Stockholm 2016: Live-blog Day 1

Stockholm 2016 has finally started with day one of rehearsals! Nine countries take the stage, from Finland to top favorite Russia, and Team ESC Daily has landed in the press center to follow everything live.

In the following blog, you can find the latest Eurovision news from Stockholm with the newest update appearing on top. For in-depth rehearsal coverage, check our rehearsal blog.

19:02 – End of the liveblog

Thank you guys for following us here on day 1! Rehearsals are over, but stay tuned to ESCDaily for interviews and items, and of course a brand new episode of our talkshow Europe Calling.

18:45 – The Russian performance is now online

18:28 – Armenia is the biggest surprise of the day

18:20 – The performance from singer Serhat can be viewed

17:55 – Iveta: ‘Sex is my inspiration!’

During the press conference Iveta told about her inspiration for a lot of songs of her new album. She hinted on having a lot of ‘special friends’ all around the world to whom she likes to travel…

17:20 – See below the performance of Armenia

17:05 – Russian stage act includes a magic wall

The Russian stage act includes a magic wall: a projection screen but then turns into a climbing wall. During the three minutes the Russian singer Sergey get eagle wings on his back, jumps over ice floes and the Russians are working also with 3D effects. In the end, his ‘only one’ appears, catching a star projected on the screen.

16:52 – Lazarev falls down

First rehearsal for Russia is not successful. Lazarev falls down after one minute, the visual parts are quite overwhelming and he needs to move and climb quite a lot in order to pull it off. Risky business.

16:37 – The Dutch rehearsal is available

16:30 – Iveta from Armenia tweets about her rehearsal

16:15 – San Marino goes disco

San Marino has just performed. The Turkish singer Serhat wore white pants, a blue sweater and on stage he was accompanied by five backing singers. It all sounds and looks very disco.

16:06 – Watch the rehearsal snippet from Croatia

16:03 – Freddie talks to ESC Daily, stating he will change the visuals on Friday

15:55 – The Croatian singer Nina state to the press


15:20 – Slow down, Globen!

Douwe Bob and director Hans Pannecoucke practice on the interaction between singer and audience.

15:09 – Applause in press center for Armenia

We continue to Armenia. And the Armenians pull out all the strings. The first applause in the press center is for singer Iveta who is wearing black hot pants, a cape, but especially the stage performance stands out and is visually very strong. Without doubt, this song goes to the final.

14:54 – Watch Freddie’s first rehearsal

14:43 – The imposing dress of Croatian singer Nina Kraljić


14:37 – A harmonious rehearsal for Douwe Bob

During the first part of the performance, there is a large clock projected on stage. The decor includes plenty of warm colors. Halfway through the song Douwe Bob is running toward a center in the middle of the public in order to make contact with the fans.

14:15 – It’s almost time for Douwe Bob

The Dutch singer is the next one to rehearse.

13:51 – Croatian singer wears a huge cape 

Nina Kraljić starts with a cape around the shoulders, but during the song the cape shed. This will definitely be the Croatian act for this contest, but we have not seen the dress that Nina will wear below the cape.

Vocals are good, by the way.

13:24 – The Greek & Moldovan rehearsal are available

Two videos at once. You can watch Greece by clicking HERE.

And Moldova by clicking HERE.

13:13 – The soundcheck of Greece. But we didn’t get any sound…


12:56 – Douwe Bob is on his way to the arena

12:38 – The first rehearsal is online

Watch Finlands rehearsal HERE!

12:34 – ‘A typical  Croatian Eurovision tradition’

Croatian singer Nina Kraljić has let us know that there will be ‘a typical  Croatian Eurovision tradition’ during her performance. Curious what it will be!

12:28 – A first glimpse of the Press Centre in Stockholm

12:22 – Sandhja’s great-great-grandmother

During the pressconference Sandhja told about her grandmother who’s a famous singer in India. Sandhja is often seen as the granddaughter of Ladaria. So the talent runs in the family.

12:15 – This is how the Greek rehearsal looked…

12:00 – Many red for Hungary

Also the Hungarian rehearsal is little heard in the press center. The sound is again not up, but fortunately we can watch the performance and see a lot of red. The performance of Freddie is very similar to his performance during the national final.

11:44 – Relying on backing vocals

The sound issues are fixed and we can hear Lidia Isac rely heavily on her backing vocalists…

11:30 – Moldova: an astronaut on stage

The Moldovan singer is wearing a gold dress and is (halfway through the song) assisted by an astronaut. The astronaut reminds me of the entry of Montenegro in 2013.

11:10 – But we still do not know how it sounds…

10:56 – Just some photos from the press center

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10:50 – Performance Moldova will be similar to official video

Lidia Isac tells ‘My stage performance will be similar to my official video.’ The Moldavian singer will rehearse as third today.

10:45 – Greece has no sound (yet)

Rehearsals for Greece have started but we have no sound yet.

10:38 – The pantsuit

This is Sandhja backstage, explaining to the guys from how her name must be pronounced.


10:10 – Finland goes blue at first rehearsal

Finland has started. Singer Sandhja is wearing a light blue pantsuit and the background singers are busy with the microphone stands (reminds me of Lena Philipsson). An excellent first time, but there is still work to be done.

09:55 – The first rehearsal is about to begin

09:49 – Accreditations picked up

It is clearly a chaotic first day in Stockholm with everyone still trying to get settled. Picking up your accreditation is always the first step, and we have succeeded in that!