Now with 41 countries taking part and 220m viewers worldwide, it’s become a camp Euro-pop microcosm of the complex geo-politics of Europe, with added pyrotechnics and backing dancers. What started in part as a TV project to test international broadcast technology has become a week-long juggernaut of nation branding, music diplomacy, bloc voting and questionable key changes. Despite attempts to take it seriously with credible artists and songwriters, the UK can’t get a break. Will Brexit and vaccine squabbles translate into another year of nul points? What kind of soft-power politicking goes on in the different blocs, and is the voting system fair? Which countries are the main contenders this year, and how can you spot a winner? If it didn’t already exist we’d never invent it today, so what role, if any, does Eurovision play on the world cultural stage?
We’ll also take a look at some of the entries in this year’s competition, explore how Eurovision relates to current music trends (or not), and take a moment to celebrate (or be baffled by) its enduring appeal. Fancy dress and nationalist snacks optional.
editor and invited experts
Broadcaster, Songstress, Mistress of Ceremonies and Eurovision fan