A massive explosion of music fun and non-stop partying will be on the agenda this week as the world’s media and an estimated 100,000 music fans descend on Liverpool for Eurovision. It’s a huge honor for Liverpool and the North West to be hosting, and it will bring millions of pounds into the region and lots of global media attention.
Over 30,000 very excited fans attended the first free event on Sunday 7 May outside St George’s Hall with many saying Liverpool was the best city ever. According to the Wirral Globe, several extra temporary jobs have been created due to Eurovision, and local businesses hope the impact will last beyond Eurovision week.
As those who watch it every year will know, it has a global following of millions and this year is no exception with an estimated 160 million watching it on Saturday.
Tickets like gold dust
Liverpool will be top of the world this coming Saturday.
In addition to the official arena, and the official fan zones, screening will be jammed to the rafters in pubs and restaurants all over the city and tickets for all locations are mostly sold out already.
My own daughter is traveling from Manchester with a group of 12 friends to watch it in a city centre pub and managed to secure the last few tickets for that pub. With tickets for the final sold out months ago, securing a ticket to see it live anywhere in the city is proving a mighty challenge.
“Music sounds better with EU”
But with all this deserved hype and attention on Liverpool, we should remember those musicians whose careers have been blighted and curtailed due to Brexit. Freedom of movement is essential to a band and it is now gone.
While the big heavily resourced bands can afford to navigate the extra costs and red tape, its unfortunately beyond most small bands. For example, a German punk band trying to tour the UK were refused entry due to complex visa regulation. A Parliamentary committee has now made recommendations to the Government to make touring in Europe much easier for UK bands.
Music without borders
It’s under this context that the Pro Eu group ThankEUfortheMusic have purchased 75,000 flags especially for Eurovision and they are expecting huge interest from people wanting to wave the EU flags.
In fact so far, the flags have been received with a phenomenal success and were in huge demand outside the arena with multiple TV crews asking people to wave them for the cameras – adding to the atmosphere and sense of excitement as people queued to attend the first semi-final.
Handing out flags. Photos courtesy of ThankEUforthemusic, used with permission
Flags and people handing them out have already featured on the BBC and further coverage is expected from other channels and the international media present.
Eurovision is perhaps the greatest music event in the world but sadly due to Brexit, musicians all around Europe are being severely hampered.
“We want music without borders, but Brexit has destroyed freedom of movement for so many Musicians and about every other profession as well”Paolo Arrigo (co-founder of ThankEUfortheMusic)
Peter Corr on behalf of the National Rejoin March (NRM) is bringing a huge banner which will be seen on the way into the venue by the audience and by the international media attending. The banner will say ‘Music Sounds better with EU’.
“We need to rejoin the EU for us to regain our national sense of pride and put us back on the road to growth and real prosperity”Peter Corr (founder of the NRM)
Huge local collaboration
The two groups are being joined by local activists from Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, North Wales, London, and all around the UK to assist in handing out the vast quantity of flags, and it’s a big relief that Merseyside Rail will be running despite the national rail strike called for 13 May. “For such a huge celebration of music and culture, it’s so appropriate that EU flags are being given out” says Ceira, a student from Liverpool who will be helping.
With an estimated 160 million watching globally, we know millions will be watching throughout the UK. Eurovision watch parties are very common and it’s a massive fun thing to join in with if you cannot make it to Liverpool.
While the UK is hosting it this year on behalf of Ukraine, there is a chance that it could be hosting again if the UK entry wins. Last year was so close, could we win this year?
For those interested in wanting to assist in handing out flags, please sign up here.