Professional Sound - June 2022 - Page 26


THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2022 A Look at the Most Complicated Live Broadcast Music Show Ever Staged

By Michael Raine with Luca Giaroli

On May 14th , after months of preparation by both the event ’ s crew and musical contestants , Ukrainian rap-folk band Kalush Orchestra were crowned the winners of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest ( ESC ) during a spectacular finale that drew a worldwide TV audience of more than 10 million .

That just to show up at the grand finale , the members of Kalush Orchestra needed special permission to leave their country , which is heroically fighting off a Russian invasion , speaks to the symbolic and inspiring importance of their victory . “ I ask all of you , please help Ukraine , help Mariupol , help Azovstal right now ,” lead singer Oleh Psiuk said from the stage as they finished their performance of the winning song , “ Stefania .”
Part of the responsibility for making this moment possible – to ensure those words , plus every beat , lyric , and nuance was heard clearly cross the world – fell to Italian audio mastermind Luca Giaroli . The business development and product manager at DirectOut , he was tapped by Italy ’ s national public broadcaster , Radiotelevisione Italiana ( RAI ), to be the signal distribution manager and designer for Eurovision 2022 .
Because the Italian group Måneskin won Eurovision 2021 , this year ’ s semi-finals and finals were held at Turin ’ s Palasport Olimpico , the largest indoor arena in Italy . And because Italy was playing host , the European Broadcasting Union ( EBU ) entrusted the country ’ s broadcaster with the show .
It ’ s no small thing to be responsible for how the world hears this famed international musical contest . After all , it ’ s taken place annually since 1958 and earned a rabid and enthusiastic international following ( and let ’ s not forget that Eurovison brought us ABBA ). So , simply put , you don ’ t want to mess with this brand and legacy . To Professional Sound ’ s delight and surprise , just two weeks before the finale and with rehearsals starting , Giaroli said he was more than happy to share his broadcast audio plans for year ’ s event . It ’ s one that a mutual friend called “ arguably the most complicated live broadcast music show ever staged ,” and that ’ s a sentiment Giaroli certainly agreed with .
So , from here , we hand it over to Giaroli to tell the behind-the-scenes story of how Eurovision 2022 was brought to fans around the world and the incredible amount of redundancy built into the system to ensure nothing could go wrong …
PS : I know this will be a long answer , but can you take us through your broadcast audio design for Eurovision ?