Every year around the end of August, thousands of Eurovision fans have successfully battled through a severe Post Eurovision Depression Syndrome, some have just been released from rehab, while others have made their first payment on the new liver they decided to purchase back in 2011 when they discovered they had to plan a trip to Azber…Azberbaja…Baku! To Baku! Yes, this is the time when your gym playlist suddenly consists of American pop (is that really music?), you pass by an operating wind fan and don’t immediately associate it with the word ‘Carola’, or when you see a flag and you don’t have the involuntary reflex to waive it like crazy (while whoo-hooing).
Every year around exactly that time, OGAE Finland wisely decided that this should be the right moment to hold the annual (guilty) pleasure cruise for the fans, The Eurovision Cruise 2013, the perfect opportunity to quench your Eurovision thirst! This is the 4rd year OGEA Finland has been organizing the Eurovision Cruise and they were joined by over 1500 Eurovision fans from 16 different nationalities, in an almost fully booked cruise of approximately 3200 passengers.
The cruise started with a Eurovision karaoke, giving the fans a chance to passionately sing their heart out, right before they risked losing their voice cheering for the wonderful Eurovision performers that were specially booked. Valentina Montta was the first artist to take the stage, but that was not enough for her. Valentina occasionally decided to join the party on the dance floor and even performed a special dance with Oma Ella, the oldest Eurovision fan who also attended the cruise.
She was followed by other great Eurovision artists like Marion Rung (ESC Finland 1962, 1973), Krista Siegfrids (ESC Finland, 2013) and Melodifestivalen’s Timoteij (2012, 2010-OGAE’s second chance contest winners).
A true Eurovision fan knows that the only reason for throwing a party is to have an excuse to throw an after party. Timoteij’s energetic performance was the right moment to open the dance floor for the after party! DJ Werneri, the official OGAE Finland DJ got the crowd excited with Eurovision classics and upbeat songs. DJ Ohrmeister mastered the perfect combination of unique semi-selection songs that made every hardcore fan grin with joy and the most favorite Eurovision hits
Eurovision followers have been practicing the art of making choices for years and years, but they were not prepared for this difficult decision they had to make. It was 6AM when the dance floor closed and The Tallink m/s Silja Europa cruise ship opened its door in Tallinn, Estonia, giving a unique opportunity for a fan to take his mild-to-severe hang over on a short day trip in this beautiful city or simply crash at their cabin to gain strength for more Eurovision events that the following day had to offer.
I was one of those who chose their cozy cabin, thinking that one day Estonia will win Eurovision again and I will get to chance to explore Tallinn, waking up halfway between Helsinki and Tallinn. I did get some taste of Estonia on the way back when I was having my morning beer to the beautiful voice of Brigit Oiogemeel who represented Estonia in 2013.
The annual Eurovision cruise ended with a hysterical drag performance by the very talented Jukka K and Miss Divett.
We disembarked the cruise ship, some drunk, some hung over, some both, but everybody had one thing in common. They all were still ecstatic, each for different reasons. Some were happy to meet their old Eurovision friends, some were pleased with the new friends they made, and others just knew that it wasn’t over yet. As always, there was an after cruise party planned.
OGAE Finland teamed up with a local bar in Helsinki called Mann’s Street to have one last Eurovision karaoke party before everybody had to face reality again.
Author: Gilad Mandelboim