In 2011, the Eurovision Song Contest returned to Germany for the first time since 1983, breaking many records including those for the amount of equipment used and audience size. Because of these parameters, the contest was staged in Düsseldorf Arena presenting a big challenge for all participating companies and individuals.

The Idea
German lighting designer Jerry Appelt, known for delivering big spectacular looks for live music shows, television productions, and everything in between, specified a huge lighting rig to transform the soccer stadium into a giant TV studio. More than 2,100 DMX-controlled moving lights (out of 5,638 fixtures in total) with almost 42,000 parameters of control were used. The idea was to ensure that all 43 countries plus three interval acts and an awesome opening performance all had completely unique looks during the three-hour broadcast.

To fulfill the needs of such a sophisticated lighting design and to handle the enormous data flow across the network, the lighting team needed a control solution that could easily deal with the amount of parameters and offer a comfortable, flexible, and fast programming tool plus the potential of handling timecode as well. Furthermore there was the need to pre-program the show with a 3D visualization software, which gave the programmers the opportunity to start programming all fixtures weeks before the show as time was essential. Additionally, lighting and video were coordinated beforehand to fit the looks together.

Last but not least all moving trusses were visualized to know where each fixture would be during the show. As video was an essential part of the contest, a video solution was needed, that would allow for easy and comfortable control from the lighting control. The content had to be handled from the console, and the video server had to offer the possibility to be setup from the desk. Regarding the network, a solution was needed that would offer a sophisticated back-up for both lighting control and video. In addition, it was asked to have just one show file that contained all video and lighting data and that could be edited via a multi-user function. Therefore the choice was made to go 100% with MA Lighting.

Creative Team
Jerry Appelt, Lighting Design and Director of Photography
Florian Wieder, Stage Design
Matthias Rau, Technical Coordinator and Gaffer
Matthias Hagel, Head of Lighting
Wolfgang Nöhrer, Head of Lighting Greenroom
Sascha Matthes, Effect Operator
Michael Giegerich, Video Operator
Markus Ruhnke, White Light Operator
“Matze” Meyert, Greenroom and Audience Operator
NDR, Host Broadcaster
Thomas Schreiber (NDR), Executive Producer
Jon-Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of EBU

8 MA Lighting grandMA2 full-size
14 MA Lighting VPU (Video Processing Unit)
10 MA Lighting NPU (Network Processing Unit)
24 Clay Paky Sharpy
33 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 700
84 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500
86 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500
64 Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1500
40 Clay Paky Alpha Profil 1500
6 Robert Juliat Aramis
5 Robert Juliat Victor
4 Robert Juliat Lancelot
48 ETC Source Four
2,265 Barco MiSTRIP
2,480 Barco MiTRIX