• Sweden edition
Eurovision - Centre Stage
In the spotlight: Ireland's hidden Eurovision hero

In the spotlight: Ireland's hidden Eurovision hero

Published: 14 May 2013 15:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 May 2013 15:05 GMT+02:00

Stagehand Kevin Moorhouse, 44, swapped his native Wexford for Gothenburg in 1999 and has barely looked back since. He has worked on gigs for legends such as Paul McCartney, U2, and Bruce Springsteen before being asked to make the trip down to Skåne to work on Eurovision 2013.

"I've been working on concerts since 2000 but this is by far the largest I’ve ever been involved with. The crew has just 45 seconds between each act to set things up for the next performer so everything has to be precise," Moorhouse tells The Local at Malmö Arena.

"I’ll be in constant radio communication with the lighting engineer. For me, a good show means nobody shouting in my ear."

The Irishman took the plunge into Sweden 13 years ago and quickly settled into Gothenburg where he lives with his Swedish wife. His early lack of svenska didn’t matter a bit and he got his career break whilst working in a pub.

"I took a job working in an Irish bar which is what many expats do. Struck up a conversation with a regular customer, who asked if I wanted to help out on a Tina Turner concert, and it has since turned into a full-time career.

"Fortunately I love what I do, you wouldn’t work the hours involved if you didn’t," says Moorhouse.

Being on the road has its perks as the stagehand gets free tickets to any concert he wishes to attend in his spare time. On occasion he even gets to party with the rockstars - not that he always recognizes them.

"A few years back I was working on a U2 gig and got talking to a few guys at the bar. I asked them if they were drivers and they said 'no, we are are the band'. I told them 'no, you’re not as I know what Bono looks like' and they replied 'we're the support act, Snow Patrol'. I was a bit mortified," recalls the 44-year old.

Gothenburg is very much home for Moorhouse where he is an established member of the Irish community. He is the President of the local gaelic football club and despite the odd bout of homesickness, he believes he made the right call in opting for Sweden.

"The standard of living over here is just so much higher. You follow the rules and you don’t get away with a lot.

"Ireland needs to learn from Sweden. We had a recession here but nobody even noticed as the government stepped in and took charge of the banks," he says.

His advice for any other Irish expats who want to follow his lead is simple; "Knuckle down and take on a job even if it isn’t something you like. Find your Irish pub and make contacts," he says.

"If you come here then it's very hard to leave. If you do then you’ll probably come back."

Eurovision is one of the highlights of Moorhouse’s long stage career. He will even miss his parents 50th wedding anniversary party due to his work commitments on the pop extravaganza.

"I left school at 15 and have been working ever since which isn’t a bad complaint. I’ve made a habit of being in the right place at the right time, it must be the luck of the Irish."

"Once Eurovision ends we’ll be working 12-hour days to take the stage down. Then I head straight to Stockholm for a Bon Jovi concert followed by Pink," he tells The Local.

"After that, I am taking a day off!"

Patrick Reilly is The Local's Eurovision correspondent in Malmö. Tweet him questions if you like.

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »


24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: