So it has been over 4 months since we were in Copenhagen for the Eurovision. And I’m back, to see what the city is up to. Gone is the feel of #joinus , especially so when I get off the metro at Kongens Nytorv. If you were in Copenhagen back in May and used the metro system then you’ll probably would have either seen or even taken part in a karaoke session of Basim’s infectious tune to win yourself a free day ticket for the metro. But this time there is no “Scoo-be-doo-be-dap-dap-de-be-di”‘s or cliches in sight. Getting off the metro system has kind of lost it’s fun side.
As I walk down past Nyhavn and along the waters edge I spot her, Refshaleoen herself. I’m somewhat emotional looking at her. So many great memories, and it pains me to know that she lies lifeless once again. Yes I understand that the costs of the 2014 contest seemed to have spiralled out of control, but could they not have kept the hall for music events? It could have spelt a whole new era for the so called island. A bit of redevelopment of the surrounding area and outside and the actually building and this could have put Refshaleoen back on the map. Let’s face it, I’m thinking that Denmark really don’t want to win the contest anytime soon, considering the debt they are left in. And even if they do win, I’d bet it wouldn’t be in copenhagen. Would a eurovision in Odense, Horsens, Aalborg et al do any better?
Back in the city, I walk down Strøget, the fan mile. It stills feels like a pilgrimage, and so to the site of Eurovision Village. And apt display of a picturesque Slovenia, celebrating it’s membership of the European Union. I have got to say, these photos they are displaying are gorgeous. Can we go to Slovenia soon please? Do you think it would be possible for them to win? Or are we waiting for an inevitable big 5 win? Personally my bet would probably go for a French or Spanish win next for the big 5 host.
The magic of Eurovision seems to have disappeared in Copenhagen, as if it had never happened. Of course one wouldn’t think there would be a year long party, but where is the lasting musical impact of the Eurovision? I seem to wonder this as I walk down the waters edge towards the little mermaid… ThInkinh back to the B&W Hallerne as i previously mentioned. Gone is the big “join us” banner, a life less corpse once again. It both pains me and puzzles me that Copenhagen haven’t been able to do something with this historic building…. Does it not make sense to continue to use the venue? Considering the debt Copenhagen have got themselves into because of this you would think that they would try and use this opportunity of a building to make some money out of the area, but no. Within days the Eurovision island had floated away, and the building stood upon dead land again (although some people would argue that he land was always dead), and if rumours are true, the only winners out of his is broadcaster DR, and the people of Copenhagen are here to pay for years to come.
It feels that things have to change, Eurovision should be used as a tool of economic tourism and to bring money into the country so the locals can benefit from this. Copenhagen is far from a poor city and Denmark a poor nation either. So what would happen if a poorer country would be the host, Greece have had their economic troubles lately, so what would happen to them, if they were to win and then to go massively over budget like the Danes? And if winning isn’t the aim, then is quality going to suffer? Of course, it’s about Europe coming together as one in attempt at building bridges.
Maybe it’s time again for a big 5 country to win, otherwise I feel like we are going to start losing some of the countries that perhaps see Eurovision as a luxury rather than an extension of their culture.
Nevertheless I shall be there next May flying my San Marino flag with pride, despite my British heritage. There’s just something about an underdog which I love.
…. Next stop vienna.
The views expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of ESC United, its editorial board, its readers, or any other person, entity, or organization.