Marcus is a OGAE Rest of the world member sharing his story of going to see the contest live in Malmo, Sweden. We want to thank him for sending us his thoughts.
Travelling all the way to Sweden from Australia is almost 24hrs worth or travel. However it’s a journey that is well worth it if you are coming to see the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö. Having beaten a serious case of Jet lag after a few days in Copenhagen I made my way to Malmö. Getting off the train at Malmö central station I was greeted by a spectacular mirror ball suspended for all to see in the main hall of the station. It glistened in the bright sunlight on the day that I arrived. I remember thinking that I was going to have an amazing week, if this is how it’s going to start. In addition to seeing how rich in history and culture the city of Malmö was, it seemed to also have an electric feel of excitement of the week of spectacular performances that where to come.
Although I had watched many times from Australia, I had no idea what the structure of the week looked like. Now that I was a fan who was actually there, I could properly understand the careful steps the contestants (and fans) took through the week to get to the grand final. For those who don’t know, the contest is run over 6 days. There are two semi finals and one grand final. However each of these is preceded by a jury assessment. What this means is that the night before each of the live telecast performances the contestants show an exact replica of what they will show Europe, and that night the judges make their decisions. The following night Europe votes and the combined results of both nights’ forms the results meaning some contestants go through to the Grand Final. I was lucky enough to see five out of the six performances. Now you would think that seeing the jury show the night before the actual live telecast would spoil the surprise for that live night….. Nope…. With Europe watching it was even more amazing than the previous night. However, just for me, I kept the suspense alive for the Grand final by not going to the jury grand final the night before. Another thrill, which I hadn’t experienced before, was being able to vote. I bought a Swedish SIM card that allowed me to participate in the voting. It also doubled as a way let all my friends back home know how much fun I was having via social media.
In addition to the actual performances there is also lots of fun had by everyone attending. For accredited fans there was a fantastic club called the Euro Club. Unfortunately, because this was my first time attending I didn’t have accreditation and wasn’t able to go in, however people that I met during the week said it was amazing. There was an alternative for people who weren’t accredited fans and also for anyone else that wanted to go. It was called the Euro Fan Cafe. I visited this very regularly. There were several rooms all playing different tunes of Eurovision’s past and present with everyone having an amazing time. You could meet people from all over the world and share stories of that night’s performance or just share in the fun that was “The Eurovision Buzz”. It was a perfect way to finish off the night before starting it all again the next day.
As the week went on I made some amazing friends who I’m hoping to share more Eurovision’s with in the future. It was a week of amazing experiences that will stay with me forever. To be able to sing, dance and enjoy the fun of the Eurovision Song Contest with people that love it like I do made the whole week that much more fantastic and now I am counting down the days till Denmark 2014.
I really urge people that may have watched the Eurovision Song Contest on TV in the past, who are wondering what it would be like to see live, to definitely go and see it. It will open your mind to the world of Song and Fun. It’s truly an experience that can’t just be watched on a TV. It has to be experienced…..