April and May are typically the months of preview parties, concerts and the contest itself. But not this year. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all of the Eurovision 2020 pre-parties were cancelled, just like the song contest itself.
And the fans aren’t the only ones missing out. The preview circuit often acts as a great platform for artists to connect with their peers from across Europe. Many develop great working relationships and even friendships that last long after the closing credits have rolled on that Saturday in May.
However, San Marino’s Senhit isn’t ready for the class of 2020 to miss out on all of this. So, in an effort to bring about some good cheer, she launched the #hugforesc2020 hashtag on Instagram. Working with her friend and the campaign’s manager Ersin Parlak, the pair are hoping to give Europe “a virtual hug and a safe place to meet again.”
The idea is simple, she sends a virtual hug to one artist — Senhit chose Spain’s Blas Cantó — who in turn passes the hug onto another Eurovision 2020 act of their choice. And so the chain continues. The hope is that all 41 acts will have received a virtual hug by the time May rolls around.
As of our last update on 12 April, the hug had gone from San Marino to Spain to Cyprus to Norway to Sweden to Switzerland to Germany to Bulgaria to Romania to Lithuania to Iceland.
Since then it’s gone from Australia to Portugal to the Netherlands to Greece to Malta to Italy.
Now at 16:30 CEST on 3 May, the chain rests with Albania’s Arilena Ara. She was nominated by OGAE Italy on behalf of Diodato.
You’ll notice that Diodato didn’t record a video himself. Unfortunately, due to timing and private issues, the “Fai Rumore” singer couldn’t take part. However, he has given his blessing for OGAE Italy to take the turn in his name on behalf of the Italian public.
Update at 00:30 CEST 3 May — Mere hours after this was published, Diodato nominated the UK’s James Newman. This now leads to a confusing scenario where either OGAE’s nomination of Arilena Ara is nullified or we have potentially two chains of hugs running simultaneously… a schism if you will.
The important thing is that the Eurovision 2020 stars are sharing the love.
Below, we’ve tracked the full chain of hugs to date.
Keep scrolling to watch all the latest nomination videos. Click here for the first six #hugforesc2020 clips.
#hugforesc2020 Tracker at 12 April
- San Marino’s Senhit (24 March)
- Spain’s Blas Cantó (25 March)
- Cyprus’ Sandro (26 March)
- Norway’s Ulrikke (28 March)
- Sweden’s The Mamas (30 March)
- Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears (31 March)
- Germany’s Ben Dolic (2 April)
- Bulgaria’s Victoria (6 April)
- Romania’s Roxen (7 April)
- Lithuania’s The Roop (9 April)
- Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið (12 April)
- Australia’s Montaigne (15 April)
- Portugal’s Elisa (15 April)
- The Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy (16 April)
- Greece’s Stefania (17 April)
- Malta’s Destiny (21 April)
- Italy’s Diodato (4 May)
Albania’s Arilena Ara (28 April) via OGAE Italy
United Kingdom’s James Newman (TBC)
#hugforesc2020 — The latest hugs
1. Australia’s Montaigne
View this post on Instagram
hello my kids. give yourself a hug from me as I pass it on from the wonderful @dadimakesmusic to the also wonderful @mar.elisa.music for #hugforesc2020. my phone is old and the audio is really bad so have just provided a nice hug boomerang. may it feel warm and cosy, if only digitally. wishing everyone well and hope you are healthy, happy, and peaceful. hope you can touch some nature and restore your spirit. and hope you can keep connecting with your fellow folk around the world! ?????? #eurovision @eurovision
2. Portugal’s Elisa
3. The Netherlands’ Jeangu Macrooy
4. Greece’s Stefania
5. Malta’s Destiny
6. Italy’s Diodato
Have you been following the chain? Who’s hug was your favourite? Let us know in the comments.