Eurovision rehearsals kick off at Lisbon’s Altice Arena
The countdown to the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon has begun with rehearsals at the Altice Arena venue from Monday.
Over 900 international and Portuguese technical staff are already on site preparing the three-day venue event, which is just 13 days away.
Forty-three countries will compete in Lisbon for the chance to host next year’s event with Israel, Australia, France, Bulgaria and Czech Republic all tipped to stand a chance of winning. Bookmakers suggest Israel will win.
Eurovision entrants and special guests will perform live at the Eurovision Village which opens for a week on 4 May in the city’s Terreiro do Paço square.
Two-thousand journalists, bloggers and other accredited organisations and individuals started arriving over the weekend. There will be 86 rounds of technical rehearsals, nine dress rehearsals (two sets for each semi-final and one for the grand final) and rehearsals for three opening acts and three interval acts.
Monday 6 May will be the official opening ceremony with a special blue carpet (to reflect the ocean theme) event at MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology), in Lisbon.