The Opening Ceremony of ESC 2011 was hosted by Düsseldorf Lord Mayor yesterday evening. Attendance was by Invitation Only. A limited number of invitations were issued to each participating country’s Head of Delegation who then decides how these are distributed.
There were disappointments among those not receiving invitations. Overheard was a comment that NDR (the host German broadcaster) has claimed that it costs around 600 euros per accredited person (both Press and Fan) due to the services (including refreshments) provided for them. That IS expensive, although I have not seen any caviar & champagne served yet..
It seems that in the last 3 years the hospitality level is decreasing. In Moscow all accredited press and fans were welcomed to the Opening Ceremony. In Oslo attendance was Invitation Only. In Düsseldorf the accreditation process was first restricted and then attendance to the Opening Ceremony was Invitation Only. Unlike Moscow and Oslo, Düsseldorf also denies OGAE ID card holders access to the Euroclub.
Contrary to popular belief, it seems from history that the host country which is less wealthy is more generous than those who are considered more developed..
Anyway, for those interested in views of the Opening Ceremony there is a video on the official ESC 2011 website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifxjdnyzVcQ&feature=player_embedded