Down Under – the newest addition to the Eurovision Song Contest family – is set to host the first ever Australian Eurovision Song Contest preview party scheduled for Saturday, the 2nd of May at Melbourne’s Bella Union Bar at The Trades Hall. All 40 entries of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will be presented on a big screen just a few weeks prior to the contest in Vienna – for the first time to the Aussie fans!
Sharleen Wright, the organiser of the event and the administrator of the Australian Eurovision fan club Facebook group, said that an event like this will harness the increasing interest in the largest music spectacle on a local level.
Eurovision has always been popular amongst the multicultural population of Melbourne, however over the past few years it has grown beyond the original audience of those who are looking to re-connect with a little piece of home. The audiences and knowledge of the contest is building here through locally created broadcaster coverage with SBS and increased media attention in the print media. But with our debut participation, the interest has now reached fever pitch. Hosting a preview party in one of the largest cities in Australia, giving the community both an early taste of the contest to assess our competition and providing a much-needed social outlet for those already heavily engaged with the fan community feels like the best way to celebrate the special occasion.
At the Preview Party, fans will get the chance to see all preview clips of the competing entries and be able to vote for their favourites. Organisers will also be giving out special Eurovision prize packs to the best-dressed Eurovision fans. Eurovision themed cocktails will be served and DJs will spin all the best Eurovision tracks to keep the atmosphere going late into the evening.
The Australian Eurovision fan club Facebook group anticipates that this event will kick off a more active local Eurovision calendar in Australia and unite the country’s fanbase.
Over the past year we have hosted smaller fan parties in Melbourne and Perth, as well as put on special screenings of Euro Euphoria, which is a fan-focused Eurovision documentary from Estonia. One of our community radio stations here hosts a season of Eurovision shows on Saturday nights and Sydney is having its own ‘Eurobash’ nightclub in May. Clearly there’s an audience and a level of excitement for the contest out there, and we hope that this will become an annual event.
The Preview Party will also see some surprises and arrangements to highlight the evening. Wright added:
Who knows, maybe one day we can start bringing special guest performers out from Europe to entertain us Eurovision-mad Aussies?