As Eurovision fans, we al have our origin story. That excuse or explanation as to why we fell head over heels with a ‘monument to drivel’ - whether it’s family, flags, geography or yodelling. The hook that brings us in is one thing. But what makes us stay? What makes us care enough to go to Google and carve out our space as part of the 365 days a year niche community?
For me, everything leads up to the party. The day when we as super fans get the chance to ask for the full attention of our long-suffering friends. Sure they have fun, but if we’re honest they don’t do it for themselves, they do it for us.
My first ever Eurovision party was 2003. An excellent year longwise, not an excellent year for Liverpool and UK.
A friend came over early and we made Pierogi - a Latvia delicacy that was actually delicious and successful -though I’ve never repeated the pre-event cooking session. I prepared scorecards for everyone and insisted that they were filled out studiously with notes and a final top 10 to give points to.
My Mum’s hairdresser was in town, so during the interval I got my hair cut in the kitchen. When this was finished my party guests told me that UK were ‘still’ on nil points - and like my Scouse buzzcut - things didn’t look any better an hour later.
Fast forward 20 years, with only a handful of years where I’ve not hosted an event - and I’m back at it again. This time not in my parent’s house, but not too far away either - in a pub opposite the actual arena hosting actual Eurovision.
A friend will be there who was at that very first party. Since then we’ve lived in 5 different countries between us, but fate has brought us back for this one. She asked if she can be spared the bureaucracy this time - so I’ve prepared a scoresheet just for her.
Over the years I’ve pulled together many questionable outfits - I’ve been Laka’s sister, a Polish milkmaid, Sofi Marinova, Yulia Samoylova, Lys Assia and Gina G on multiple occasions. Tonight Matthew, I’ll be Käärjä - thanks to an inflatable pool float and some creative thinking.
This is our night to be the centre of attention. Enjoy your night whether amongst family, Eurofamily, old or new friends or lovers - or even all of them like me! 364 days led up to today, and tomorrow we will wake up (late, sure) to reconvene for the post-mortem (who saw Poland winning?!) and be back amongst friends to do it all again.