During what has been a tense and unsettling few weeks for us all, what we really need is something to bring us together. Something to put a smile on our faces. Something that really allows us to escape and forget about what’s happening in the real world – for a couple of hours, at least.
Y’know, something like the Eurovision Song Contest.
That means this year, at a time the world arguably needs it more than ever, the Song Contest will not be going ahead.
However, we think there may be a solution for anyone who needs their Eurovision fix. Enter: Eurovision Again.
Eurovision Again sees fans of the popular song contest all rewatching a previous live show at the same time, while tweeting along using the hashtag #EurovisionAgain, to relive the silliness and recreate the feeling of unity the event brings every year.
Superfan Rob Holley told HuffPost UK he got the idea for Eurovision Again shortly after it was confirmed that this year’s contest, which he’d been due to attend, had been cancelled.
“It got me thinking about the things I’ll miss but also the joyful bits that fans recreate all year round,” he explained.
“One of the funnest aspects of Eurovision is the Saturday night tweet-a-long – it’s so packed with love for this bonkers competition. I thought, why not come together every Saturday night and share the moment anyway?”
He continued: “The Eurovision community is pretty up for the lols all year round, so saying ‘how about a sync viewing of a classic ESC on Saturday at 8pm GMT - #JoinUS’ was all it took.”
And “up for the lols” they were – by the time Eurovision Again took place for the first time last week, more than 500 people were following its Twitter page (a number which has already more than doubled), and the hashtag began creeping up the UK trends list over the course of the evening.
“When #EurovisionAgain started trending alongside Ant and Dec and Doctor Who, that was a bit of an awakening,” Rob explained.
“But I’m not hugely surprised because the Eurovision Song Contest is the ultimate group viewing experience and the fandom is super enthusiastic.”
The year being revisited each week is tweeted out on Saturdays at 7.45pm, 15 minutes before everyone hits play at 8pm, and for the first week, the 2013 final – which saw Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest crowned winner with Only Teardrops – was chosen.
Rob revealed: “Last week’s episode featured Cascada and [Eurovision staple] Sarah Dawn Finer, who both picked up on the Twitter noise and seemed so pleased that people remembered their performances. That was genuinely touching.”
Impressively, things are already getting bigger for Eurovision Again, with a voting system being introduced for this week’s second live watch-a-long.
“We are one week in but we’ll always take suggestions for which year we choose,” Rob noted.
“Though we’re concentrating on episodes that have the full 3.5hr show readily available on YouTube. So we’ve a plea to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU): get those old contests online!”
Follow Eurovision Again on Twitter for more information.