Volunteers at the press desk - Kyiv 2017

The press would never be able to function without the workers that give their precious time for the next two weeks

Say hi....

And so it begins...

Hi from Kyiv! I'm Chris, new to the team and I will be blogging for the next two weeks from the press centre.

I'm optimistic the rehearsals will provide us with a few surprises we didn't see coming so far. The contest simply wouldn't be as much fun, if bookmaker odds and pre-contest polls were able to predict the correct results weeks before the contest.

So there are many reasons to feel excited about the rehearsals. Which of the 42 delegations will manage to impress us the most and which ones will not?

It's time to find out.

Finally in Kyiv!

My name is Desiree, I'm from the Netherlands and very excited to finally be in Kyiv! It's my first year as part of the ESCKAZ team but not my first Eurovision. I went to Eurovision three times before in 2008, 2010 and 2012 - the full two weeks each of them with accreditation for another organisation. In 2011 Eurovision was quite close (in Düsseldorf) so I went to the second semi-final where I hoped to see 3JS pass to the final. Well that didn't quite work out... I also went to JESC 2007 and 2012 - both held in the Netherlands. All of them so far have been great experiences, no Eurovision is the same!

After 2012 a lot has changed. From 2013 onwards press isn't allowed in the hall during the first rehearsal, so this time I will be spending a lot more time in the press centre, particularly in the first few days. However, whenever it is possible you will probably find me in the hall as I really love the 'live' experience.

Compared to the other years I went to Eurovision I found the songs were often more diverse in style - and language. I'm absolutely not writing off any songs just because they are not in their own language, but I enjoy to hear songs in other languages a lot which is often reflected in my personal favourites as well. Switching to - most frequently - English usually also involves a change towards a more mainstream genre. For me it makes the contest a bit less interesting but luckily I still manage to find some favourites each year.

This year is no exception. For example the Belarussian really stood out for me from the first time I heard it and I really enjoy France, Italy and Portugal - which is a grower. My personal top favourites are Ireland and Finland, in no particular order (as it changes every day). As for predictions - I'll get into that later!

I'm writing this from my hotel room which is incredibly close to the IEC. I arrived earlier today after getting out of bed at not very funny hours. In fact I can even see the IEC from my hotel room as I'm on one of the top floors. Definitely a room with a view!
Unlike Mike and Daniel told earlier, I had absolutely no problem at all to gather my accreditation. Hopefully the same goes for everyone else to arrive later on so that what was shown in the morning were just starting-up struggles..

Now it's time for me to find the rest of the team will check back later!

Kyiv, here we are back again

Well, as Mike has already informed in a photo way, a large part of ESCKAZ team has came back to Kyiv for this wonderful event of the year.

Almaty - Kyiv is quite long trip on it's own, 6.5 hours, but happily no need to change flights this year as usual. The only extremely disappointing thing in this is that this year I do not have an opportunity to visit wonderful Copenhagen as I did every year since 2013. Fingers crossed we're coming back to Greater Copenhagen Area next time.

The airport meets you with a special board passport check windows for "Evrovision guests" (sic), which for me followed by roughly two hours "formal check" as a Russian passport holder. It was kind of boring, if they plan to do this for every press member with Russian passport perhaps we need to get some entertainment zone in the airport for people queuing. Anyway, that wait helped to unite 2 ESCKAZ team members and 2 other friends in one place and share a direct taxi to the IEC. Please don't take taxis which will cost more than 250 UAH. It's a robbery, there are plenty of cheaper options - if you have smartphone, try Uber or Uklon or Yandex Taxi.

Mike has already explained accreditation process, when we were leaving, the press accreditation eventually moved to the main hall, so you can easily spot it on the first table to right from the entrance. Still, it is only one person doing it and a huge queue of technical workers and security also standing in other queues to get their passes. You can not pick up anything but badge today.

We also met Lily Yamborak and Svetlana Melnychenko from ESC Press team, who informed us that official Euroclub opening will be on Monday at 21:00. They are trying to get Ola Melzig and Christer Bjorkman to sing for that. Apparently all fans need to ask them very politely to make this huge project happening. First time and only at the Eurovision.

Brendan Murray - Ireland - performs on the Late Late Show in Ireland

With thanks to the Late Late Show for the link

ESCKAZ is looking for new team members

ESCKAZ is searching for qualified "pro bono" volunteers for both off-season operations and support on the social networks as well as for on-season coverage of both news items and live events. Those proving themselves best fit to the team, may be invited to join it during the coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Ukraine itself.

Please submit your CV/applications to info@esckaz.com in English language providing also the following information about yourself:

- Knowledge of written/spoken English language (fluency in Russian language may be beneficial factor);
- Experience of the work for other Eurovision fan sites / fan networks;
- Experience of the work at the live Eurovision events (international, national finals, Junior Eurovision etc);
- Ability to travel on your own costs to such events (including visas), indicate countries you are able to travel to;
- Membership in various fan organizations such as OGAE/INFE/independent clubs;
- Experience with photo/video filming / post production and possession of equipment;
- Experience of work with the social media: (Facebook, VK, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Periscope, Snapchat), please also include links to your profiles;
- Ability to secure your own accreditation for the contest (P or F) or national finals;
- Ability and willingness to share accomodation and other working costs with other members of the team;
- Brief explanation why are you interested to work specifically with ESCKAZ team;
- Brief suggestion in what way would you like to contribute to our team operations.

We thank in advance everyone interested and will contact shortlisted candidates in the upcoming month with more information.

We're looking forward have YOU in our team!

Stockholm round-up

We definitely did not expect it due to a quite low bar set up by Malmö, but Stockholm organization of the show has been almost perfect.

We had a very conveniently located Arena, which was near to the metro station, it almost can't get closer. We had all proper facilities in the Arena, including even interview lists (!, first time ever done prior to our arrival), and also excellent speed wi-fi which was available even in the arena itself. The biggest downpoint probably were the stairs down to the press-center, several of our team members had their legs sprained on it.

The Eurovillage was huge and had everything in it, so hopefully everyone enjoyed the program in it and Tele2 arena. The Euroclub/Eurocafe also seemed a great treat to Eurofans, especially with OGAE accreditations.

For me personally the great highlight of the week was Mamma Mia! the Party which we have reviewed here: http://esckaz.com/new/blog/mamma-mia-party-7155 Euroweek for me was made not only with Eurovision, but with different other events such as Hairspray musical in Tivoli, Copenhagen, heavy metal concerts of Treat, Allegiance of Rock, Abramis Brama and Starlight in Stockholm, a visit to Medelhavsmuseet and several beautiful churches etc.

Remember that you can check a huge video and photogallery from our reports on the links in the right column.

We're looking forward Ukraine next year, and as usually are open for any suggestions which you can mail us to info@esckaz.com , we're also looking for collaborators so if you want to become part of #TeamKaz, send you CVs in English language to the same e-mail as well.

Thanks a lot for staying with us this week and we hope you all enjoyed our production. Great thanks to all the delegations, artists and their teams who have collaborated with us on our coverage, it always is highly appreciated.

Goodbye and see you soon.

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