Just over one week remains until SVT’s flagship show, Melodifestivalen, returns. Clara Henry, Hasse Andersson and David Lindgren take on the task of introducing twenty-eight of Sweden’s biggest name to a stage like no other – a stage once again designed by Viktor Brattström. Brattström previously designed the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, Stockholm, the stage used to open Friends Arena back in 2012, and last year’s Melodifestivalen stage.
This year, the focus is on the placement of light. Lighting has been the number one priority which, in turn, has led to a more “futuristic look”.
The stage is 31m deep and 32m wide – the largest Melodifestivalen stage to date. Forward of the main stage lies a 10m long platform that allows the artists do interact more with the audience and pulls them into the arena. 30m squared space is covered with LED screens on two levels, even across the main stage floor. Beneath the glossy black surface are two high-powered fans that can be focused directly on the artists, along with additional lighting and pyrotechnic capabilities.
From the stage side, a staircase connects to a platform containing the green room for the artists of the semi-finals to await judgement. During the final, as ever, the green room will move to the centre of Friends Arena, among the fans.
A total of 2,478 songs were submitted to SVT, up by twenty-eight from last year but is still 1,400 short of the 2011 record when 3,832 songs were submitted. This year a total of 362 songs were submitted through the public contest, this was for singers or songwriters who had not released a song commercially before. This figure is the lowest it has been since the public were given a separate round in 2010.
Clara Henry, Hasse Andersson and David Lindgren were announced as the hosts of next year’s edition. The trio was announced during a fifteen-minute broadcast and press conference on SVT Play. Introduced as “SVT’s flagship show”, Melodifestivalen enters its 58th year as the selection process used to select Sweden’s Eurovision participant.
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