A Busy Day in Baku!
It’s been a busy day in the world of Eurovision, even considering that only one National Final event was held (in Cyprus). There was plenty of news out of host city Baku, however, so let’s take a quick peek at what went on today!
– During today’s Allocation Draw, Azerbaijan officially unveiled the logo and slogan for 2012’s events. Following the imagery of flame that has been a symbol of the nation for centuries, “Light Your Fire!” will be the tagline on everyone’s lips this May. This follows 2011’s “Feel Your Heart Beat” and Oslo’s “Share the Moment”, and those of you who follow my articles on ESC Insight might remember that I predicted that Baku would have something along those lines back in October.
– The EBU has officially confirmed that Baku Crystal Hall will, in fact, be hosting the contest this May. Even though ground was only broken for the venue in late Summer of 2011, construction seems to be progressing smoothly and should be wrapped up by Spring. Although the arena’s eventual capacity is estimated to be around 23,000 spectators, the layout of the stage and other technical requirements will mean that only about 16,000 seats will be usable for the Eurovision concerts themselves. A second sizable building seems to have sprung up next door to the Crystal Hall, which many speculate will act as the Main Press Centre.
– Finally, today was the official Allocation Draw, where nations were divided up into two halves of two semifinals (and countries that automatically qualified to the Final were given the semifinal that they wil be able to vote in). This is done early in the year not only to keep fanatics’ tongues wagging about the affects of bloc voting, but also for an important logistical reason: so delegations will know approximately when their rehearsals will take place. With 43 nations competing in Baku, full daily run-throughs are simply not in the cards. By dividing up the nations into four “quarters”. delegations will have a better idea of when to have their performers and staffers arrive in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, by determining which semifinal a country will be in, broadcasters have plenty of time to arrange their schedules and promote the shows appropriately.
Here are the results of the Allocation Draw:
First Half, Semifinal One (May 22)
Azerbaijan, Italy, and Spain will contribute votes to this Semifinal.
Second Half, Semifinal One
- San Marino
First Half, Semifinal Two (May 24)
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom will vote in this Semifinal.
- (FYR) Macedonia
Second Half, Semifinal Two
- Bosnia and Herzegovina