aNa and Karis Ferguson created their website, Mission Eurovision, in 2015 as a way to share tips on throwing great Eurovision parties. The site, which calls itself “the ultimate Eurovision party planner,” includes recipes, bingo, scorecards and drinking games.
“The site has grown every year, and now more than 60,000 people watch Eurovision bingo every year,” said the sisters, web developers in their 30s and 40s.
Every year they celebrate a little differently. In their first year, they attended the live semi-finals, but returned to the UK to watch the final with a large group of friends. This year they are putting up some bunting and making cocktails inspired by Sam Ryder, the 32-year-old singer and TikTok star from Essex who represents the UK. “For the first time in a while, we’re really enjoying the positivity about our engagement – so we’re proud to show our support,” they said.
The popularity of Mission Eurovision speaks of a growing trend for fans of the international singing competition to come together for parade parties.
Saturday night’s final in Turin marks the first time there have been no restrictions imposed by Covid in the UK, so all those who have canceled or scaled back their concerts over the past two years can finally make up for it.
Moreover, the UK has a chance of winning this year – after a devastating result in 2021 when it got zero points. Chosen in a collaboration between the BBC and global music management company TaP Music, Ryder will perform his song Space Man, the second-best song to win currently.
Pubs, clubs and cinemas across the UK have themed show parties. In London, there are places like Two Brewers, Troubadour and Halfway to Heaven. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern has DJs playing Europop songs until 4am.
“It’s hard to say how important Eurovision is to so many LGBTQ+ people, including so many of our customers,” said James Lindsey, Managing Director of Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
“RVT is home to Eurofest, a bi-monthly club night inspired by Eurovision and always well attended. Last year we showed the final to a limited audience of all seats, due to Covid restrictions, but this year we can show the final on a full venue, in a festive setting. Complete with Eurofest DJs”.
Troubadour’s Ian Scriton said they were “so happy that we can now go ahead with the party and our clients from all over Europe can come together, get dressed up, listen to some music and celebrate Eurovision.”
Other venues hosting Eurovision Grub parties include Manchester, Camp and Furnace in Liverpool, Eden Bar in Birmingham and Buttermarket in Shrewsbury.
“As a huge Eurovision fan, my family and I were a little frustrated with our annual cheese celebrations that Covid restricted last year, and canceled completely the year before,” said Valdes, 23, an elementary school teacher. “Cancelling 2020 was an extra blow in the teeth for us: We’re Icelanders, and Daði Freyr’s viral win was a guaranteed win that year.”
The Londoner said his family was excited to return “with a bang,” with a viewing party attended by guests aged 16 to 56. “We take our ongoing commentary very seriously, and thanks to our wonderful bayleaf margarita, I’m sure this is going to become increasingly snappy – especially toward stories (sorry!).”
Catherine Petty, 36, general manager of Hawksmoor Restaurants, said she’s held Eurovision parties every year since 2005, except for two years where she went to the same competition. “I’m a big fan of cooking, so I prepare dishes from different countries in Europe, and that’s the focus of the party,” she said.
There are also what she calls the “usual stuff” – flags, scorecards, drinking games. “The next day is like my boxing day – drinking, eating leftovers, and usually the show is repetitive in the background. My obsession with Eurovision started right in 1997 when the UK won, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I can name every winner since a year ago 1956 and I have a lot of random facts in my head. My friends think I’m crazy.”
Tim Way, 55, a Green Party board member from Bristol, will host about 70 people in his home with two projection screens – one in the garden and one indoors. He said there is a strict one door policy: “Skeptics are not allowed. You can take a little pee but show her the respect she deserves.”