Stockholm or Durham – where tougher to live as a Eurovision fanatic?

Dear blog,

You remember the Junior Eurovision farce.  I had the problem that everybody seemed to have plans those few days before, and for the weekend after, and after that, and that spontaneity is not on the Swedes agenda.

So, I didn’t make that mistake again, and I planned many weeks in advance my big viewing of the 1st Melodifestivalen semifinal – which is on Saturday.

Current attendees: 3 – including me (if you trust facebook)

On the plus side of this we have somebody that is completely new to me, who replied to my emails around the local members of Melodifestivalklubben.  This is good, this is somebody new to me who obviously wants to make Schlager friends.  What a rarity.

My loyal friends here, are, despite my organizational prowess, are busy people and this night appears to be no exception.  Sad, but not that unsurprisingly.

Now, I know in London there is going to be a big bar meetup of Eurovision fans as tradition to watch this.  Stockholm – nil points.  I find this quite strange, but that’s just the way it is I guess, it’s just family entertainment.  What I do feel seems to have let me down is the socially-conservative nature of Sweden.  It’s a place open to people trying things, but weak for people letting you get involved with their cliques.  I know there are groups of people who get together to watch the contest, who know I am new to Sweden, who have me as their local Eurovision co-ordinator.  And I don’t hear an encouraging word to get involved.

Granted, I should not be complaining at this.  I probably will get a few people at work, and I think I’m going to have to put more people on the spot to get them to come down.  The superb American neighbours of mine will come, will bring family, and will more importantly bring popcorn.   Last year, for perspective, I was watching his by myself in the Europad living room, and then I went on a I think enjoyable football social, where I proceeded to sing ‘In the Club, The Club, Oh Oh’ over the top of every shit dance track.  We held an event to watch the MF Final last year, and we got I think 10 people watching that.  Now this year I will be joining the 14,000 with the inevitable glowsticks.   Actually, looking at it this way, things should be looking up (and certainly, as I approach the end of my journey home, my mood is somewhat better).

I think perhaps the issue is my expectations are so high.  I run Eurovision-fan based activities in the world’s most Eurovision friendly city.  I am expecting to inherit an organisation that would be holding big things all the time in the buildup.

The big night will be amazing without doubt, the rest of it building up perhaps not.  At the very very least, what I would love is the chance to have enough people I know close enough and schlager-friendly that we can have a few good nights out post-contest in the coming weeks.

I am concerned that MFKlubben hasn’t got anything organised for Eurovision itself, which with it being in Baku we might need to, or at least some co-ordinated action, as there will be many people here I’m sure want an outlet to watch Eurovision together that night.

I can’t be wrong on that, please.  Otherwise my task here is less than I thought which is sad and I want to take a grip of and make even more active. Durham University Eurovision Society was small (about 40 members, many of which were not active often), and some events I recall have had 3 people attending, but at least we felt inclusive, active, open.  I feel like the foreign outsider just a little bit, but I know I shouldn’t worry.

“This is my life my friends, I can’t be no one else” Hopefully I’ll stop being the worrying kind soon, stop being a stranger, and actually make sure that I’ll make it popular enough for me!

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