn’t stop there: the whole venue is turned into a stage! Read the full lighting speclist here 

May 18, 2021

Semifinal 1: check!

This is what we have been working on, and what we have been looking forward to. Semifinal 1 is done and dusted. Let the pictures speak for themselves.


May 18, 2021

Nerd alert: Rigging

For all you gearheads we counted all the rigging equipment we are using in AHOY during ESC. First in, last out; the rigging has the longest residency.

What hangs where? read all about it here! 


514 hoists and 74 Loadcell are in use. A few hours after load-in the floor was already filled with rigging cases.
The hoists are supporting 2653 M of trussing adding up to 220 tons of static load..
Consisting of audio, lights, video, augmented reality and lots of cabling..see the full list here!
May 17, 2021


We have trained, practiced, prepared and cooperated. let the games begin.


Even under pressure you stick to the procedures. In this case: too late means buy cake. Thanks Joey!
Just a light training before the big matchweek keeps us sharp, but not overtrained.
Time to work on the details, like aiming. We think this one was out, but he might call in the video-ref.
May 17, 2021

 Calm before the storm

Final rehearsals for all artists and crew. We are ready for Matchweek.

There’s always a number one. Clear labeling helps in many ways!
The combination of video, lights and special fx creates a different feel for every performance.
Open up also counts for the faders! All delegations are seated right in front of the stage.
May 15, 2021

Interview with Head of Production

Erwin Rintjema, head of production, makes time for an interview for Dutch TV. Very nice of them to make time for the technical side of this production! (Interview is in Dutch, so grab your dictionaries)

May 13, 2021

A deskjob Jim, but not as we know it

Desks all around, and the specialists to operate them.


From behind the DiGiCo Quantum7 the overview on the venue is clear.
We always suspected that some engineers are also working as backing vocals, but we can’t prove it..
Ladies and gentlemen, from the lightdeck: we wish you a pleasant rehearsal!
May 12, 2021

People let your light shine!

To make sure that it will not be Waterloo, preparations have been meticulous. What’s another year when you don’t shine?


Fun fact: There is a special team that pushes an artist off stage when the performance takes too long.
24 cameras are in use, 20 in the main venue and 4 backstage. We won’t have to miss a thing!
All videocontent, motion, lighting and camera positions have been preprogrammed and previsualised. For more info:  Scroll down for the interview with LD and Cam director.
May 11, 2021

Testing 1, 2…

Did you know why soundguys only count to 2 ? At 3 they have to lift something.

Everybody entering the venue needs to be tested every 48 hrs, and especially for that we have these dedicated testing centers.
When you have big responsibilities, visiting people ‘on the floor’ is always a good idea. A heavy job, we wouldnt want to be in his shoes..
Delegation and crew entrances are separated, from here the artists enter the ‘delegation bubble’ .
May 10, 2021

Full Focus..again

Meanwhile in the followspot-room, our crew is concentrated on the rehearsals as well. The mix of Robe RoboSpot and follow-me systems gives the Lighting operators total flexibility in the keylight department.

Battlestations are occupied, the Robocops are on the job. After Lissabon in 2018 this is the second time we supply these systems to the Eurovison Song Contest.
Somewhere between a flight simulator and a racegame, and even room for your drinks and snacks. We like our classics but this looks far more comfortable than being tucked away somewhere in the roof with a 300 pound oven that we know as super-trouper.
Wim is one of our regulars on the job. Although he probably wouldnt mind handling a huge followspot, this also has its advantages. They even decorated his workspace!
May 10, 2021

Full Focus

Rehearsals are well on the way and showcrew is fully focused towards the semifinals and the finals. Let’s go!

Although we still enjoy our tape and sharpies, this looks very sophisticated!
Every changeover is planned and rehearsed in all details, from wireless to lights, from costumes to backline and props.
The audiodeck has everything under control: Redundant systems and very experienced crew make sure that we get the most out of the performances.
The showcrew is going through the show with a huge eye for detail. All performances have already been previsualized, now it’s time for the actual artists on the actual stage.
May 10, 2021

Load-in timelapse

Jorrit lousberg made this fabulous timelapse: from first chalk on the floor to a complete stage!

May 7, 2021

Ready for action

The stunning stage is set for continuous rehearsals. On our way to the liveshows!

This is the view as seen from the stage. Looks like the land of Shangri-La, beware of stage fright!
It won’t hurt to look up now and then, and see the amount of technology and equipment..
The stage seems to float in the arena. Just like hundreds of millions of viewers we can’t wait to see the end result on TV.
May 7, 2021

Follow them!

In the past heavy followspots had to be manually operated from somewhere back in the venue or hoisted up in the grid. During this production we make use of the newest followspot technology!

One of the systems we use is “Follow-Me” where operators can follow a performer on an overview camera shot. Like a fighterpilot locking on the target, in a peaceful way..
When pinpointed by the follow-me crosshair, the Lighting Designers can decide how many of the 64 fixtures connected to the Follow Me system will be used for which performer. They can do that in their own programming files.
Follow-Me can also communicate with the motion control system using ‘posi stage net’, allowing it to stay pinpointed on the performer while the fixture is moving (like this one, mounted on a droparm).
May 4, 2021

Ready for rehearsals

Each delegation gets the opportunity for rehearsals, to create a fair competition. This is also the time for detailing and finetuning camerashots, lighting, audio and video. Here are some stunning views of the stage, shot by Nathan Reinds.

An overview of the venue as seen from the FOH position. All delegations will be seated in the venue.
A close-up from the stage, designed by Florian Wieder. Part of the stunning LED – screen is transparent, so keep an eye during the show on the lighting coming from the back of the screen!
A view from the audience stands with lighting all around, on top and below of the audience. The whole venue will be ‘part of the show’.
May 3, 2021

It’s the people that do the job

Cooperation is key in a production like ESC. Working together with other suppliers gives the best result!

Thumbs up for Jerold, Dirk, Jasper & Joey: members of our riggingcrew consisting of Ampco Flashlight and Frontline professionals.
Take some time to have a look at your own work: Rob (Ampco Flashlight) and Ben (Faber Audiovisuals) can be proud of the work so far.
All technical suppliers also share part of the adjacent hall for storage and service.
May 2, 2021

Clay Paky Xtylos all around

One of the main moving lights specified by the Lighting Designers is the Clay paky Xtylos with its laser-like beam and precision. Not just for lighting the stage, but also as a very impressive audience and arena effect.

Around 480 pieces are in use (coming from our own stock and that of our partners), all around the venue, installed by our lighting techs.
When not in use the view is already impressive. We cannot wait to see the full effect!
Here is a sneak preview of what Xtylos can do, seen from the floor where the delegations will be seated.
Mounted all around the venue and stands the Xtylos plays a prominent part in the lighting design.
Inspected by HRH King Willem – Alexander these beams across the venue.

Xtylos being programmed for simultaneous action!

May 1, 2021


While AHOY was being transformed into the ESC Arena, Lighting Designer Henk-Jan van Beek and First Multicam Director Marnix Kaart were preprogramming lighting, cameras, motion and video in Amsterdam. We interviewed them about the ins and outs.

april 30, 2021

Pass the mic!

There is more to wireless this year than distribution to the artist and frequency management: health and safety are top-priority in these COVID times. When entering Ampco Flashlight’s ‘wireless plaza’ a strict and very practical protocol is in place.

Every delegation has their own container in which all personal wireless systems are prepared:  headsets, earpieces and grilles for handhelds. These stay with the artists.
Inside the country-container every member of the group has their own small container. The russian doll – system! Every delegation is assisted by their own ’tour guide’ when entering the wireless zone.
With a maximum of 6 performers per country,  distribution positions are marked on the floor in order to receive the handset-base or beltpack. These are cleaned thoroughly inbetween performances.
Handheld bases, beltpacks and IEM receivers are categorised and prepared. Color coding is used for easy overview and distribution.
With the audioconsole we can do testing and soundchecks. The screen shows status information of all wireless systems, when there is a problem it will be recognised here in an early stage (instead of on the big stage..).
The same status info is also visible on a big screen in the audio controlroom where transmitters and receivers are placed. Antennae are positioned facing the stage.
april 29, 2021

The smallest fixture


Sometimes small is better!

As you can see we also supply small lights: LitraTorch for mounting on mobile cameras.
When Litra grows up it wants to be an audience blinder, but already it offers a big punch!
Including lightbox. Build-up was quick and so is the loadout..
april 28, 2021

Audio: everything under (redundant) control

Ready for rehearsals. On top of  the experience and knowledge of the crew all audiosystems have a high level of redundancy and safety.

photos: Nathan Reinds

The audio controlroom fatures 4 DiGiCo Quantum7T’s. Here you see the FOH main and backup consoles. If needed one push of a button switches the system seamlessly from main to backup.
The same goes for the monitorconsoles. Being this far from stage is not typical for a music show. By the way: you might recognize someone in this picture from the DiGiCo supportrooms on Lowlands or North Sea Jazz festival!
All wireless receivers are positioned here, including monitors and PFL for control. The same screen with all statuses is copied on the ground floor where wireless systems will be handed out to the artists.
april 28, 2021

A lot of lights

The lighting systems are split into multiple main departments. Among them are programming, controls, networking, power and followspots (more about those later!)

photos: Nathan Reinds

Overlooking the arena from the 2nd floor is the main control center, housing Networking and PU’s. All commands coming from the GrandMA consoles are processed here.
Literally behind the scenes: this is the backside of the main screen on stage. On the backside we mounted the Ayrton minipanels. We are sure you will see the effect!
One balcony below our network control center the Lighting Designers and operators have entered, having programmed in Amsterdam for over 2 weeks they can now see the results live in the venue.
april 26, 2021

Frequency watching

Now that all wireless racks are installed we can start finetuning on all accessories and frequencies. Also measured is any interference from outside the venue.

In our dedicated ‘soundcheckroom’ all artists can check their wireless systems before going on stage.
Every artist gets his or her own department on the distribution table.
In the meantime, all wireless channels and statuses are shown on ’the big screen’ for Big Brother Aart!
april 26, 2021

Weight watching

Through loadcells we can measure the weights on various key points in the grid.

Shackles fitted with loadcells are used on various positions in the grid .
The measured weight on each loadcell is then showed in the dashboard on a computer.
Not just trusses, fixtures and loudspeakers are mounted in the grid. Also amp- and mainsracks are up in the air.
april 24, 2021

Equipment is beautiful

Some shots, made a week ago, of the ‘ceiling’ above the AHOY venue.
Excerpts from pictures by Nathan Reinds. 

april 23, 2021

A Royal visitor

Ahoy had the honor of welcoming his royal highness King Willem Alexander. Shown around the venue and backstage he (like any visitor) was impressed by the scale and technology of this year’s ESC. Something to be proud of !
Pictures by Nathan Reinds. 

An iconic shot of the King, overviewing the venue.
Camera director and Technical director providing insight in the details of this production.
Proud of what we have achieved so far, and looking forward to camera, lights, sound, action!
april 23, 2021

Pre-programming studio

While the stage is being built in Rotterdam, rehearsals are already taking place in Amsterdam. These are virtual rehearsals made  possible by using sophisticated software. Lights, Video, Motion and Cameras are all integrated virtually so the director can see the results in his actual camerashots. Saves valuable time of the venue and of the performers!

The Ligh-H-Art LD’s busy programming lighting into the system. Also present are cuepilot and capture – specialists, and our own techs operating the GrandMA network.
Director and LD’s can see the actual camerashots, lighting, motion and video in advance through 3D simulations. Basically they can run the whole show in advance!
To explain what advantages this preprogramming setup has to offer, we interviewed LD Henk-Jan van Beek and first multicam director Marnix Kaart. We will share the complete interview very soon!
april 22, 2021

Wireless control room

Aart and his team have set-up and settled. Time for testing, finetuning and connecting the feeds to the audionetwork.

From our luxury position we have an overview of the venue. We can’t wait to see artists and audience bringing it to life.
For flawless wireless communication it is important to scan for frequencies and feed the system with this information. Any unwanted frequencies can be left out, any disturbing equipment can be found..and eliminated (By Aart himself..)
You can’t be colorblind to do this: monitoring 80- channels of wireless mics and 72 in-ear receivers. That is a lot of frequencies on a big screen!
april 22, 2021

Audio update

Our audiocrew is working on building the infrastructure, including the consoles. Our wireless controlroom is almost operational and ready to start receiving and transmitting!

One of four DiGiCo Quantum7T consoles. The redundant consolenetwork also features dedicated in-ear mixers.
Control and coordination is crucial. Monitoring various networks and settings is constantly in place.
Antennas (Antennae?) already pointing at the right direction, stage build in progress!
april 21, 2021


Fortunately some of our crew were allowed to play outside. Although it wasnt really clear what they were doing.

Apparently they are measuring something, let’s just leave it at that. We dont know who won.
Thumbs up for this production, runs smoothly and we are still smiling!
Feeding time! today the crew gets a handful of black spaghetti. Pre-portioned in nice rolls.
april 21, 2021

Building the stage

A lot of people are curious what the stage will actually look like. We won’t tell, you will probably see tomorrow! In the meantime we are working on that same stage. Pictures by Nathan Reinds.

A ‘wall’ of Ayrton minipanels is now under construction. A cute little fixture that is fierce and powerful.
We don’t know why, but pictures that show people pointing at something always seem interesting!
Mounted and connected one by one, each minipanel gets her own personal label and number.
april 20, 2021

Some professional pictures

Thanks to our crew at production we receive a steady stream of pictures. Besides that the talented Nathan Reinds is also on the spot to capture ESC from beginning to end. Always nice to have him and his camera around. Here are some of his photos from last friday!

april 20, 2021

Getting our hands dirty

Still on schedule!

Ringing the churchbells? Work still continues on positions all around the audience rings. Meanwhile the stage is being built, and just like you we are anxious to see it.
Fortunately there is no 1,5M distance rule for flightcases, otherwise we would have needed the whole hall for storage. Cases filled with cables are placed strategically for easy access.
Yes, finally dirty hands again, makes you feel alive. Besides washing their hands, our crew is also tested every 48 hrs. to keep our ‘bubble’ as clean as possible.
april 18, 2021

Keeping fit

To keep our crew fit, a special gym is provided for necessary exercise.

Obviously there is a shuffleboard (‘sjoelbak’) for training precision, hand-eye coordination and concentration. Shuffleboards are usually located at your grandmothers’ house.
Then there is Fussball. (or tablesoccer?) to release some tension and crush that overconfident colleague. Here it is Rigger United vs. FC Hoist. Looks very convincing because there are no fans in the stadium..
We are Dutch so we ride a bike. Usually we drive them down the escalator but in this case we decided to behave.
By the way, there are about 23 million bicycles in Holland. Katie Melua was barking up the wrong tree!
april 18, 2021

Audio Techdecks

To drive the audiosystem 4 techdecks have been hoisted to about 20M high.

The techdecks keep the amps closer to the loudspeakerclusters. They are quite easy to reach and hold all necessary components to power and drive a part of the system.
Each techdeck carries amps, PSU’s and drive components for main clusters, subs, in- and outfills.
The drivesystem is ‘dual-redundant’: two independent and separate networks for both control and for audiotransport avoiding SPOF (Single Points of Failure).
april 18, 2021

Patchprinting and sunbathing

The most important part of a lighting system is the people that work on it..

Tape and a marker: we can’t live without it. Anne is the one with the best handwriting so she has the honour of helping out with the patchprinting..
Finally we can push some buttons and start testing. The consoles are identical to the ones used in the pre-visualisation.
Free, warm, and energetic: there’s nothing like sunlight in spring. Beware: before you know it these guys will start zipping off their trousers. As a matter of fact, one already did..
april 18, 2021

Stuff in flightcases

Someone once asked a roadie if he could tip the waitress. Fortunately she only suffered minor bruises. Ever since our industry started we have been moving stuff around in flightcases. We should start calling them gearcases!

GrandMA Processing Units increase the capacity and processing power of the lighting system. In this (flight)case we use around 16 pieces for the ESC lighting system.
They are accompanied by patchracks for data and power. The network, a ‘rapid spanning tree’ type design, is fully redundant and also features a lot of switches and ELC nodes.
Everything is setup on logical locations minimizing risks and maximizing accessibility.
april 16, 2021

Steadily moving on

The floor is cleared but we still have enough work for our riggers. Trusses above the audience stands, adjustments, checks and assisting other technical parties.

Rory & Roald working on a truss alongside the stands. Did you know AHOY is also host for sports events like cycling, tennis and tractorpulling?
There is a huge amount of accessories available like straps in all sizes. Everything is counted! And look, another drawing. Besides one main drawing of the grid there are detailed drawings of all segments and parts of the rig.
Hard to see sometimes because of the masks, but we are still smiling, like Jasper Hofman is showing here.
april 16, 2021

Set building

Now that the ceiling is up, the stage can be built. Our first sprint is done, next one is connecting all systems and build the floorsets for audio and lights.

Meet one of our riggers / climbers. Joey is not afraid of heights, heights are afraid of Joey. This is his natural habitat: smiling between 500 hoists, more than 2,5KM of trussing (for those at the other side of the water: thats a lot of feet, inches, yards and miles) and almost 200 tons of lifted equipment.
Construction of stage and set has started, including the massive Video-ledwalls. Next phase: our first main job is done. When pre-visualisation is completed all lighting consoles will be transported into the venue, just like 4 DiGiCo SD7 quantums for audio. Network time!
First it’s time for a well-deserved lunch. It can be lonely keeping distance, but Tijs is handling it well, although it mind remind him of his school exams..
april 15, 2021

Pointing at a drawing

A job like this requires a good preparation, coordination and looking at drawings. It’s good to see people working together!

Here you see our lighting techs Anco and Roy pointing at a drawing which is a good thing:  it is meant to be full of fingerprints and coffeestains.
Remco, Milo and Jur are working on the audiosystem which features two redundant fiber loops. (More on that later!) With a drawing, but not on a fancy rolling desk like our lighting guys. Meanwhile we are spot on schedule, things are running smoothly.
This smooth operation, overlooked by Sightline Productions (left and right) makes our production manager Ruud (center) smile in a way his mask snapped off!
april 15, 2021

I’m on fiber

With a lot of equipment in the right place it is now time to start connecting it all, while also working on filling the gaps.

Not all speakerclusters are big. Some positions require a small and subtle solution, filling the gaps between the main clusters.


Many of our network-connections are based on fiber cables. We even produced our own labels. Would be good if our boss would sing ‘I’m on fiber’. Let’s see!
It’s not often that we can do our job sitting down. In this case preparing a truss situatued above the audience provides that opportunity.
april 15, 2021

Meanwhile at homebase

Business as (un)usual

While colleagues are working in Rotterdam and on other jobs in other places, our warehouse in Utrecht is the place where we keep our stock up to date and clean, anticipating busier times for everyone.


Maintenance keeps our equipment in shape!
(Our crew wears masks when moving through the building, but can take it off when performing stationary jobs)
Industry veterans know how important it is to keep yourself and our equipment in shape. That obviously also goes for our trailers!
april 14, 2021


Meet Aart, our wireless professor. He and his colleagues designed and engineered all wireless systems with a smile!
We love tape. In all colours. In this case Aart and his wireless colleagues used it to mark different groups of wireless beltpacks.
And here is the result: fully operational and ready to be shipped to Rotterdam. Including our special Rigol Scope..

Some numbers:

Wireless mics:

20 Shure Axient digital quad receivers
40 Shure ADx2FD handhelds
30 Shure ADx1 beltpacks
100 DPA 4088 headsets

Wireless in-ear:

11 Shure PSM1000 dual transmitters
72 Shure P10R bodypack receivers

Somewhere in the venue a wireless homebase will be set up, something like you see in this picture:
april 14, 2021

Clearing the floor

Just a few days after the first cases were loaded in, the first part of the trusses are already up, loaded with equipment and cabling, also including loudspeaker clusters. This makes the floor available for building the set and stage. For reaching the truss we can use the cherrypickers that are available. Just don’t be afraid of heights..

And it’s up. You can also see the flown loudspeakerclusters. Amps are also flown, to reduce cable lengths and keep the floor as clear as possible.
When the grid is up we can still reach the equipment by using these green giraffes. They come in various sizes. Our trusses are somewhere between 15 and 20 M above the floor.
some cables are still hanging down from the ceiling. It can be tempting for Tarzan-fans!
april 13, 2021


Jeroen Veenman, technical producer (Sightline Productions)
Dennis Brasser, lighting tech
Tijs Winters, lighting tech (pulled his mask down to show his pretty face..)
april 13, 2021

Filling up the truss

All 1782 automated fixtures have been tested in our warehouse, and will be tested again during build-up -before being hoisted up- using our mobile test-rack. In this case a bunch of Robe Spiiders. (And as you of course know spiders are NOT insects, but Arthropods!).

A bunch of spiiders in a circle. Yes, it’s spelled with 2 i’s!
Here comes the test-rack. No mercy, but very honest.
Thats a pass!
april 12, 2021

Finally..back to work

Probably just like you, we have been waiting for ages until we could go back to doing what we love: working behind the scenes and helping to make a great show. Coming in when the hall is still cold and empty, leaving when artists and audience have long gone. We don’t mind as long as we can do our thing. We are extremely proud of our ESC team, our colleagues at the office supporting them, and of the colleagues working at other jobs for our variety of special clients. We are also proud of all the companies and leaders from our industry who succeeded in building instead of complaining, making plans and moving forward. We trust to see all of you doing what you love very soon. Even if it means giving up a modeling career, like some of our colleagues..

(tested every 48 hrs!)

april 12, 2021

Visualisations & first light hanging

In a studio, somewhere in the Netherlands, our equipment is being used for visualising and pre-programming by LD’s of light-h-art. This saves valuable rehearsal time! Meanwhile in the venue the first moving head was mounted in the truss. Could also be the second one, with the two best looking colleagues who hopefully still smile after the next 1781 moving heads..

Every country, every artist will perform in their own ‘atmosphere’. This takes a lot of preparation…
Fortunately the LD’s can prepare and visualize using Capture Stations. This technology -using sophisticated rendering- allows them to program the whole show including lights and camera shots before the stage is even built!
Even this lamp, that we shall call ‘lamp no.1’ is programmable in the ‘visualisation room’ before it is plugged in.
april 12, 2021

Audio has entered the building

First speaker-clusters are loaded in, working towards a total of almost 300. Sound, lights and rigging working together. Can you believe it? We are living the dream and making good progress!

Easy build up: pick up the speakers one by one and hoist them up. Fortunately we will have a reasonable audience to enjoy the system and the music!
We think the cables running from the ceiling are a very photogenic scene.
It might sometimes seem that people work at random around the room, however everything is strictly planned and coordinated between various disciplines.
april 12, 2021

Stuff, and more stuff

After the ‘official’ opening of our trailer by the ESC and Rotterdam Ahoy officials, our equipment flooded the floor: trussing, fixtures, racks and accessories. To quote a famous former ESC winner: ‘Save all your cases for me”..

Eurovision and AHOY directors work together opening truck doors for the symbolic start of the Eurovision build. And our truck was the first to enter!
They believe they can fly. And they will.
Thats a roomy warehouse! Equipment waiting for it’s turn to join the action.
april 11, 2021

Official kickoff with lots of flightcases and journalists!

The Eurovision Song Contest is a high profile production for NOS/Avrotros, for the AHOY Venue, for the producers, for artists and for technical suppliers like us, in good hands with Head of production Erwin Rintjema.  The load-in is extensively covered by national press!

april 11, 2021

Points marked, trusses locked on

Precision and safety are key. Lifting points are being made exactly as designed, and the first trusses have been connected. It is all coming up to speed and getting ready for the load-in of the major part of our lighting and audio equipment and other technical stuff.  Count the hoists!


This is rigger’s graffiti. Completely legal, and -like sign language-  a language that is understood all around the world.
It’s starting to look like a show venue!
A hoist is placed on every point that the riggers marked on the floor, which is about 22M below the ceiling. Precision work.
april 10, 2021

The first points are for the riggers

A clean floor, a calculator, laser equipment and experience: our riggers marked the points and attached the first of many chainhoists. Being the first to go in and the last to go out, our riggers will see more of the venue than anyone else!


We do a lot of work in the cloud, have meetings online, but nothing beats the good old production guides, on paper. Coffee stains soon to follow!
Engineers always need a lot of stuff that does stuff. Like this stuff, that measures quite precisely for positioning rigging points, which is  quite essential!
Every point has its unique code. These points are the first ones to be issued, not by a jury but by our riggers.
april 9, 2021

Meanwhile in our warehouse

Various racks are being prepared, programmed and prepared for driving the lighting systems.


april 9, 2021

Our home for 7 weeks

Our crew has entered the building, and the first ones to do that are our riggers. Their playground is an empty hall that will be transformed into a visual wonderland, for a big part hanging in the grid we supply, consisting over more than 500 chainhoststs, 2,5 KM of trussing and carrying almost 200 tons of load.


april 1, 2021

Prepping in the warehouse

Our team is preparing trusses and equipment. A big part of equipment comes from our own warehouse, but also our sister company Purple Group adds to the ESC inventory. Trusses come from Rigging Box.

february 8, 2021

Preparations have started!

After ESC2020 had to be postponed due to COVID, the game is now on for 2021. Once again we will have the honour of supplying lighting, audio and rigging for the live event in AHOY Rotterdam, as well as other festivities taking place all over the Netherlands. We are now finalising all production requests and will publish final plans when they are ready. In the next phase we will work on requests of various delegations for extra lighting and audio for their performance. We will keep you posted!

 pictures: Throwback to ESC2018, left and right (c) Ralph Larmann