everything you’ll never see on TV

This Saturday evening, during the grand final of Eurovision, a lot of things will escape viewers… And we’re not only talking about the performance of our compatriot Mustii, unfairly eliminated during his semi-final.


Because this Competition is much more than a live television show, it is an event which transforms an entire city – in this case Malmö (in Sweden, 7 times winner) – into a colorful village dedicated to music.

Well, that’s in theory because, this year, the streets may have been lined with Eurovision flags and the trash cans flanked by colorful stickers, pro-Palestinian slogans paraded, peacefully, by the hundreds in the central arteries of Malmö, in a few hours before the grand finale. On almost every street corner, police forces are deployed to prevent any overflow.

So much for the realistic side of Eurovision. For the rest, we evolve in a world of rainbow colors in the four corners of the city: eccentric disguises of fans or in the colors of their country. The show is not just inside the arena where the big show will take place, but outside. A “Euroclub” for partying until the early hours occupies a space in the city while a huge “Eurovision village” occupies one of Malmo’s oldest parks. It is there, on the two main stages (“Tattoo” and “Euphoria”, named after the 2 titles with which Loreen won Eurovision) that concerts (notably by Haddaway) have taken place in recent days and, above all, it is the place where the final is broadcast, on a giant screen and free of charge, in front of thousands of people. And as we don’t skimp on security, any bag (even handbags) is prohibited within the park!

  • Fans on the lookout: each hotel has its own Eurovision “star”. Saturday morning, the Clarion hotel saw a horde of Dutch people and journalists passing by hoping to meet Joost Klein, the Dutch candidate, star in his country, ousted from the competition for acts of violence…
  • Loreen superstar in her country. She won the Competition twice for Sweden and, since her hits “Tattoo” and “Is it love”, has become a phenomenon in Europe. It is therefore fitting that on the occasion of this edition, when she will be performing there for a medley and her new title, the city of Malmö is dedicating a pop-up store to her. More surprisingly, just before rehearsing her evening show, Loreen made an appearance (surprise therefore) all smiles and sweetness in the pop-up store, causing excitement among fans. However, she refuses to hand-deliver the trophy, as tradition dictates, if Israel wins the 68th.
  • Places are expensive. Just as the price of accommodation has quadrupled in Malmö during the event, the price of tickets to attend the final is beyond belief. A few hours before the curtain goes up, some tickets were only available for around 600 euros. Needless to say, you had to be pretty lucky to find one months ago…
  • The EBU makes its law. Or the European Broadcasting Union, the big boss of the event. It is she who sets the rules (and those which change, such as voting only by the public in the semi-finals) and also, sometimes, the order in which the candidates appear. Thus, after each semi-final, the producers of the show can decide where a country goes.
  • State secret. The performances of each candidate are kept secret until the big evening, even if the semi-finals already broadcast have set the tone. Three rehearsals preceding the final took place, from Friday to Saturday afternoon, but without any image, even by the press, being able to be taken. Only the first rehearsal was accessible to journalists, the others being broadcast on screens in the press room with the indication that it is strictly forbidden to capture the moment. In addition, if “passes” are granted (“press”, “delegations” etc.), everyone is contained in their own area backstage, without necessarily being able to meet the artists or access the room. The party yes, but not just any way.


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