Watching the Melodifestivalen final

A group shot - most of the Melodifestivalen revellers


If you go to the Social page on this website, you’ll see a stack of photos from last Sunday’s get together to watch the Melodifestivalen 2010 final on the big screen. Shots are lacking captions because I am waiting on the lovely Patrick to get back to me and remind me of all the names I have forgotten. I am SHOCKING with names.

If you read my earlier post about spending all day Saturday trying to get software to work that would actually convert an .avi file to a DVD quickly….here is the rest of the story….

This is the technical side of it all…

When I got up on Sunday morning I reinstalled Roxio Creator 2010 on my PC with a wish and a prayer that it would work. After the tediously long installation process, rebooting, then having to download the service pack, install it and reboot again…it was time to do a test.

At this point the final in Stockholm had just finished and my friend was waiting for it to appear on the net so he could begin downloading. I thought I should be prepared so I got the instructions kindly provided by one of the Roxio forum nicest members and followed them to the letter.

I found an .avi file which was only about 16 minutes long to use as my test case. I did everything I was told to do and the result was a perfect DVD disc which played perfectly on my normal Panasonic DVD player (which is about 6 years old now!)

It was terrific to know that it had actually worked. Now it was about waiting for the actual Melodifestivalen final file to be downloaded. Yoda friend called about 10-ish to say it hadn’t appeared yet and, while we were on the phone, it suddenly appeared. However it was 1.3gb instead of the usual 700mb so he wasn’t sure how long it would take to download.

An hour later it was not even half-way through downloading so all thoughts of turning it into a “normal DVD” for playing were thrown out the window. I had to be at the pub by 12.45pm to set up as people were arriving from 1pm. We had to come up with another plan. In fact we went through Plans B, C and D in our panic ;-)

I used Creator 2010 to burn a data DVD disc with one of last year’s finals on it as a test. I then played it in my newer, uber-cheap Palsonic DVD player and it worked fine. So we changed plans – I ripped out my Palsonic DVD player and the cords and put it into the bag of stuff I was taking to the pub. I rang Yoda and said I was going to shower and then head out to the supermarket to pick up some snacks for the day and go straight to the pub. It was agreed he would wait for the download to be complete, then come around to my place to use Roxio to burn a data DVD. His PC,for some reason, is being very recalcitrant and refusing to play nicely with discs. (Yes Yoda it *is* time for a new PC!)

He came around quickly before I left so I could show him what to do and I left the PC ready with the Roxio program on the correct screen ready for him to do this thing. Meanwhile I raced out and caught the bus to the supermarket, grabbed some snacks and then grabbed the next bus to the pub. I got there about 12.45pm and started to set up. People started arriving almost immediately. Ben, the barman, was a bit bemused cos he’d forgotten all about it – he was very, very drunk on the previous Tuesday night when we’d organised it with the pub’s manager and also told Ben about it.

On Saturday night, I had thrown together a 50 minute “highlights” of this year’s Melodifestivalen semi-finals to watch – using Windows Movie Maker/Windows DVD Maker – and although the resultant disc refused to play on my main DVD player, it did play on the pub’s machine. Thank god. Grant called to say the file for the final was STILL downloading and there was no way he could make it before 2pm at the earliest.

So thank god we had the “highlights” disc to amuse people for the first hour. Shortly after 2pm my friend arrived Grant arrived by taxi at the pub sweating like a grunter. He had the successfully burnt data disc. Fingers crossed the pub’s machine recognised it because I didn’t really want to have to start pulling machines out and plugging other machines in. They’ve got everything hooked into a sophisticated sound system which can play around the venue – it is also tied into Foxtel (the pay TV thing in Australia) which can play different programs on different TVs. So while we were watching Melodifestivalen, for instance, the other patrons in the pub were watching the televised Rugby League match in the beer garden.

The data disc was put in and the machine thought about it for a minute and then decided it would play it! HOORAY! Thank God! There were a group of expectant people sitting, waiting patiently.

From then on in it was smooth sailing – the afternoon was fantastic with lots of drinking, cheering, occasional boo-ing and a lot of tension as the votes came in from around Sweden. We made sure we didn’t know the result so it would be a surprise.

James rang us from Sweden where it was still the night before and he’d just been out to a club and seen Nanne perform live! (He made sure none of his Twitter or blog entries revealed the winner of the contest) He was totally smashed on Swedish beer and incredibly excited and happy – it was the first time he’d seen Nanne perform live and he was in the front row.

Meanwhile, the other punters who happened to be at the pub that day – and Ben, our barman – were completely bemused as to what was going on. There’s about 10 of us sitting, intently watching a 2 hour program in Swedish and shouting at the TV, occasionally screaming and clapping.

Still, we were having too much of a good time to worry about anyone else’s reactions. We had our giant Swedish flags on the wall, we had our snacks, our bevvies and we were having a blast. It was just a brilliant day altogether.

I seemed to have arrived home about 8pm and immediately slumped into my bed. I was completely knackered from all the effort of Saturday, the lack of sleep on Saturday night and the excitement of the event & gathering itself. I had around 10 1/2 hours sleep and next thing I remember, it was Monday morning and time to get up for work!

Melodifestivalen 2010 was over. A crap entry had been chosen as the winner – but it’s the journey that counts mainly, not the ultimate winner. A couple of days later, the double Melodifestivalen CD arrived from Sweden and Grant and I have been listening to the songs all over again.

Next stop, Eurovision 2010!

1 Comment

  1. Sitting on the train between Malmo and Stockholm and pissing mself laughing at the pics and your story. You look like you had great fun. Like the decorations. I’d be lying to say I wish I was there with you instead of being in Stockholm. Here’s to MF 2011.


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