Thursday 11 May 2023

Qualifier predictions semi-final 2

Time for our ESC Nation team to post our predictions for the second semi-final (so that you can publicly shame us afterwards)

Last week Jeremy had the best prediction, correctly predicting 10/10!

Sild, SamB and Harrow all managed 9/10, myself and Yami managed 8/10 and Ben was unfortunately the worst with only 6/10. 

This time we're all in agreement that Armenia, Belgium Poland, Slovenia, Georgia and Austria will probably qualify. And we are also in agreement that Romania, Iceland and San Marino most likely won't.

The unique phenomenon of Euroclub

Have you ever done anything like this before?

Have you ever done anything like this before?

If you've never done anything like this before

Then you haven't been alive


If you’re lucky enough to have ever lived in a city with a relatively large gay scene, or one in Sweden, you might have been able to go to a party that only plays Eurovision music. If not, your best bet is the ESC Nation MB meet-ups - which offer a typically irreverent playlist to which everyone except Yami will be left quizzical on at least one occasion.

If you ever attend Eurovision live, you get the extreme version of this: one club - the same club - playing only Eurovision music every single night of the week.

As opposed to Eurovision nights in big cities, which are (based on my Berlin experience) not the most popular, Euroclub is the place to be, with long queues and sold-out status every night of the week.

We’ve all experienced the thrill of hearing an unexpected Eurovision song in the ‘wild’, and some of us might have even danced to the odd Euphoria or Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit at non-Eurovision events, or even seen a Balinese drag queen perform Hora Din Moldova (honest!) but attending an event where you don’t need to do the double take brings its own special kind of magic.

Ever the dedicated reporter, I went along to Liverpool’s version of Euroclub - hosted at Baltic Triangle’s finest venue Camp & Furnace (a fitting name for the many fire & desire rhymes which will be heard there).

Wednesday night offered Conchita Wurst, and armed with ticket took a ramshackle band of MBers, friends, nieces and cousins.

Two massive rooms with stages were graced by Conchita, as well as Tina Karol, Ell from Azerbaijan 2011 and TuralTuranX. The artists performances are probably the least exciting part of the night - as once they’ve sang their Eurovision entry, the artists are left with a dilemma of what to do next. TuralTuranX played to the home crowd with a Beatles medley, while the rest sang some of their post-Eurovision singles to less success. These performances offer the only opportunity to hear non-ESC/MF songs, and it’s one nobody really enjoys.

In a neat reverse, my non-fan guests experienced the thrill of hearing Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit in the wild - the thrill coming because it was one of the few songs they actually knew. Nevertheless it was clear how the catchiness of Eurovision songs lends itself to quick pick-ups and though by the end the crowd had ‘thinned’ to hundreds of mostly superfans, a great time was had by all.

Bumping into many Eurofriends - some of whom I haven’t seen in over a decade (since Euroclub 2010 or Melodifestivalen) there was a common refrain - Best Euroclub ever.

Why? An excellent venue, used to handling hordes of drunken people at events like Bongo’s Bingo. Many different bars with staff who are in the spirit - even when bopping to La La Love for the 5th time of the night. Outdoor spaces for snacks and smoking and rest your dancing feet. So much space, without feeling overwhelming. I haven’t checked my bank account, but hopefully the drinks prices are ok too.

While this was probably my only foray to EuroClub this year, there are many fans who go every evening. I’d highly recommend it if you ever get the chance - as the mix of people, entertainment and drinks forms a great concoction which doesn’t fail to make great new memories. Hats off to OGAE and Camp and Furnace for achieving such an accolade!