Perhaps even more so than any of the other Liverpool City Region events we’ve worked on for the past decade – our city’s hosting of Eurovision 2023 has ignited a spark of excitement amongst our colleagues, partners and broader global audiences, not seen here since our hosting of European Capital of Culture 2008.
Everywhere I go in our office – the meeting rooms, the kitchen, the hallways, the lifts – even (awkwardly) the gents, are buzzing with Eurovision conversation or activity. Taxi drivers, barbers, friends, family and neighbours all ask me about it, eager for new details and insider updates.
Here’s the problem – whisper it – but I’ve never actually seen Eurovision. I’m ashamed to say that, even at age 42, the world’s most famous song contents has largely passed me by, even though everyone around me absolutely loves it – for a whole range of different reasons. Truth be told, I now feel very left out and I’m eager to get on-board for 2023 and discover what all the fuss is about.
Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to be part of a dedicated and passionate team of Eurovision devoted colleagues, who are happy to share their number best Eurovision moments ever – to help welcome me (and possibly you?) into the international Eurovision fandom fold.
So here it is, our staff picks for the best Eurovision moments from the event’s 67-year history. We’re working hard to make this event the best one ever and here’s just a small sample of what people love about the lively, lyrical and legendary event heading to Liverpool this May.
CHRIS ADDERLEY, COMMERCIAL MANAGER
“For my friends and family, Eurovision has always represented a must-not-miss TV-viewing event. It’s the one programme that we all eagerly look out for, bringing us all together, with drinks, snacks and – let’s face it – heated debate about who was the best and who really deserves to win.
“The fact that this year Eurovision will be hosted in Liverpool, on behalf of Ukraine, just adds that little something even more special. Knowing that we’ll have all those millions of eyes on the event and Liverpool will be amazing. I know colleagues are giving everything, and more, to make sure we do Ukraine and the Eurovision family proud – and I’m certain it will be a huge success.
“Given my unabashed love for Eurovision, It was hard to pick just one ‘best moment’ – so I finally selected two. An equal split. A joint number one. Both modern classic Eurovision pop tunes with catchy head-worm hooks that cannot be forgotten. In my option, The true sign of a Eurovision classic is if it suddenly makes half the room jump up and start dancing – The Roop and Subwoolfer well and truly did that for us and continue to do so several years later…”
THE ROOP. ‘DISCOTEQUE’. LITHUANIA . EUROVISION 2021
SUBWOOLFER. ‘GIVE THAT WOLF A BANANA’. NORWAY. EUROVISION 2022
JESS CAVENDISH, DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
“Eurovision is very special to me because I loved it throughout my childhood. I really wanted to be a presenter when I was a kid and I distinctly remember wanting to recreate the part where they call the countries to give their points on screen with my own camcorder.
“This year is particularly exciting for us all as Liverpool’s open, warm and unique creative energy is the perfect match for Eurovision. I think this one-of-a-kind, global event is one of the happiest contests to exist, simultaneously uniting nations, whilst fiendishly drawing out participating countries’ competitive side.
“Liverpool is so proud to be part of Eurovision this year. I can’t wait to see and feel the atmosphere across the city during the run up to and hosting of the event. I am very excited to be part of it too, and to have the opportunity to show to the world what a fantastic place Liverpool is for music, culture and major events.”
LOREEN. ‘EUPHORIA’. EUROVISION 2012
“My favourite Eurovision song is Euphoria by Loreen, from the 2012 competition, won by Sweden. It has a bit of a 90s or early noughties dance vibe to it, which makes me feel nostalgic.
“At the time, I wasn’t old enough to go ‘out out’ but I shared a bedroom with my sister who is 11 years older than me, so I grew up listening to house and dance classics of the era, when she was getting ready for a big night out. My favourite moment hearing this song again was at a Drag Halloween party at HEAVEN in London. I’m sure you can imagine what it was like.”
LORDI. ‘HARD ROCK HALLELUJAH’. THE WINNING SONG FROM FINLAND IN 2006
“I would have been 10 years old at the time of this performance and for some reason I was even more obsessed with Eurovision this year, watching the final on telly over and over again.
“Even to this day, I still remember being in Argos the next day with my Dad and they had a wall of televisions for sale with it on repeat and I stood re-watching whilst waiting for my Dad to pick up a new toaster. It was as if I thought the outcome was going to change and that we’d get more than 25 points and not finish 19th – The shame!
“Truth be told, back then I actually wasn’t really even a fan of the song, whilst I appreciated the talent and the pretty horrendous costumes, I remember being in disbelief that such a song had been voted for as the best. Clearly, 10-year-old me didn’t like heavy metal. I still don’t to be honest, but this song now has a place in my heart, because it brings back fond memories and demonstrates the huge scope of musical styles that Eurovision has to offer.
“You’ve just got to love an event that stages cheesy bizarre Euro pop alongside hard-hitting heavy metal and everything in between. So I’m here for all of Eurovision this year. The good. The bad. The bold and the beautiful. Eurovision has it all.
ROZ LLOYD, MARKETING MANAGER
“For me, professionally speaking, Liverpool’s hosting of Eurovision 2023 is all about legacy. The international reach the celebrated song-content has will showcase Liverpool to the world. The long-term impact for the city region, if not the UK, should be immense.
“Hopefully, this global exposure will put Liverpool front-and-centre, in people’s minds for their next holiday, or as a cool place to study, or as a great place to invest, for years to come. In the long-term, high-profile events such as Eurovision have the potential to bring so much more value to Liverpool than a big spike in hospitality and tourism bookings.
“That said, I love a good bit of catchy Euro dancefloor pop, that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is made for people to simply enjoy and get up and dance to. Eurovision is the place for this kind of music and that’s what I love about the contest. It’s completely unpretentious, often totally bizarre and it’s full of strange and surreal surprises, with a side of humour from host Graham Norton.
GINA G. OOH AH JUST A LITTLE BIT. EUROVISION 1996
This stay-in-your-head-forever song got to number 1 in the UK charts and I still remember it playing in all the bars and clubs at the time! – Just as I was starting to go out and get into places, iconic Liverpool places like ‘The Cavern’ ‘Concert Square’ and legendary long-gone Liverpool clubs like ‘The Paradox’ ‘Cream’ and ‘The Buzz’’ – Those were the days. That’s the power of music. It takes you right back to a certain time and place in your life and enriches memories like nothing else can.
The lyrics are totally inappropriate but we didn’t really think about that at the time!
SOPHIE SHIELDS, PRESS AND PR MANAGER
It’s so hard to pick a favourite Eurovision moment. I’ve been watching it since I can remember, and every year comes with its special moments. Without fail, my friends and I gather around the TV every May for a Eurovision party, each picking a country to root for, putting on a spread of European inspired dishes and taking part in the odd Eurovision drinking game. From ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ to ‘Euphoria’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, ‘Stefania’ and ‘Spaceman’, to name a few of the classics, we’ve been through them all.
Every year we say, ‘Next year we should watch live and in person, wherever Eurovision is being held!’, but we’ve never quite made it. Never did I imagine that Eurovision would be taking place in the UK, never mind right here in Liverpool!
Of course, this year, Liverpool will be hosting the contest on behalf of Ukraine, but I’m so excited to be involved in something I’ve spent so many years watching on the TV. Seeing Liverpool represented on a global stage during the biggest music event in the world and welcoming so many people to our incredible city will be a once in a lifetime experience. This May we won’t have to say, ‘Let’s go to Eurovision!’, because this year, we’re already there.
SAM RYDER. SPACE MAN. EUROVISION 2022
MÅNS ZELMERLÖW. HEROES. EUROVISION 2015
JAMES WOOD, MARKETING CAMPAIGN MANAGER
Where do I start? Probably back in 1974 (yes I am that old). In those days there were just 17 countries taking part and the 19th Eurovision Song Contest was being held at the Brighton Dome. This was following Luxembourg winning for the second time in a row, and for some complicated Eurovision reason the UK ended up hosting it – For those who don’t know, the winning nation usually host the next Eurovision.
At that young age my musical knowledge was fairly limited. I used to play my parent’s old Beatles and jazz records in short bursts, on a very dangerous old record player – it used to start smoking if it was on too long, adding a strange air of drama to even the most placid tracks.
In those days the BBC would show all the Eurovision entries over the two weekends before the Grand Final. I suppose it was completely by chance (honestly) that I watched the one with Abba singing Waterloo first. I was instantly hooked and ended up pleading with my parents to stay up late and watch the entire show. Happily for me, my first Eurovision pick, Abba actually wound-up winning the contest, to my delight.
I’ve been a massive fan ever since and I really hope that at least one of the members of Abba visit Liverpool for Eurovision 2023. Recently I heard Bjorn express his dream of going to the Cavern in an homage to his mop top heroes, The Beatles, so who knows? To date, Abba have never played or visited Liverpool so it might just happen and create even more Eurovision magic!
So there you have it, just a very small sample of the wonderful world of remarkable and eclectic European music that makes Eurovision such an extraordinary event. In these divisive, polarised and politically-charged times, it just feels great to come together, to celebrate our shared and spectacularly diverse music culture.
Will I be watching ‘Eurovision 2023’? You bet I am. Wild horses couldn’t stop me. This May Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023. We’re having a huge party and the whole world is invited. Never watched it before? It’s never too late to start.
For more information on Eurovision 2023, click HERE.