Eurovision 2015 may be over, but its memories will always live on! Here, Eurovision Ireland writer James shares his thoughts on attending his first-ever Eurovision!
“Ever since flicking through TV channels in 2004 and by chance seeing Ruslana belt out “Wild Dances” in Istanbul, I remember thinking “I really need to watch this next year!” Fast forward 11 years later and I’m a prolific lover of all things Eurovision! Each year I look forward to the contest more than my own birthday, but the 2015 edition of the contest will always be special for me. Why? Because 2015 was my first time at the Eurovision Song Contest in person – and I LOVED it!!”
“I almost went to Copenhagen in 2014, just to experience a city during Eurovision. I love to travel and make a point of visiting Eurovision host cities whenever I can (I’ve visited cities where 32/60 Eurovisions have been hosted, if anyone’s interested!) but being in a Eurovision host city at the time of the contest is different. After waiting nearly 50 years to host Eurovision again, Vienna went for the contest in a big way – buses and trams were decorated with the Building Bridges logo, posters adorned every piece of spare wall in the city and daily newspapers summed up the latest goings on inside the Wiener Stadthalle. Even as you waited for the metro, you could hear announcements recorded by Conchita Wurst! There was a real buzz in the city and almost everyone seemed to get in spirit of the contest. And of course, other Eurovision fans were out in force and easy to spot!”
“Whilst out at the contest in Austria, I lived with two Slovenes who I’d never met before going to Vienna. Was I nervous about meeting them? Of course! Was I sure we’d even get on? Yes! How? I’ve seen time and again that a love of Eurovision connects people instantly, so I knew me and my new flatmates would get on just fine – and we did! We’re still in touch even after going home and are already making plans for our reunion in Sweden next year – Jan and Manca are probably even reading this now! 😀 I made many, many new friends in Austria, with people from all across Europe and even around the world. Slovenia, Wales, Bulgaria, England, Montenegro, Germany, Finland, Scotland, Ireland, even Australia (very fitting for Eurovision 2015!). Meeting so many new people who all share your love of Eurovision is one of the best things about being at the contest,”
“Being at a Eurovision event is, of course, very different from watching at home. I’ve been watching the contest religiously since 2005, but nothing prepared me for the sheer excitement and buzz in the hall during the contest. The atmosphere in the arena is electric – you’re just surrounded by thousands of other fans from every corner of the globe, all deliriously excited to be there (If you’re reading this Amanda and Dave, thanks again for an awesome final night!)The moment that “Te Deum Prelude” begins, the arena goes into frenzy! Here you can see the final countdown from inside the venue before going out live around the world!!”
“Even several weeks later, I still can’t quite believe I was there in Vienna. Watching clips of the contest back online, hearing the difference between certain acts live and on screen… and yes, checking to see if I made it into any of the reaction shots from the audience – I did!! It was such an incredible experience to see something I love so much up close and in-depth – and for two whole weeks too! My time at Eurovision 2015 is something I will always treasure, whether it’s only Eurovision Song Contest I ever attend, or the first of many – hopefully the later!! Heja Sverige!!”
Author: James Scanlan
Source: Eurovision Ireland