That is the end of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. That was quite an ordinary year with no special highlights or achievements. Israel victory is something opposite to Portugal victory last year, and confirms once again how unpredictable Eurovision is. Hopefully they will build organization-wise on the big success of Israel Calling event.
A few words about organization of this year - there were numerous unhappy posts from my colleagues - I think Portugal coped well for their first opportunity to host a big event like this. A massive downgrade was of course the lack of free transportation cards - I realize this is something we all were taking as a must, when it was not - but then this should have been communicated properly before the Euroweek. To be honest a few of us are leaving country with less than 10 Euros in pockets. Then - a massive security, which was very uncomfortable at times - especially Eurovillage, come on, this is a regular square event for the country and was open every year before Kyiv. Then the list of items that could not be brought in to the press center - umbrellas? drugs without prescription of doctor? (a lot of us got a cold due to changing weather) selfie sticks? I'm amased how in the years with the most tight secutiry surrounding the contest, we still get stage intruders.
And then AGAIN - no interview lists and nobody knew how to handle the interviews properly. Throwing Heads of Delegations out of interview area because they can't give interviews there without booking a room, and they can not book one because all rooms are booked and even can't use chairs in corridor? Really? Sorry, have to mention in a negative way a guy called Pedro who was responsible for the interview rooms. Never in past year we had a problem accessing interview room whenever we wanted it. That's not how the things should be run, sorry man. Little knowing people with power is a problem at many Eurovisions though.
On the positive side - we had loads of free water, coffee and tea, and press-center itself operated in a quite convenient way. I almost saw no volunteers which is a good sign, the best volunteer is the one that is not interfering in the work of press. The Lisboa card was a good addition, but it could have been explained it is not a transport ticket and is in fact valid for 24h. I liked Euroclub a lot - finally back to the real club athmosphere - small, but quite nice. Night transportation was quite convenient if you keep on to schedule. Eurovillage was packed with people and was a success too, Red carpet was quite long but organized good so all those side events worked well. My colleagues especially enjoyed press tour of AMP associates. Oh, and the app. Finally an app which is fully functional and informative. Great job on this.
Lisbon is a great city to visit with excellent music stage - I've attended 4 concerts - 2 of which were of local artists, 1 from US and 1 from Sweden. Amazing time. We also had some great travels around the city. The city itself is a best point of interest - all the museums and other venues with paid entries are mostly done to attract tourists though, so may well be skipped. The best way to explore is just to walk around the city, or get on the public transport (tram or bus) and enjoy views from the window. There are also amazing surroundings so if you're here, don't spend all of your time in Lisbon itself.
It was an OK year for #TeamKAZ. We had a 1.5 mln Youtube views during Euroweek (not counting last two days which statistically should bring even bigger figures), so that was quite successful, considering new rules regarding rehearsals filming.
Speaking about next year, there will hopefully be some massive changes in the way ESCKAZ operates. While we will try to keep bilingual aspect, we will be cutting down the team and scaling down the coverage. Unfortunately, with the current approach of the EBU international delegation to the international fan sites we can not continue heavy work on the same level as before, we simply don't have enough people for that. We may not launch until mid-March, until after national final season next year, but will try to attend some promotional parties and provide coverage from the event itself.
Thanks for reading and watching our coverage and see you next year.