ESC is more than simply a song contest, it´s a mentality. After 48 years Austria finally won the Eurovision Song Contest last May. What a feeling! Now nearly a year passed and we are already in the Eurovision month. Seven reasons for the best season.
1. THE CITY
Vienna, this year´s host city, is getting ready. All around the places you can already see that we are getting closer to this big event: Countdowns on famous places, branded vehicles and the logo everywhere. Also on TV and on the Internet you can´t miss it, it´s everywhere and that´s good!
The ORF, Austria´s national broadcaster, was facing a hard decision last year as they had to decide where the 60th Eurovision Song Contest should take place and luckily they chose Vienna. It´s not just because I´m living here, it´s a fact, Vienna is the best city in the world. I´ve seen a lot of places (and yeah, I really did, if you don´t believe me click here), but there is nothing more special, magical and straight-forward – a place everyone has to see. Vienna, a historical place and set for the future at the same time. Hence, could there be a better place than Vienna for celebrating such a big jubilee?
From the 18th of May on, Vienna will be in the center of Europe: Starting with daily events in the Eurovision Village (located on the Wiener Rathausplatz), where all the nations present themselves, the event starts. Just one day later (19th of May) the first Semi Finale will take place: Big public viewings and parties all around the country kick off, but everything will get even bigger with the second Semi Finale (21st of May) and the grand Grand Finale on Saturday, the 23rd of May. So exciting!
2. THE MUSIC
40 countries will participate this year at the #ESC15. Each country will present a unique song. Clearly, it´s a song contest, so music is in the center of the event, but it´s fantastic to see the variety of the music the countries chose to perform. Of course, not every song is good (at least I don´t think so), but even if it´s not the perfect song, let´s just call those art pieces, which pretend to be music.
Austria will be represented by “The Makemakes”, who will mesmerize Europe for three minutes with their love ballade (and simple performance) “I Am Yours”:
In my opinion, this year´s favorite is clearly Italy, who sends the boyband “Il Volo” with their impressive song “Grande Amore” to Vienna:
3. THE LIFESTYLE
I became a Song Contest fan when Lena won it for Germany in 2010. Germany got so excited at that point and it just fascinated me as well. I know that´s not a long time, but it´s sufficient. Last year was just surprising. Years ago when you watched the Song contest, it was clear that you can find Austria somewhere on the far end of the ranking, but not this time! Me and some friends were watching the finale together and it was simply overwhelming how often we were awarded the #12points. We couldn´t really believe that we won the Song Contest, that was just impossible, a dream dreamt for too many years.
From the same night on, people started to work so hard to make it possible that we can host this event this year. Thousands of people, employees same as volunteers all over Europe, started to think about everything you need to organize in order to realize such a big event. That starts from tiny things like how tickets can be sold to big stuff like the running order and programme of the shows or the slogan, just to name three. Things a lot of people don´t think off when they watch events in the size of the ESC. This engagement is just possible through people who are totally into the Song Contest. As I mentioned in the beginning already, ESC is more than a song contest, it´s a lifestyle.
The chosen slogan this year became BUILDING BRIDGES, which leads me directly to the next point on the list: The Message of ESC.
4. THE MESSAGE
Those bridges should be built in a metaphorical sense – between people of every age, gender, culture and sexual orientation. The logo is a ball, called the Sphere, filled with other little balls, which should represent the diversity united in one big world. The same holds true for the stage, the artists centered in the eye around them.
The Song Contest is an event, where the music is in the focus, where all other problems are forgotten for one night. It´s a “night dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and harmony” as Conchita Wurst, the symbol of equality and tolerance, explained it last year directly after she won. Her victory last year showed that we are on the right track and can present Austria now as a – maybe not completely, but at least in a leading role – tolerant and open country in front of nearly 200 million people all around the world. What a chance!
5. THE WORLD
And that´s where the Song Contest gets unique: People from all around the world, literally all around the world, are watching the show live on TV every year. Even in Australia, the other side of the world, in the morning hours, the show is watched by a lot of people, probably the reason, why Australia will be for the first (and last time only) participant in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. That sounds crazy, but that´s a fact. And guess what, Australia is set as one of the favorites and that´s good as it is. However, if they win, the contest will be held next year somewhere in Europe though.
As some people know, I spend last year half of the time in Australia and really, the first thing people connected with Austria was the Song Contest and Conchita Wurst as the “Queen of Europe”. Good luck to Guy Sebastian (and of course all the other participants) :)
6. THE FANS
The success of the ESC wouldn´t be possible without the dedicated fans. Year after year people get excited as ESC is getting closer and closer. Yesterday I asked on Twitter why the “Eurovision time is the best time of the year” and that´s what some fans said:
@mariohanousek Weil so ein groß angelegtes Event wie der ESC zahlreiche Künstler aus versch. Ländern und Kulturen miteinander verbindet ;)
— Ricardo Berlakovich (@RicBerlakovich) May 2, 2015
@mariohanousek kein anderes Event verbindet grenzübergreifend die Massen so sehr wie der ESC. Keinerlei Missgunst – einfach pure Freude :)
— Johannes Marksteiner (@Pokernatic) May 2, 2015
@mariohanousek Alle fiebern auf das große Finale zu, schon vor & in der Eurovision-Woche laufen alle Songs in Dauerschleife. Es ist magisch.
— Patrick (@Quatschel) May 2, 2015
7. THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
Eurovision Song Contest in Austria is a unique chance, statistically it happens every 48 years or in other words: it just happened once before in the history. Hence, I wanted to support the event with my manpower, I became one of about 800 volunteers, who will be working from next week (some already started and that´s admirable).
My job is to support the Social Media of the ORF Online department, I couldn´t imagine any better position than this one. I´m so in love with it <3 and I´m so pumped to meet all those motivated Volunteers next Friday when we will get our outfits (you can see it on the pic above) and have our first get-together. As the organizers promised, they try to offer us the time of our lifetime. In any case, it will be! What you can expect:
I could go on for hours and tell you, what you can expect (how the shows are structured e.g.), what will happen during the next three weeks, but I want to give (and let) you the maximum surprise. So feel enchanted and simply enjoy this unique time. This MAY be the time of your life.
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