Final rehearsals have begun!
So, the final reharsals have begun.
In the enormous Friends Arena, which is in the middle of nowhere. There was plenty of grumbling internationally when Malmö was chosen instead of this new football arena. But now having been in both Malmö Arena and here, I can understand SVT's logic.
Friends Arena really is big. When you walk into the vast wide space of the arena, the stage looks tiny. If SVT really did want to create an "intimate" space, with focus well and truly on the artists, well, that would be very difficult here.
On top of that, the arena is in the middle of a building site. It takes a good fifteen minutes to walk here from the closest commuter train station, and there are no other facilities close by. Apart from a small corner shop. So life as a reporter/delegation member out here would have been tough. In contrast Malmö Arena is next door to a train station, and on the other side of the arena is a huge shopping centre.
Ok, back to the rehearsals. I came into the hall just in time for Anton Ewald's final rehearsal, which was just like normal, and Louise Hoffsten has just run through her song once.
The biggest difference is the number of journalists here, plenty more than in any of the qualification rounds, and with many more speaking English with various European accents.
Rehearsals today carry on until way past 9pm, and then there is nothing for the press to do until tomorrow's dress rehearsal. It will be interesting to see if an audience inside this vast space will be able to give it any atmosphere.
I'll update the blog if and when anything out of the ordinary happens today, although that is very rare. There is sometimes the odd extra pyrotechnic, but there is no Björn Ranelid or Thorsten Flinck here to improvise their song in different language. Or maybe Sean Banan will give it a try...
Well, at least the Melodifestival rehearsals are taking my mind off the whole Bonnie Tyler horror.
Update: No huge news during the rehearsals. Ralf Gyllenhammar seems to be having a few vocal issues. He was a bit hoarse, and had some problems during the shouty bits of his song. Sean Banan's reharsals weren't trouble-free either. His act is very complicated, there were problems with the hoist that lifts him into the air, for example. Nothing that can't be fixed by more rehearsaks though.