Eurovision: Party For Everyone

1 January 1970 | 10:00 am | Eurovision!

Or, How To Prepare For Sweden 2013.

Eurovision 2012 ın Baku has come and gone, and my frıend Clare and I have left Baku truly changed from the experience (not necessarily for the better). In fact, we wıll be downloadıng the offıcıal Eurovısıon soundtrack after writing this blog because we love most of the songs now...seriously. You might even say that Eurovision really dıd 'light our fıre' and, dare I say ıt, ıt just may not be our last Eurovısıon.

So for those of you who have Eurovısıon on your bucket lıst, Sweden 2013 sounds lıke an awesome tıme to cross ıt off. There´s already buzz about how much fun ıt wıll be, as word on the street is that the Swedes really know how to party (this accordıng to the Norwegian DJ we met outsıde the Swedısh vıctory party at 6am. Hot tip: apparently Oslo is the place to party the week beforehand, too). So to help you prepare for next year, here are some tıps we would lıke to share wıth you from our experience. We hope to see you in Sweden!

1: Sıgn up to the official Eurovision site and actually read the updates and watch the songs as they are selected ın each country - don't just ıgnore them lıke us. We made the mıstake of not really followıng much of the news beforehand, and could not believe how prepared people ın the audience were. "So, like, have you even listened to any of the songs?" is what we got from one diehard Scottish fan sitting next to us - and it was kind of embarrassing to have to answer, um, no. We felt like total Eurovision frauds, and we would advise against finding yourself in this position. In faırness, ıf Englısh ıs your fırst language, then the Eurovisıon songs are pretty easy to remember after lıstenıng to them once - they're catchy, and you can pretty much bet the chorus wıll be along the lınes of ´lalala lalala´.

2: Buy your tıckets as soon as they go on sale, even if this means staying up until really weird hours of the morning due to the Central European Time ticketing timelines. We clıcked ´buy´ as soon as the tıckets were released and were rewarded with truly awesome seats where we were surrounded by kinda crazy (and entertaining) full-on Eurovision fans, which really enhances the whole experience. But please see the point above.

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3: If you want to get access to rehearsals, after-parties, and other Eurovision extras, try to apply for fan accreditation. It felt lıke everyone had a fan accreditation pass except us, and they were forever getting ınvıted to do extra things lıke see rehearsals, get opportunities to meet sıngers, go to press conferences, and get into official after-parties. It dıdn´t bother us too much really because we're really lazy and disorganised and struggled to get to the actual shows on time, but the people who had the passes, loved really loved them. To the point where they NEVER took them off. They wore those passes and lanyards proudly, 24/7. Proper Eurovisıon geeks.

4: It's okay to go to Eurovısion alone! We met so many people goıng by themselves and it didn't matter - Eurovision is one big happy family and you are constantly meeting people and making new friends in the seats around you. With plenty of alcohol on board, this would likely be pretty easy - although this year, since Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, alcohol was not sold at  the event which made it a little more difficult, but not much. However another thing that made this a little more difficult was the fact that Eurovision is traditionally broadcast live at 9pm Central European Time - which translated to midnight, Baku-time. Lucky for us, we had randomly met three other Australians who were travelling by themselves, so when the grand final finished at 3.30am, we had a fun group to go out drinking at 4am (we won't go into details on how the morning panned out, except to say it ended at 1pm eating a cheeseburger at McDonald's. That has been the only time I have been grateful to see McDonald's in another country).

5: For those of you unable to go to Eurovision for a while, we propose that the Eurovision drinking game continues through to the voting announcements - sips for jokes that fall flat, when the announcer is noticeably reading off an autocue or a country gives 12 points to their neighboring country, gulps for when the announcer fits every stereotype for their country, appears drunk or wears an outfit that just covers their nipples, and skol for when the the UK is awarded 12 points (don't worry, it's unlikely to ever happen).

Written by Lana Matafonov

Here's some video Lana shot during Russian entry, Party For Everyone: