International Immersive Theatre Events – 19/21 January 2018 – Eindhoven (NL)
Every year the nations of Europe gather to showcase their best performing talent at EuroSing. The competition is fierce, the contestants are fiercer and no-one is quite sure what other games are played behind the glittery masks, traditional dances and rainbow curtains. This year, amidst rising European tensions, the contest will be held in the Netherlands. Who will win the day and can disaster be averted? Welcome to EuroSing! EuroSing: Heroes of our Time is one part singing contest, one part project runway, one part 48 hour film and one part roleplay event.
To increase the immersion we actively used social media (facebook & instagram) and encouraged others to do the same in the time leading up to the event. Soon there were entire communities around the participating countries on the various channels. Some of them can still be visited:
In addition, all countries posted a video in a hidden Green Room page on our website, in which they presented themselves. We knew that the event would go very fast and wanted to give everybody the chance to get to know each other in advance.
Finally, we developed our own news website: EuropeNews Now. Here we placed articles and rumours about the event. Everyone could also supply articles before and during the weekend. That was eagerly done and there was a lot of gossip. In this way we kept rumours interesting and relevant.
Every immersive piece has, like every story, a natural tension curve. In prose, you have more influence on this than in an interactive piece, but it is still important to think about it.
The weekend consisted of three parts for us:
- the intro: to put everyone at ease and to set the tone for the weekend.
- the preparations: in which people get started with their act
- the final show: the performance with live audience and the results
For the intro we provided an improvisation workshop, then we sang an opening act with a big humorous wink. Afterwards we had a party to socialize.
For the preparation phase, we wanted to let everyone know that we supported them, that we believed in them and that we were happy to help. That’s why we hired coaches to help our contestants create something truly beautiful.
- Linda Wagenmakers (self participant in Eurovision in 2000) – as a vocal coach
- Annicke Shireen (winner of ‘Through the Eye of the Needle’ in 2015) – as a costume coach
- Ork de Rooij and Matthijs Kooijman – for the sound and light
- Marije Janssen and Niels Bom – for psychological support
- Kaylee Bos – for the props
Their help and generosity was invaluable values for the event.
We had the final show hosted by two excellent improvisation actors: Anne van Barlingen and Job Rauch.
In order to convey our message of diversity and inclusiveness, we came up with a social, political line. Here we turned the Netherlands into the bad guy, who wanted to sell a part of Europe to Putin in exchange for, among other things, bitcoins and olympic medals. Interesting enough to sink your teeth in, but light enough not overshadow the show.
And then suddenly it was show time. We welcomed more than 150 people from all over Europe, from Sweden to Israel. It was a logistical tour de force to provide all teams in time with resources, to give time and space in the theatre to practice, to keep them entertained and to have the show run smoothly (stage manager Kaylee Bos moved mountains for us). It felt like we took a breath on Friday afternoon and could not breathe out again until Sunday morning. Yet it was great. Everyone created something unique and something beautiful and the support for each other was heart-warming.
“I think, I had the most absurd but also most professional immersive event experience ever last weekend…”
Lenny de Rooij
“Thank you everybody for a fantastic event! So much creativity, so much support. The atmosphere was amazing and it is unbelievable how everybody managed to get a fabulous act together in such a short amount of time. So many teams, and all had a completely different type of performance. You’re all terrific!! <3 Lots of love from Stella Splendor from team Ireland.”
“Home again, tired but happy. Still thinking about last night and processing what happened! So much happiness and so much love! Everyone was brilliant and beautiful!”
“That was Fan-Tas-Tic! What a crazy awesome event this was. I loved that there were fabulous performances. But I loved even more that the audience gave full energy and support to each and every act! Cheering and clapping everyone on, fangirling over the stars and showering compliments when the bands returned to the theatre.”
“One of the most memorable experiences of perhaps my entire life is now behind me and almost two days after it, I’m still fighting with my emotions and try to understand the burning question in my head: What the **** has just happen? How great was that please?…”
Margriet van den Elzen - Du Maine
“What an extraordinary weekend. One to never forget.”
“The energy was amazing, everybody was shouting and clapping. You could just feel pride, love and support radiate from the crowd.”
Nieske Lindelauf - den Heijer
“Halfway through the weekend I realised what made Eurosing so great: it hit all my favourite beats of the Eurovision.”
Gijs van Bilsen
“Some events will stay with you. And even years after the event, everybody who was there will still be talking about it and those who could not be there will know they have missed something truly monumental”
“In praise of the organization I wanted to call out some of their golden moves!
- The Tulips: showing us: whatever you do we are right beside you in this wacky challenge.
- making the voting a political playground: it made the competition much less a game to win but an experience to have.
- the pregame: it got me inspired indeed.
- the tech: it looked and felt very Eurovision.
- the workshops”
“Seldom have I seen such a display of respect towards so many different acts of creativity and bravery. Thank you all for this experience.”