Let’s look into the spectacular technical aspects of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, where Sweden’s landscapes serve as the perfect backdrop for Europe’s most anticipated musical extravaganza.

Organizing the Eurovision Song Contest is a monumental challenge, requiring meticulous planning and coordination.
Behind the scenes, a team of highly skilled technicians and engineers worked tirelessly to set up the stage, lighting, sound, and special effects that are integral to the show’s success. The technical installation involves complex audiovisual equipment, a vast amount of lighting fixtures and pyrotechnics, all orchestrated to create an immersive experience for viewers at home and in the arena.

This is largely executed by Creative Technology (CT), backed by the global NEP group and a leading provider of innovation, technology, project management, and operational support to the live events and systems integration markets and therefore very experienced when it comes to prestigious and complex Pro AV projects.

CT, providing project planning, design, installation, and execution, also supplied many technological building blocks such as lighting controller desks and nodes from MA lighting and has selected Luminex’ fully managed GigaCore ethernet switches in a setup with 10Gb redundant rings and Luminex LumiNode ethernet to DMX nodes for the extensive lighting rig.

“The complete rig, the largest MA network ever built, consists of no less than 18 grandMA3 full size, compact XT and light consoles of which 11 were in session at the same time during the live performance, 90 grandMA3 8-port nodes, 12 grandMA3 XL and 4 grandMA3 L processing units. All in the same network at the same time at all times running a huge show file that was almost 1.2Gb in size.Says Tue Knudsen System Engineer at Creative Technology. 

A big requirement for this large setup was to have a 10G backbone. This requirement was met by using Luminex GigaCore pro AV switches of which 50 in total were deployed: 6 GigaCore 20t for the 10G backbone, 42 GigaCore 16Xt, and 2 GigaCore 30i. All monitored by Araneo to provide a reliable lighting network to support and to enhance this prestigious event.

The Network topology revolves around 10Gb fiber rings, executed with fully redundant fiber connections using 4 GigaCore 20t switches positioned on Stage Left, Stage Right and FOH. Branching out to the FOH switches connecting the MA Lighting desks and to GigaCore switches positioned in Dimmer City, see [Figure1], connecting the DMX Nodes. This redundant ring setup uses the Luminex RLinkX protocol which automatically detects and properly manages redundant ring networks ensuring reliability.

[Figure 1]

“We’ve designed a reliable system with many redundancies, including a primary-secondary waterfall system. All centered around a 10G Backbone with Luminex components, that played together with the MA components excellently and has not given us any unforeseen issues, not during the programming, planning and buildup, nor during the rehearsals and finally the live event.  Given that an MA3 lighting network on this scale has never been made before and given the prominence of this project, going live for more than 160 million people, reliability, trust in the systems and peace of mind for everyone involved was really key”. Says Emil Højmark, Head of Lighting at Creative Technology.   

The monitoring of this vast lighting network is done through Luminex Araneo software and was particularly beneficial in this project, now that the Araneo has the monitoring and health Check of many crucial session parameters of MANet3 devices integrated in the software. When the MA-Net license is enabled, all MA networked components, session parameters and data flows are visualized in Araneo, providing indispensable key data points in real time to programmers and technicians. 

Furthermore, Araneo allows us to setup important network parameters such as Querrier positioning, on the fly configuration and assignment of Groups (VLAN’s), port settings and more.  

Also integrated in the lighting network and making use of 10 Luminex LumiNode 4 devices, is the follow spot system from Follow Me, which with no less than 9 FollowMe operators and 92 automated spots ensures any artists moving on stage get their moment in the spotlights. 

“The Luminex Araneo software provided a confidence inspiring overview of all critical lighting network parameters at every stage during this project, and Araneo’s extensive health check, and system log features have allowed us to proactively point out some potential issues to our colleagues long before anyone could see something was not quite right”. Says Michael Nielsen, System engineer at Creative Technology. 

Next to the main lighting network, Luminex GigaCore switches were also used in the audio network for the control data of the Shure wireless workbench application.  

The automation network for the motorized hoists, supplied by Litecom Group, used for suspending the dynamically controlled lighting frames whose height- and angular positioning above the stage, were controlled by network components that relied on GigaCore switches.  

The Monitoring of the power grid, with over 1800 power channels, via StageSmarts C72tv and smartPDU48 devices also ran via GigaCore switches where a separate Group (VLAN) took care of that data traffic. 

When using such a diversity of protocols in the same network, it is good practice anyway to make use of VLAN’s or Groups as these are called in the GigaCores. The Groups used by the engineers in this Eurovision Song Contest setup were Art-Net, SaCN-Net, MA3-Net, JDC-2 NDI, FollowME tech, PDU-NET and the Management Group. 

Luminex wants to congratulate all engineering staff and their companies involved for creating a unique, boundary-pushing and truly grand show setup in this fantastic Eurovision event that will be remembered for quite some time to come.  

About Luminex:
Luminex Network Intelligence is a Belgium-based manufacturer of data distribution equipment for professional lighting, audio and video applications. Besides Ethernet-to-DMX converters & DMX/RDM splitters for lighting control projects, Luminex also produces Ethernet switches, enabling users to build a complete data distribution system for all types of Pro AV applications. The GigaCore switches are, like almost every other Luminex device, truly plug-and-play products that provide an excellent solution to expand an Pro AV network in a very user-friendly way, without needing any IT knowledge. Luminex products can be found in the most demanding installation, theatre and touring AV applications worldwide.