Start digging out your glitter and spandex, because Eurovision 2023 is almost here! This year’s competition, broadcast on Saturday 13th May, will be held at the Liverpool Arena. Last year’s winner, Ukraine, is unable to host this year, so the country in second place – the UK, unbelievable as it sounds – is hosting on […]
Start digging out your glitter and spandex, because Eurovision 2023 is almost here! This year’s competition, broadcast on Saturday 13th May, will be held at the Liverpool Arena. Last year’s winner, Ukraine, is unable to host this year, so the country in second place – the UK, unbelievable as it sounds – is hosting on their behalf.
Which means those of us in the UK had better make the most of this opportunity; if precedent’s anything to go by, it could be another quarter-century before we place so high again! On that note, here’s how to throw your very own Eurovision party and celebrate the sparkliest night of the year in style.
Deck out your living room
You can never go wrong with some confetti and bunting. Show your appreciation for the participating countries by stringing up country flags to add a burst of colour – as well as keep your decor on-theme! If you’re crafty, why not make your own cheeky ‘Douze Points’ sign?
Or if you’d rather leave the art to someone else, just pop on to Etsy for Eurovision-themed banners, table runners, wine charms and everything in between! Prefer a maximalist approach? There’s no better time to embrace the camp with metallic foil curtains, party poppers and a shimmering disco ball.
Set the mood with music
While there’ll be no shortage of tunes once the show starts, set the mood beforehand with a playlist of classic Eurovision bangers (this one on Spotify is a great place to start). You can even go onto the official Eurovision YouTubeand reminisce about performances past: the good, the catchy, the weird and, of course, those quintessential Eurovision songs that manage to be all three.
After the winner is announced (and you and your friends have had a drink or two), keep the party going with a karaoke machine. Load up on some classic Eurovision songs like Waterloo, Fairytale and even Rise Like a Phoenix once your vocal chords are warmed up. Just make sure to invite your neighbours along – lest you receive a noise complaint just when the party’s really getting started!
Dress the part
While it’s perfectly acceptable to watch Eurovision in your pyjamas, getting dressed up is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the experience. Why not opt for a country sweepstake and randomly assign costumes to your guests? They can go all-out for maximum fun (a flamenco dress for Spain or lederhosen for Germany, for example) or simply spice up their normal party clothes with a themed accessory.
Or if you’re not a fan of the country theme, tell your guests to go as outlandishly fabulous as possible: think big hair, spandex, capes and ABBA disco flares. You could even take inspiration from Eurovision superstars of the past – try a long blonde wig for Sam Ryder, a beard and ball gown for Austrian star Conchita Wurst, or silver space suits like Jedward.
Get in the drinks and snacks
If you’ve opted for a sweepstake, you could ask everyone to bring a dish or drink from their selected country. You might have chicken Kiev for Ukraine, a cheese board for France, sausage rolls for the UK and lamingtons for Australia (yep, Australia is in the Eurovision song contest; nope, none of us understand why). If all else fails, order a tonne of pizza to soak up the booze – it’s Italian, so technically it’s on-theme!
For drinks, get creative with some custom cocktails inspired by classic Eurovision acts (there are some great ideas here to get you started). A selection of beers or wines from these countries would also go down a classic treat.
Plan a (drinking) game or two
A Eurovision party just isn’t the same without games, and bingo has to be top of the list. Each participant gets a card with a grid filled with Eurovision staples like ‘a key change’, ‘a wind machine’, ‘a country votes for its neighbour’ and ‘fake instrument playing’ (Mission Eurovision also has a printable template you can use for this). The first contestant to cross off every square wins! Bad luck if your card contains ‘The UK receives 12 points’…
Of course, there are always drinking games as well. Classic rules include drinking every time one of the presenters changes outfit, every time there’s a sexual innuendo, or whenever a song title doesn’t contain actual words (think Germany’s Wadde Hadde Dudde Da from 2000). If past finals are anything to go by, you’ll be merrily tipsy by the time the points are awarded!
Hosting not for you? Head out on the town!
Finally, if hosting at yours starts to feel overwhelming – or if you’re hoping to hit multiple parties in one evening (now that’s the Eurovision spirit!) – there are plenty of public Eurovision events taking place across the UK.
For those in the host city, head to the Tate Liverpool for a live screening in the gallery. Or for something a little more outrageous, book the FunnyBoyz night out complete with bingo, cabaret, ABBA tributes, RuPaul Drag Race queens and even celebrities from Eurovision!
Londoners can ramp up to the final with a night out at the Clapham Grand on Wednesday 10th May. Watch some of the world’s best comedians perform original songs and vote for your favourites. On Saturday night, see if you can squeeze into the iconic Vauxhall Tavern to watch the show, followed by a night of Europop hits and remixes until 4am. And of course, if all the Eurovision-specific events are booked up, you can always take your party to a London cocktail bar for a guaranteed beautiful night.
No matter where you are, you’re bound to end up doing something amazing on Eurovision night – just make sure to plan ahead so you don’t end up back on the sofa in your pjs!
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