Well done to all entrants in the inaugural Fan of the Year competition held by OGAE Ireland, there was some good entries!
There was an independent jury from the Australian club judge the entrants and all votes have been independently confirmed!
Iona! For her many many handmade quilted flags and indoctrinating her kid into Eurovision! Congratulations on being Ireland’s number one Eurovision fan for 2023! 🎉🎉🎉
You win an automatic first choice allocation for the Eurovision ticket package that the club may receive as well as some official merchandise! T&Cs apply
“I was supposed to go to Eurovision in 2020, but we all know how that went. Instead, I channelled my enthusiasm in to learning to quilt and embroider and I made bunting. It’s very difficult to photograph them all because there’s so many flags. I’m delighted nice easy-to-sew Luxembourg are back next year! Some of my personal favourites are San Marino and Moldova because I think they turned out well.
Emma! Talking about her love of and journey to the Eurovision and the experience that was Liverpool!! 🥳
You win a selection of official Eurovision merchandise!
I had first heard about Eurovision when I was young. Every year I watched along with my
parents not really sure what it was but enjoying nonetheless. I didn’t realise growing up that many of the songs I had been listening to were in fact from the Eurovision. Little did I know that the older I grew, the more infected I’d become with Eurovision fever, and how that love would lead me to Liverpool in 2023. Every year friends and families would come over and watch the final together in celebration. We’d cook food from other countries and pull songs out of hats to pick someone to cheer for. There were silly costumes, questionable home cooking but most importantly a love for music. Only after Kalush Orchestra took the win for Ukraine did the thought occur to me. What if I went next year? A series of what if questions suddenly snowballed into careful research about tickets, hotels and flights.
On a very cold Monday night, I sat in my Irish class answering questions. When I got to my
turn, my teacher looked curiously at me as I excitedly exclaimed that my summer plans
weren’t jetting off to Amdarstown or Spain like my college peers; they were actually to
England for the Eurovision Song Contest. Despite having no tickets, flights, or hotel booked, I was determined that I would be in the arena. For months, I had been carefully researching ticket release dates and bopping profusely to Eurovision songs to manifest tickets. For months, I had sped along in my car, singing along, pretending I knew the lyrics to this year’s songs.
Finally, it was the day of ticket sales. I had a study room booked in the college library and a
Ticketmaster account ready to go. I joined the queue and nervously awaited as the tickets
flew out. I anxiously waited for a few minutes before I excitedly told my friend over the phone that the numbers on my screen were dropping. I watched in disbelief as the numbers steadily dropped: 2000, 1000, 750, 500… And suddenly, before I knew it, the only thing between me and the song contest was one other person. I left the library (broke), but so high up I couldn’t even see cloud nine. The manifestations and several watches of the Eurovision movie asking the elves for good luck had paid off. And in the next few months, excitement would build, hotels would be booked, and the sparkliest of outfits would be planned. And any poor fool who would listen to me would know I was going to the Eurovision Song Contest.
The night before our birthdays was Christmas in my eyes. At ten o’clock the next day, I
grabbed my bag, collected my friend, and set off on what would become my biggest
adventure. Landing in Liverpool, there was something in the air. Over half a million people
were coming together to be united by music. New connections were made through the
simple question, “Are you here for Eurovision?”., “this country was robbed” and “a sure we
might qualify next year”.After exploring Liverpool (and sampling the local beverages), we headed to the M&S Bank
Arena. Seeing the bright pink lights for the first time filled my heart with joy. Before I knew it, the concert began, and I danced and sang my little heart out. The energy in the arena was electric, as fans from all over the world cheered and sang along to their favourite Eurovision songs. The atmosphere was contagious, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of belonging among this diverse and passionate crowd. It was a night filled with unforgettable
performances and shared moments of pure excitement, making it an experience I will
cherish forever. Seeing the artists in the green room during the voting was something
special. Watching them cheer and celebrate after being sent through to the live final We
hoped for our favourite artists as the qualification spaces got lower, with me cheering for
Slovenia and my friend for Denmark.
Even now the night of the semi final two plays in my head like a movie. I feel so incredibly
lucky to have gone and I’d give anything to relive that night. When I think about why I love
Eurovision, one main reason emerges. It’s because it brings people together. In that area
there were so many people all from different walks of life. And all of those people came
together for a music competition that meant something to them. It’s so empowering to see
the impact that this contest has on people. There are songs that empower women and
encourage self- confidence like ‘Queen of kings’ or songs about love like the iconic ‘fairytale’ by Alexander Rybak. But no matter what the songs are about there’s such a cathartic response and connection to each other. All of the songs present us with a story and those stories are how we connect with each other regardless of if we understand the lyrics.
At first I had thought I’d only go to Eurovision because it was so close, but now I don’t think that’s true. In Liverpool I had met a man who told me that he’d been to twenty seven
Eurovisions and suddenly I had a new life goal. Now I think despite my rampant fear of
spiders I’d even go all the way to Australia for Eurovision. I hope this essay is enjoyed as
much as I enjoyed the Eurovision and hopefully I’ll see you in Sweden!
Micheál! For his journey of 25,000 km to visit the last few Eurovision contests and the unusual things that happened on the way! 🎊
You win a selection of official Eurovision merchandise!
I have travelled 25,000 miles to attend Eurovision over the past six years and endured the wrath of Reddit and Judy Murray!
I’ll be in touch in the next day about your prizes! Stay tuned for more competitions throughout the year, and start thinking about your entry for 2024!