The Azerbaijani capital Baku will be hosting the final stage of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.
Authorities in Azerbaijan have made the contest a centrepiece in efforts to make Baku an international cultural capital.
Activists say the government has spent a record $100m dollars on one of the world's longest-running and most widely watched musical events.
Even so, local residents have reportedly been forced out of their homes to make way for "city beautification", with around 4,000 apartments demolished and up to 50,000 people evicted across the country .
Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman reports from Baku.