Every year in May, a few of my friends and I make it a point to attend the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). It’s the longest running annual TV song competition held since 1956. This year the competition took us to Vienna Austria, where we spent the whole week singing, dancing and partying with other Eurovision lovers from all over the globe. Not everyone is a fan though and I regularly get asked why I like it so much. So here are the three main reasons.
1. There’s no party like a Eurovision party!
So many nationalities under one roof, singing the same lyrics and dancing to the same tune, its one big happy family. Even though it’s a competition, everyone there claps, cheers and waves a flag or banner for every contestant on stage. The atmosphere is festive all week long no matter who comes out a winner(though this year Russia did get a lot of boos from the crowd because of their anti-gay laws). And when your performer doesn’t make it to the final, like in our case, everyone you talk to seems genuinely sorry and wishes you better luck next time. Such camaraderie between people from different backgrounds seems scarce these days; it feels good to see it does still exist.
2. There’s no safer place for the ladies!
You won’t find any (straight) men at this festival and if you do they were probably dragged there by their girlfriends or wives. You can rest assured nobody will be hitting on you or chatting you up which means you can dance and have fun freely. Even in the middle of the night (or early morning as it usually was in our case) you feel entirely safe making your way back to the hotel to finally put your legs up for a well deserved rest. After a whole week of this though, watching a good old episode of Hawaii 5O, with eye-candy Alex O’loughlin dressed in a suit, was a welcome and much needed change 🙂
3. It’s the perfect excuse to travel!
Last but not least of course it’s the perfect excuse to go and explore another city. So far the Eurovision adventure has brought me to Dusseldorf, Malmö and Vienna and hopefully next year we will be going to Stockholm. It goes without saying that with all the Eurovision after parties you don’t get to do sightseeing the way you would if you were on a regular holiday, but you definitely get to experience the city in a totally different atmosphere. Vienna for example had special (gay-themed)traffic lights installed for the Eurovision. 120 pedestrian crossings in the capital were replaced with the new installations showing male and female, as well as gay and lesbian couples in the standard colors green and red.
I for one can’t wait till May 2016 when I hopefully finally get to explore Stockholm. Seeing this year’s winner, Måns Zelmerlöw, live again is definitely a plus too. He’s very kind on the eyes 🙂