The Eurovision Song Contest has been a yearly fixture on our screens since 1956. Although just seven nations took part in the first singing contest, this year, a record 43 countries will compete, with two semi-finals on May 8-10 and the final on Saturday May 12.
In keeping with tradition, the previous year’s winner hosts the next event, so with Portugal gaining its first-ever victory in 2017, with Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral, the 2018 contest will take place in Lisbon.
As ever, the British people will be rallying around the UK entry. This year, it’s Eurovision: You Decide winner SuRie, with her song Storm. SuRie already has some Eurovision experience behind her, as she performed as a backing singer for Belgium’s Loïc Nottet in 2015 and was the musical director for Blanche last year.
Britain last won the contest back in 1997, with Katrina and The Waves, Love Shine a Light. Despite only ever having five wins, the UK is still regarded as one of the most successful countries to compete in the contest.
For many years, Irishman Terry Wogan presented the contest to UK TV audiences with his very own brand of charm, until Graham Norton took over the helm in 2008 and continued with his fellow countryman’s style of dry and witty comments throughout the show.
Most people don’t take the contest too seriously, and it’s often mocked for its outlandish costumes and cheesy songs. However, when the Eurovision Song Contest nears, it’s also a great opportunity to get together with friends and host your own Eurovision party.
If you decide to host your own Eurovision celebration, add as much colour to the occasion as possible. This isn’t the time to go formal or trendy – focus on flamboyance and tackiness in large doses. Lay on the cheese as thickly as you can, and you won’t go far wrong!
A costume is a must-have and if you’ve got the time and inclination, why not cobble one together yourself? Alternatively, have a rummage down your local charity shop and opt for something big, bold and bright.
It’s a good idea to introduce a theme to your party, and with Portugal hosting this year, why not add a Portuguese flavour to the evening with a bottle of Port? To broaden the mix, add a range of dishes that symbolise the different countries competing such as German sausages, Spanish tapas, Italian pizza, etc. Keep it simple and light with nibbles and finger foods, rather than a three-course meal.
A cheesy playlist is a must-have for any Eurovision party (that’s what your guests will be there for) and do include all the UK winning songs – Bucks Fizz, Brotherhood of Man, Sandie Shaw, Lulu and Katrina & The Waves. Don’t forget to give Abba the adoration they deserve – no Eurovision party is complete without a blast of Waterloo!
If you don’t like the idea of cleaning up the aftermath, or if you’d rather avoid complaints from the neighbours, why not hire a venue such as your local pub, community centre or hall?
The Eurovision Song Contest happens but once a year, and as a one-off it is unlikely to cause too much disharmony in the neighbourhood. However, for noise control in pubs and clubs that entertain on a regular basis, Sound Planning offers an acoustic consultancy service that can reliably assess entertainment noise.
For more information about our entertainment noise assessments, please call 01252 711972 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to this year’s UK Eurovision entry… we’ll be watching!