Among the main highlights of Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light was a compilation of artists singing “Love Shine A Light”. The song, about illuminating dark times through togetherness, was a celebration of perseverance and the Eurovision family at large. All but one country participated in the feel-good number: Belgium.
Following some criticism from Belgian fans (among others), broadcaster VRT released a video and article on Sunday where Alex Callier of the band Hooverphonic explains why Belgium was absent. He says that for them it didn’t feel 100% right to participate, because in his mind the gesture is too simple of an answer to the world’s problems.
“People who are really confronted with misery know that,” he says. “‘Love Shine a Light’ is a bit too blunt. And the world is not that simple. I find that very difficult. I already said this week that I don’t feel it. These are difficult times. I want to do everything I can to help people. Do I help people with this? I think I help people by making beautiful music, by doing other things”.
“I did expect the commotion. But on the other hand, to me, it’s very simple. Artistically I have never compromised. The only reason I had considered this was if all the proceeds from this hymn had gone to charity, I would have set aside my principles, but that is not the case now. It’s not going to charity. It was just a TV show.”
“I never gave my ok in advance to participate in this type of TV broadcast. I gave my ok to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. And I also do that with 200% and there I am really going to fight for the best place for our country. I also have in in that TV show wished everyone much strength. It’s not that we weren’t present in the show, we have sent much strength to everyone.”
Het feit dat Hooverphonic er als enige act bewust voor gekozen heeft om niet mee te werken aan de "Love shine a light"…
The act did, as Alex says, did send their support in other ways. Band members Alex, Luca and Raymond addressed fans with the following messages.
Luka: “Doing Eurovision has always been my dream. But health and safety are priority now. And there will be a next time”.
Alex: “We really gonna miss you guys this summer at the festivals. But we are working on some new remixes for ‘Release Me’, so check out the streaming platforms and keep safe”.
Raymond: “My guitar will always be ready to suit you with sweet melodies. Music will prevail. So, stay healthy, also your loved ones”.