Eurovision Song Contest – A Dream Come True

In Living Abroad by Carly6 Comments

The only way I could attempt to give you an idea of how incredibly awesome Eurovision was, is to paint the picture for you from my excited perspective. So, indulge me dear reader, by doing the following;

Imagine you are me, about to experience your lifelong dream of attending Eurovision…

You have been looking forward to this day for longer than you care to admit. Your Eurovision fervour is well-known and now, finally, the day has arrived where you get to experience it for yourself. The spectacle that is the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

You were excited when you saw the city of Vienna covered in Eurovision signs and paraphernalia. The anticipation grew as more free public events popped up around the city during the week.

Welcome sign

Eurovision tram

You may have even been spotted at the Semi-finals live screening at Rathausplatz, soaking up the atmosphere and getting your first taste of the positive energy that surrounds the song contest.

Just mildly pumped to be there

But nothing compares to the excitement on the day. You searched high and low for the perfect spangly outfit, and your wonderful man dedicated 90 minutes to painting your face with the Australian flag. (His Austrian flag took a mere 20 minutes to paint!) With outfits on, you are ready to go, and basically skipping down the street in joy to get to Stadhalle.

 

Arriving at the venue feels like a homecoming. You haven’t been here since you lined up for tickets many months ago at 3am. Now, there are photographers taking pictures of you and your face-painted mister as you madly wave your Australian flag and ogle the arriving crowd. Inside the venue, everyone is just as thrilled as you are, people are excitedly taking photos together, complimenting each others outrageous and patriotic outfits. You make friends with strangers within 2 minutes – something that very rarely occurs on the streets of Vienna. This really is the happiest place in town tonight!

KangarooFound an Aussie friend!

Shiny suits

Shiny gold men in suits. Of course.

Austria welcome Australia

‘Austria greets Australia’

Approaching the Northside entrance to the standing area, you can hear the crowd chanting, cheering and dancing to the warm up acts. The standing room arena is already full. Right before you dive into the ecstatic crowd, you take a deep breath and think ‘This is really it, I’m standing in the doorway to my Eurovision FINALE!!’

EntranceThe entrance to happiness

Once inside, the adrenaline and sheer joy overtake you. Making your way near to the centre of the crowd (there’s very little jostling and no aggression among this crowd, everyone is there to enjoy themselves) you find the perfect little spot to view the stage comfortably and let the crazy ride begin.

Stage viewLet’s get this started!

It’s wild, it’s joyous, it’s epic staging, efficient planning, rousing classical musical interludes, a showcase for the city of Vienna. And that’s just the opening ceremony. And then THIS HAPPENS AND THE CROWD LOSES THEIR MINDS:

That is Conchita Wurst gracefully flying over her people to land on stage and present the 2015 performers. From then on, it  is a magnificent whirl of performances, crowd participation, clapping and cheering to your favourites (Israel’s ‘Golden Boy’ and naturally, Australia’s effort) and ducking outside for a beverage while the boring performances were on. (What the hell was that UK? Embarrassing! Overload of ballads this year too…)

Before you know it, the performances are finished and you are awaiting the final votes from around Europe and Australia. Then it’s time – the verdict. You are hopeful for Australia, but know the favourite from Sweden will be hard to beat. Sure enough the votes keep rolling in for him – closely followed by the Russian act.

Voting timePolitical theatre at its bitchiest and purest form

The Eurovision crowd aren’t afraid to voice their bias – chanting ‘Sweden, Sweden, Sweden’ at every opportunity and nearly, but not quite, booing Russia (no-one wants next years final to be held in the LGBT-unfriendly Moscow). At one point it gets so obvious, that Conchita (the grand dame of the evening) is sent in to defend the poor contestant from Russia, while the crowd is firmly reminded tonight is ‘about the music, not politics’. You’re thrilled to see the well-known Eurovision politics played out in person.

Conchita defender

Conchita laying down the law to Eurovision disciples – defending Polina Gagarina

This didn’t help! While hilarious, the crowd gasped in response

All too soon, it’s coming to an end, Sweden is announced the winner, confetti cannons go off and the entire crowd goes absolutely banana’s. With the efficiency only Austria can provide, Måns Zelmerlöw is whisked back on stage, performing one last time and in under 3 minutes it’s over. You skip into the now emptying arena to frolic in piles of glitter and relish the sheer exuberance of the entire place, glowing in the aftermath of an incredible evening.

Confetti canon

What better way to announce the winner than in a hail of confetti?

Frolic in confetti

Basking in the golden joy of it all

Eurovision was everything you wished it could be and more. Bigger, brighter much more fun and as ridiculously wonderful as you had hoped. Your little life dream of one day attending a Eurovision finale has come true. And it’s all thanks to this guy….

happy Eurovision fansThe Austrian guy, although the photo-bombing Swede seems fun

How lucky are you?

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Did you have a favourite act or performance from Eurovision? Did you think the UK was absolutely rubbish, or was Russia the clear winner for you? Let me know in the comments, I love some post-Eurovision debate!

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I love love love Eurovision and I never thought that this amazing event would take place in my hometown during my lifetime, but it has and Eurovision week was just as amazing as I expected it to be. You just have to be there, be in the room, to fully experience this event. It has a special atmosphere to it and I find it incredibly hard to explain it to someone else, because all the words I try to find for it do not do it justice. It’s peaceful, happy and everyone celebrates equality and difference at the same time, but it’s also so much more than that. You know 🙂 I can read it here on this lovely blog. I’ve been to the ESC once before, in Germany, and I’m sure that this year’s ESC wasn’t my last one. I have to be there again. Maybe in Sweden next year?
    As an Austrian I have been a little bit disappointed by the outcome…no points whatsoever for a really great song by a really great band, but now we are the country with the most entries that finished with 0 points. I kinda like it. 😀 At least it’s fun and although we Austrians tend to be grumpy and always know better afterwards I think that we are also able to laugh about ourselves…
    I myself voted for Norway – I just love love love the song and of course: serious hair envy 😀 Guy Sebastian did an amazing job and I hope that he will come back to Austria for a solo gig….I would sure as hell be there 😀 So thanks for this blog post. I loved it. It gets me and my craziness which not even my friends got that night of the ESC! 😀

    1. Author

      Ah Julia I felt so bad for The Makemakes!! They were such fun looking guys and we saw them sitting behind us when points were being read out just a little bit sad 🙁 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, sometimes I think my Eurovision-nerdiness is a bit much for my friends too hahaha but it’s seriously such a happy perfect place for everyone! Guy Sebastian apparently did a small gig in a bar in Vienna the day before Eurovision that I missed so I hope he comes back too!! Glad you enjoyed the post and I definitely recommend you go along to Sweden next year it would be so much fun!

  2. It was weird and wonderful. My first viewing (Americans have never heard of it.). I kept running to my husband’s office to say “you MUST come watch this with me. I couldn’t possibly describe it. ” Like the 1800’s meet 1987 meets techno. I thought Belgium and Australia were quite good. And that intense girl with the red dress…Latvia maybe? Not impressed with the front-runners/winner. No Conchita this year, but she’s once in a lifetime.

    1. Author

      Definitely agree there was no ‘standout’ wow moment winner on par with Conchita (but who could compare!). I thought Belgium were super interesting and enjoyed it but maybe not ‘Eurovision’ enough? Glad you were able to enjoy the madness in Europe this year 🙂

  3. Always love to read your blog, Carly!! You guys looked awesome btw…and how great was Guy Sebastian?! 🙂 My favorites were Israel, Australia & Sweden…So yay to Mans! I’m sorry for our Makemakers…if someone deserved 0 points it would have been the UK! 🙂 Anyway, looking forward to your next post and I’m happy for you that one of your dreams finally came true! 🙂

    1. Author

      Aw thanks so much Connie! Definitely agree on nil points to UK was so blah…and I think the Makemakes will have a better career outside Eurovision 😉

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