a colourful & tasteless spectacle!
After all of the glitter, questionable lyrics, wardrobe malfunctions and general pandemonium, Wolf asks one of our Swedish correspondents to break it down for us, what is it about Eurovision that brings out everyone's Idol and how do those actually in Europe really celebrate the contest?
In May every year it starts, The Eurovision Song Contest, long awaited by some and dreaded by others. Media is all over it, the drama, glamour and the ever so important question: Did we send the right song, will Europe get it?
Sweden is well known for its music scene and we are proud of it! We have everything from large commercial names as well as interesting indie and electro acts. So is Eurovision always high quality music? Far from it, but a lot of Swedes love it anyway.
The complexity of this love is personified in a group of friends with a highly important yearly tradition, The Eurovision Party. A party completely dedicated to this crazy European singing event where the concept is pretty simple; choose a country, bring and share drinks typically from that country and cheer for it during the whole competition.
Michel, now into his sixth year of the Eurovision party says, “It's not really the music I normally listen to, to be honest...there is very rarely a really good song, so you have to lower your standards! What I appreciate is the colorful, tasteless spectacle! The music is in focus and is spiced up with some politics". In the past the tensions have mostly occurred between countries, but recently tensions surrounding LGBT rights and equality have come into play too; notably the Finish same-sex wedding last year and this year's overwhelming support for Austrian drag performer Conchita Wurst, and the distasteful Russian backlash against her being able to perform.
Mikaela, who has participated in The Eurovision Party from the beginning adds, “The rest of the year I'm trying hard to be this cool person with a cool taste in music, then Eurovision come around and that image is completely ruined. It started out as something ironic, as the songs and the artists are usually really fun, but now it has become a real interest!”
Melodifestivalen, the Swedish version where the winner gets sent to Eurovision is extremely popular, however this is where the party goers draw the line, “In Melodifestivalen all songs have the same Swedish mass-produced sound, it's the diversity of Eurovision that does it,” says Michel.
Last year Eurovision was held in Malmö, Sweden, but attending the live event has never been an serious option for the group. ”No, the live show is expensive and you can’t see that well, plus we couldn’t do our thing. The real party is always where we are anyway!”, Michel finishes.
Words: Sofia Nyrell