February 11 doesn’t just mark three sleeps until Valentine’s Day. It also marks 100 Days to Eurovision! And today Eurofans around the world are using the hahstag #100DaysToEurovision to celebrate the contest. Some of you are sharing what the contest means to you, while others are sharing their favourite memories — whether that’s in the host city or on the sofa watching at home. So, in the spirit of togetherness, some of us thought we’d pause to share some of our favourite times and experiences inside this crazy, beautiful circus.

🇬🇧 Oliver: Watching Conchita Wurst win Eurovision 2014

I’ve always found solace in music, and Eurovision remains my favourite way of discovering new music. For a long time, that’s all it was. But something changed in 2014. As a young queer person struggling with my sexuality and fighting through serious episodes of depression, anxiety and loneliness, watching Conchita Wurst win in Copenhagen was truly inspiring. “Rise Like a Phoenix” filled 17-year-old Oliver with hope for his future. Europe embraced Conchita, an openly queer person, without question. And that was one of the early steps in allowing myself to embrace my own queerness. Since then, I’ve been welcomed into a community filled with people just like me. Eurovision played a big part in helping me find my identity, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

🇸🇪 Tobias: Attending the press centre in Stockholm 2016 watching Ukraine win

The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 is, without a doubt, THE most memorable event I have ever experienced in my life! Hands down, it was the most intense and hectic two weeks I have ever experienced, but a memory that will last forever. To finally be part of the Eurovision family in real life, especially in my hometown, was a dream come true. Never ever would I have imagined how big Eurovision really is. It felt like the Olympic Games seeing tourists from all over the world dressed up in their national flags filling the streets of Stockholm. There was a magical atmosphere embracing the whole city. I have never felt so good as I did during these two weeks. Every day was packed with different events at Euroclub and of course our very own #wiwijam at Hard Rock Cafe (which was a huge success with stars like Sergey Lazarev, Amir and Serhat singing for the crowd and hanging out with us bloggers backstage). Besides all the partying and attending events I had the privilege to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world who I still remain friends with today. If I could I would rewind to these two weeks over and over again just so that I could re-live those special moments. I fell in love with Eurovision even more and I remember it being so exciting to be able to watch all the rehearsals in the arena and meeting all the competing artists and their teams. I found this video on my Instagram account and wanted to share it with you guys. It really catches the whole atmosphere of the press centre during the voting just before Ukraine wins. It was a magical time.

 

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🇺🇸 Josh: An expanding love of music, language, and cultures different from my own

I’ve always had a desire to know about other cultures and people different from myself (which isn’t always easy in my area of the world). As an über Celine Dion fan, I always knew that she got her big break by winning Eurovision in 1988, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I was able to access a live feed of the contest. Watching Conchita and The Common Linnets captivate the audience in different ways lit the flame of interest to know more about Eurovision. Then in 2015, I started watching official music videos and discovered artists like Il Volo and Polina Gagarina (who I am now a devoted fan of). By 2018, I started paying attention to national finals, and now I look forward to the selection each and every country makes every year. I fall in love with new songs, artists, languages, and music styles over and over again, and have become friends with so many wonderful people from so many different places. Each new season is like opening a new present. My eyes, mind, and heart have been opened in ways I could never have expected, and I owe it all to the contest for that.

🇳🇱 Renske: Connecting with Eurovision fans through Wiwibloggs

I started on Wiwibloggs as a commenter in 2013. In September 2020, I celebrated my sixth anniversary of being a blogger. Our readers have taught me a lot about different Eurovision songs in the past. Moreover, I’ve loved their *very opinionated* takes on a wide variety of national finals. I even found my boyfriend among our loyal readers (or rather he found me). I’ve always tried to come up with creative ideas for articles for our readers (and have spent a month on some of them in the past), and it’s the greatest gift in the world to have a person comment “This is interesting, thank you” after publication. (Oh, and I also loved having the privilege of going to Eurovision in Concert almost every year since 2015 with my friends, which is how I first met fellow Wiwiblogger Esma!)

🇻🇪 Pablo: A bright, big adventure

It’s bewildering how big of a thing ESC became to me. From meeting my current best friend to getting me in one pretty awesome writing group, the contest has expanded my musical and cultural horizons in a way that I would have never thought possible. It is really something I look forward to every year — a reason to connect with friends, enjoy music and get lost in the spectacle. Even if it’s just a week, it feels like a lifetime.

🇬🇧 Tom: Letting go of insecurities and finding new friends

People have always questioned why I like Eurovision — then I get judged for it. “It’s so cheesy”, “It’s bad music”, etc. At times in the past, I really worried what certain people may think of me. As an actor, I always want to be respected by my peers. Though I have been to the contest several times in the past, it was only when I found wiwibloggs a few years ago and joined this wonderful wiwi-family that I completely let go of any Euro-insecurities. Now I don’t give a tiny rat’s backside what anyone thinks of my love for Eurovision.

Which brings me to my friendship with wiwiblogger Lucy Percy and her fiancé Adil. They have both become incredible friends and I love having them in my life. Lucy is my Eurovision sister and I cannot wait to attend her wedding next year.

 

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A post shared by Tom Hendryk (@tomhendryk)

🇳🇿 Robyn: Finding my tribe

As Eurovision fans in New Zealand or Australia will know, going to Eurovision don’t come easy and it don’t come cheap. There are no budget airlines on those routes and it requires at least 24 hours of flight, during which maybe you might get a little sleep. But you get there in the end and perhaps that’s journey is what make the experience even sweeter. When I first arrived in Stockholm in 2016 and made my way to the press centre, it felt like a magical moment, arriving at the converted ice hockey arena and finding the table with the wiwibloggs team and meeting people I admired from other Eurovision blogs. And again in 2018, it was the magic of spending a fortnight with a group of people who are completely obsessed with the same thing you’re obsessed with. This certainly isn’t unique to the Eurovision fandom, but the lesson is, even if you have to travel to the other side of the world to meet your tribe, it’s worth it!

🇮🇸 Kristín: My beloved people

My first time attending Eurovision was in Copenhagen 2014, and my oh my, the feeling of walking into the bubble, surrounded by people with the same passion as me was indescribable! I’ve been to the contest three more times since then, both as a journalist as well as a fan, meeting up with other fans and Eurovision stars. Making friends who will stay in my life forever, regardless of distance. And speaking of friends…after joining wiwibloggs in 2013! (Jeez, time flies!), my favorite moments of every single Eurovision I’ve been to are meeting my people from the blog. We interact with each other all year round, discussing Eurovision, supporting each other and having a laugh, and to be able to see those magnificent human beings, hug them, laugh and enjoy our time together is just priceless. It’s fun to meet the performers of the contest, but my beloved wiwi tribe is my #1 reason and makes every good memory even better! And I can’t wait for the time when we are reunited again.

🇺🇸 William: Going places I’d never have gone

Growing up of rather modest means, travel and seeing the world was an aspiration, but it definitely wasn’t an option. But I lived vicariously by phoning European embassies and requesting maps, and by hoarding old copies of National Geographic, collected from dentist offices, trash cans and wherever else I could find them. When I made it to Europe as an adult I never looked back. Eurovision, which I’d stumbled across in my early days in London, became the main vehicle through which I discovered new places. At first it was just through the music. But, as the blog expanded, I found myself further and further afield, led by Eurovision and its various selection shows to places I’d only read about: from Baku to Moscow, Yerevan to Tbilisi, Malta to Bulgaria and beyond. The best part of all of this has been sharing the journey with my fellow bloggers and the endless personalities we’ve encountered along the way. I could literally shout out to all of them. But for now it’ll be Jacob, a Norwegian who isn’t so visible on the site, but who traveled with me to so many events and national finals (Moldova, Latvia and elsewhere) in those early years as wiwibloggs started to find its feet. From Chisinau cemeteries to long bus rides around Ventspils to interviews with child singers in Sofia to youth hostels in Stockholm, he reminds me of more carefree times, and the joy of waking up somewhere and letting yourself get lost.

🇦🇺 Antranig: We are the world’s people

I have to echo many of my colleagues’ sentiments throughout this post. I can relate to the way Oliver felt watching Conchita win, the way Tom let go of his insecurities and I can definitely relate to Robyn’s around the world journey to get to Eurovision, just to name a few. Lisbon and Tel Aviv were both incredible experiences and meeting many of the artists was truly a privilege. Some of the highlights (and there’s really too many to list) would have to be Coco from Zibbz letting me wear her hat and polyglot Saara Aalto being just about the only non-Armenian person I’ve ever met who pronounced my name perfectly.

But when I say the people, it’s not just the artists I’m talking about. I’ve made so many incredible friends throughout wiwibloggs and the community and those friendships are invaluable. I love my Australia-Iceland chocolate exchange program with Kristín and Steinunn and travelling all the way to East Africa with Deban was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Closer to home, meeting up with Sebastian at ungodly hours of the morning to watch national finals is just as fun! There are too many incredible people to list and I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so we can continue to make unforgettable memories.

 

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🇺🇸 Suzanne: The importance of love

Following the Wiwi Jam in 2019, the entire team experiences a bit of relief in knowing that “all of the hard work” is done. Even our fearless leader, the lifelong stone in my shoe, finds himself more at ease (and becomes almost tolerable). This image was taken the evening following our fantastic event at Theater Club in Tel Aviv. It’s one of my favourites that I often visit.

Such a beautiful evening in Tel Aviv. A group of us ventured outdoors, to recap 2019 highlights. There was one consecutive theme: LOVE! Love for one another. Love for Eurovision. Love for other fans! Simply so much love!

We sang. We laughed. We cried. We reiterated the importance of our 2019 theme: One must do what is right. We acknowledged the dysfunctional family that we are. My heart was full as I enjoyed dusk with these people I love so much.

I am so proud of the impact our team has on the Eurovision community. I am humbled to be amongst this hearted, hardworking, diverse group of unique individuals. I am honored to learn from them and from YOU! Thank you for letting us be part of your journey, as you are part of ours.

Now it’s your turn. What are your favourite memories from Eurovision? What do you love about the song contest? Share your thoughts and memories below!

We’re re-posting our New Year’s video below. It captures so much of what we love about ESC!

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Jinbeizaki
Jinbeizaki
2 months ago

What a moving article, this was so sweet to read all of you guys! Eurovision truly did what it was supposed to do: connecting people after years of wars. Not being able to get Eurovision in 2020 is a nice reminder that we should treasure this family and the amazing moments we shared thanks to this contest. Now for some of my favorite personal memories: Hearing Rybak’s Fairytale song. This is the first time I heard about Eurovision. Here in my country (France) it was not popular especially with young people so I did not even know about it. I… Read more »

T. A.
T. A.
2 months ago

I got into Eurovision because of Junior Eurovision, which was madly popular in The Netherlands because we failed to qualify for the final so many times, and JESC at the time was fantastic (at least for me). In 2013, when we finally got a chance to actually qualify for the final, I got into Eurovision, and so did the entire country. When we managed to qualify, Eurovision became a big thing again. As it gained attention, my country consistently sent good songs. Fast forward 8 years later and we have managed to win. When Eurovision was around, I couldn’t stop… Read more »

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
2 months ago

My favorite memories are watching Duncan Laurence win Eurovision as it was the first time my winner and favorite song of that year since its release won Eurovision. Another one was watching Francesca Michielin sing live in Stockholm because it was the first time I saw my country singing in Eurovision. Another one is seeing my country almost win Eurovision with Mahmood. There are countless others that I don’t remember right now

Luciann RO
Luciann RO
2 months ago

Oh, so many memories.. Watching the ESC every year, never missing a show since 2004. of course there where so many memories. From Cyprus non-qualifying in 2007, Serbia’s surprise winning the 2007 ESC (for me), to very deserved Norway’s 2009 win. And the 2010 ESC in Oslo, winning Germany, to date, my only favorite to win the ESC! After all this, probably the weirdest thing that happened to me, was the Spanish NF in 2011! I cried when Lucía Pérez won Destino Eurovisión, after the jury stole the better song (Abrázame) from winning the National Final. Don’t know why was… Read more »

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

A beautiful selection of memories from the wiwi team, Eurovision people are truly special. For me it could be attending my first contest in Riga in 2003, sharing a lift with Verka (out of costume) in 2007 and managing to get last minute, super expensive tickets for the final, or simply sharing Valentina’s joy on qualifying from the semi while leaping around the living room. It really is the best thing ever.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

*My most favourite and special ESC moment is the 2019 “Idan Raichel Project” interval act.

Favourite moments:
🙂 Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s Norrsken in Mello 2019
🙂 Norway and Australia 2019, and Ireland 2018 live performances
🙂 Israel 2019 and UK and Italy 2020 songs
🙂 Norway 2019 winning the televote. EBU, how about a proper acknowledgement?  #thunderandgloria
🙂 North Macedonia 2019 making it thru and winning the jury
🙂 Watching “Eurovision again” editions that I haven’t watched before
🙂 The voting segment in the GF, tho it can get terribly annoying too
🙂 Wiwibloggs coverage from host countries. 

Neil
Neil
2 months ago

When North Macedonia won the Jury ( or I thought 2nd cuz belarus blah blah blah…)
She was my favorite and I was on the verge of crying…

Neil
Neil
2 months ago
Reply to  Neil

*2019 btw
Also when Elhaida Dani qualified as her song is my favorite entry ever <3

Last edited 2 months ago by Neil
Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago

That’s a very sweet article! I’ve never been to Eurovision and who knows if I’ll have the chance someday, but I believe I’ll feel like you guys when this day finally comes. I have a lot of favorite Eurovision moments. But witnessing a song in Portuguese winning was very important to a native speaker of the language. Though one great thing about ESC is how it makes me feel closer to countries I hadn’t absolutely any connection with. For example: I rooted so hard for acts like Naviband and Eugent, that I guess I was partially Belarussian or Albanian for… Read more »

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
2 months ago

This is so adorable, I love it so much. My fav memory is probably Australia’s debut, because I felt so proud of my country AND it was the first eurovision I ever watched.

Lisa
Lisa
2 months ago

My favorite Eurovision memories are actually: Germany 2018 receiving 12 points and scoring 4th place after so many lose streaks.
San Marino2014/ 2019: San Marino qf!!!
Norway 2019: when Keiino won the televote and everyone went nuts

Una
Una
2 months ago

Great job, wiwibloggs editors. I was moved when I read the article!! But Deban’s thoughts are missing!! My most recent memories off the top of my head: Feeling a mess after having to DQ Romania from my heart after the two NQs of 2018 and 2019 and coming back to life on my first listen of “Alcohol You”. Gradually, with every beat. Then getting knocked out of my chair when I heard “Beautiful Disaster”. KEiiNO’s live performances of 2019 and they winning the televote. The Eurovision Shine a Light which I rejected when I first heard of it. I eventually… Read more »

nula
nula
2 months ago

“Germany, I’m sorry. You recieved zero point” moment

Last edited 2 months ago by nula
PuddiMasta
PuddiMasta
2 months ago

For me, the most inspiring moment was the entire 2013 contest. It was the first time I had seen an entire contest, not just the final. The first ESC thing I ever saw was Lena winning in 2010, but didn’t seem to be bothered much as I was only a kid. Back in 2012 I was watching with my family and thought, this show is amazing, I wanna see more, and the next year was immediately amazing and incredibly nostalgic for me. 2013 was also the year where my country (the Netherlands) finally managed to break their non-qualification streak with… Read more »

Oscar
Oscar
2 months ago

As an Australian it would be when Guy Sebastian debuted in 2015 and even our interval performance in 2014. For many years we watched Eurovision and we never thought that one day our country would be competing. Throughout the 80s, 90s and 00s the idea of ever competing at ESC seemed impossible. But on that day in May 2015 our near impossible dreams finally came true. At the time it was just a one of thing but to finally be on the Eurovision stage showcasing Australia to the world was such a proud and memorable moment. Then Dami came to… Read more »

Benji
Benji
2 months ago

When I started watching the ESC, there was no Internet yet so it was a rare opportunity for me to hear songs in all those beautiful European languages. At that time, all countries still had to sing in their mother tongue.

Evridiki
Evridiki
2 months ago

Reading editors’ memories made me emotional <3 especially Robyn's and Tom's.
There are so many great memories related to Eurovision (no surprise there), but the first that came to my mind was when Portugal won and Salvador & Luisa sang the winning song together. Couldn't stop myself from crying, I was overwhelmed with joy since Portugal finally managed to win (despite not being among my favorites in 2017. ) and Sobral siblings being adorable only "added fuel to the fire" ^_^

Leo
Leo
2 months ago

My fave moments of watching the ESC (2007 didn’t provide me with many memories despite the musical diversity) 2005: Grandma beats the drum, Israel does ace 2006: We are the winners 2008: the album, entries that age like a fine wine, such as Russia, Norway, Israel, France and even a rapping turkey who has continued to endure. 2009: The UK’s campaign, watching parts of the heat. 2010: Albania was good fun. 2011: Jedward, Moldova, A UK-made win for Azerbaijan 2012; Listening to the songs in the days before the heats, as an incentive for me to do well in my… Read more »

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

So many memories.. The Netherlands getting their groove back with Anouk in 2013 and the year after getting the runner up spot with the Common Linnets was amazing.. All leading up to the win in 2019 with Duncan.. Watching Eurovision as a kid and being immediately hooked on it.. Rock ‘n Roll Kids is my favorite memory from back then.. I do love Eurovision so much even though most of my friends and colleagues don’t understand haha..

James
James
2 months ago

The highlight of my increasing portfolio of Eurovision memories would have to be me becoming a part of a YLE documentary starring Eurofans from all over the world covering one entire ESC season, hosted by Krista Siegfrieds and was seen by viewers fron a country I can only dream of going. To be able to see the finished product and realizing that what we have made is really special makes the Eurofan in me feel satisfied (and all the more determined to attend a contest some day). So yeah, stream Eurovision Diaries if it’s still viewable on YLE Areena. 🙂… Read more »

Pablo
Pablo
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Sounds exciting!! Can you share the link please?

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 months ago

The netherlands finally qualifying in 2013 and our win in 2019 off course 🙂

Also at times I might find the semi final qualifiers announcement even more exciting than the grand finale voting!

Last edited 2 months ago by Frisian esc
stommie
stommie
2 months ago

Being in the arena in 2011.

Jesper Hjellnes
Jesper Hjellnes
2 months ago

Portugal winning in 2017. I loved Salvador’s song and I just can’t explain how happy I was when Portugal finally got their first ever victory 🙂

Evridiki
Evridiki
2 months ago

I found your comment after I have shared mine, we mentioned the same “thing” as our favorite ESC memory 😀 what were the odds 😀

Milan
Milan
2 months ago
Reply to  Evridiki

My favourite moment.- Salvador inviting Luisa Sobral on that magical stage.