While you might not be able to attend this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the finals will be available to watch online, and social media groups are giving fans the opportunity to connect.
After last year’s events were cancelled for the first time in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 65thEurovision Song Contest is underway in Rotterdam in the Netherlands with special ‘live by tape’ performances.
(No spoilers ahead!)
Australian entrant Montaigne has made history as the first person to compete without attending the host venue, due to travel restrictions.
The 25-year-old’s entry, ‘Technicolour’, was a high-energy pop anthem, bringing stunning costumes, choreography, and effects to the first semi-final.
As well as viewing parties around the world, a Facebook group is providing a social space for Australian fans to connect.
The Australian Eurovision Group, hosted by OAGE Australia and run by Vice President Danie Anne Tregonning, welcomes fans who want to chat, debate and critique the performances, and enjoy the contest together.
OAGE committee member Lachlan Woods said that Eurovision has a special place in the queer community not just for its high camp but because it allows self-expression and an escape from daily life, with diverse lineups of performers.
“Everyone knows about [drag queen] Conchita Wurst, who won for Austria back in 2014,” he said.
“Eurovision also produced the first mainstream trans singer, Dana International, back in 1998.
“That was revolutionary, to have a trans woman who was living her truth and living her best life win and be recognised as a woman on stage.”
Woods said that Facebook is now making it easier for people to talk about cultural events such as Eurovision even if they are isolated from the queer community.
“When I started watching Eurovision, it was before I was old enough to have social media,” he said.
“I found it difficult to talk to friends or family about why Eurovision is so interesting and what was happening with it.
“Social media is such a valuable tool to connect with people who share those common interests and likes, not just in Sydney but around Australia and the world.”
Other countries also have their own dedicated Facebook groups for enjoying the contest together.
The Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast by SBS, featuring Australian hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.
The Grand Final will be shown live this Sunday 23 May at 5 am AEST and then available to stream on demand.