Preparation Blog

Leading up to the Opening Weekend we documented some of the preparations done in Umeå in this blog. Below you can find those status updates as a historical document.

Friday 31 January, 2014

sapmitoday horn
Umeå city center gets decorated with snow, ice and lights. On Rådhustorget you can find this ring of reindeer horns. The festivities can begin. Photo: Fredrik Larsson


Wednesday 29 January, 2014

Fotograf Håkan Larsson The winding snow walls along Rådhusesplanaden. Photo: Håkan Larsson.

forskolebarn_foto_madelene_edlund_710 Curious pre-school children studies the constructions. Photo: Madelene Edlund.

An e-mail arrived from Madelene Edlund, curator for Umeå Today:

”I don’t have twitter, but if I did, I would have told about today’s most heartful moment 🙂
I walked past the snow scultors from Petrosavodsk standing on Rådhusesplananden. Outside the fences there was a group of pre-school children, who curiously followed the constructions. Through the fence, a hand reached out towards the children with a heart made of the clearest ice, to bring home.
’Thank you, thank you, thank you!’ echoed the children’s voices.”


Monday 27 January, 2014

invblog 19 torget The snow is being distributed on Rådhustorget, transforming the open area into a Sami meeting ground during the weekend.

”The preparations and the transformation of Umeå city center is under way. Everything is going according to plan and I feel really glad and proud to be part of this fantastic opening weekend!”
Fredrik Johansson, project coordinator for the Umeå2014 opening weekend.


Friday 24 January, 2014

invblog 17 umeatoday1 invblog 18 umeatoday 2

Here snow is being thrown into frames, snow that will become high walls. Walls that will carry large embroidery frames of steel wire. Embroideries that will be done on three nets by three invited groups (Brodeirakademin, Hamnmagasinet/Ungdomens Hus and Osytt) and three nets for you, you and you – everyone who want to participate. One week remains to the inauguration of the European Capital of Culture and Umeå Today is slowly falling into place.
Madelene Edlund, producer


Thursday 23 January, 2014

invblog 16 snöbyggen
The snow walls that are part of the City of Winter-decorations can now be seen along the streets of Umeå.

Everybody visiting central Umeå can now clearly see that something big is happening. Massive walls of snow are appearing along the streets and the snow castle Aurora at Renmarkstorget is also slowly taking shape. Umeå is being decorated for a three day long inauguration that will be filled to the brim with activities. This is a weekend you don’t want to miss!


Tuesday 21 January, 2014

invblog 15 svenfredrikTwo artistic directors inspecting the stage area on the Umeälven ice. Fredrik Lindegren from Umeå2014 and Sven Sören Beyer from phase7 Berlin.

The Umeå2014 project management has now done a thorough measurement (actually done by an independent firm) of the stage area on the Umeälven ice. The conclusion is that the ice is thick enough for a full-scale inauguration ceremony. This means we have an official go-ahead for the Burning Snow in it’s original form!

And if you speak Swedish, you can hear parts of the discussion that took place on the ice in the clip below.


Sunday 19 January, 2014

invblog 14 phase7ice
Steffen Fuchs (one of the technical directors of phase7) arrived in Umeå on Sunday. phase7 entered the Ice the first time to do the calibration and laser measuring for the stages.


Saturday 18 January, 2014

invblog 13 balettakademien

Today phase7 choreographer Lydia Klement started the rehearsals with 100 dancers of the Balettakademien Umeå. With the words ”Open all your senses that you get to feel your neighbour” Lydia started the rehearsals.
To the music of ”Addeboy vs Cliff”, who produced the track specifically for Burning Snow, the students learned the first part of the choreography.

Friday 17 Januari, 2014

invblog 11
Jule Kauert and Liza Wiegand from our production company Phase7 will make sure everything goes according to plan.

invblog 12
More and more people gather at the meetings concerning the upcoming party during the Opening Weekend in Umeå on 31/1-2/2 2014.

The moment of truth is getting closer. Deadline for the final decision about the ice, its strength, what things we can use the surface for, weights, and placement will be finalized shortly. After that, we know what we have to work with. We believe we will meet the strict safety requirements and can follow our original plan for the inauguration ceremony Burning Snow on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 17:00. Now we all want clarity, from the royal court, the provincial government, the security detail, the municipality, fire department, performers, musicians, technicians, audience and so on. And ourselves included, of course. The meetings seem to never cease and things are really starting to get real. Now only a few days remain.
Nils-Henrik Sikku


Wednesday 15 Januari, 2014

Nature works in our favour
Now we have regained the time we lost during the ”heat wave” over the christmas holidays. The ice is getting thicker, thanks to special pumps that distribute water over the area on the river. Nature also contributes. Also, the media interest in the ice is still strong. The national news service TT visited us this morning. For this occasion, a ”Spark” (pictured below) comes in handy for steady transportation on the ice.
Nils-Henrik Sikku

invblog 09 nh Nils-Henrik Sikku på Umeå2014 övervakar förstärkningsarbetet.

invblog 10 ry Isbyggarna Göran Gunnarsson och Jimmy Fjällström jobbar tålmodigt med skapande av underlaget för invigningsceremonin Burning Snow.


Tuesday 14 January, 2014

invblog 06 Ars Electronica Futurelab from Linz Austria (former European Capital of Culture, 2009) are here today to do some test flights and digital measurements of the Burning Snow-area with their Quadrocopters.

invblog 08 IceCrew Also the heroic ice team from Röbäcks Ytbehandling AB eagerly spends cold hours and hours outside to prepare and thicken the ice.


Monday 13 January, 2014

20140113 is_710
Cold is good but right now, snow is not
On Friday we finally got some snow. Thankfully we did not get the huge amount that fell just a little bit further north of Umeå, in Bureå. Of course we want snow, but first our ice team wants to make the ice on the river really thick, before putting snow on it. The cold weather woks in our favour and we plan to do a thorough measurement of the ice on Tuesday.
Nils-Henrik Sikku


Friday 10 January, 2014

Our “Iceman” and project manager Nils-Henrik Sikku has promised to deliver (almost) daily updates regarding the ice and snow on the Umeälven river. Here is his first report: 20140110 is_710
Winter is here – finally!
nhsikkuOh, how we have been waiting, worrying and hoping! Following the several weeks of rain and warm weather, the ice has slowly been dissolving. The weather reports have been studied in detail in Berlin, Austria, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Sápmi, Stockholm and Umeå. Media have been hunting us with questions about plan A, B and C; people have been questioning having a opening ceremony on ice that is not there. Today we can all take a breath of relief. The real winter cold has arrived. Thank you mother nature!
Nils-Henrik Sikku



Wednesday 8 January, 2014

20140108 inspelning Henrik Oja, one of the musical directors and composers of Burning Snow recorded Åsa Simma today. She wrote the words that the audience will be hearing in the narrative parts. Sven Beyer joined the recording.


Sunday 15 December, 2013

invblog 03 audition Umeå2014 has been looking for nine modern and professional dancers to participate in the opening ceremony Burning Snow. In total 35 people from all over Sweden participated in this weekend’s audition and first rehersal, supervised by phase7.

invblog 04 audition 

Monday 9 December, 2013

invblog 01 isTo ensure that the ice on the river is thick enough for the official opening ceremony, the ”ice team” began their work of reinforcing the ice by pumping up water onto the ice that is already there. The first goal of 30cm of ice has already been reached.   invblog 02 musikHenrik Oja, Ulla Pirtijärvi and Christian Steinhäuser are busy working with music rehearsals.

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