Why not invite friends and family to join you at home for the final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest? Genuine enthusiasm for this eccentric annual event is a prerequisite, so make sure your guests are fellow supporters – this is not a night for the cynical nor the world-weary. With a room full of fans, the atmosphere will be set for an evening of good-natured rivalry. Here’s how to capitalise on the theme and guarantee an enjoyable time.
The venue demands a television set or a projector, positioned to ensure everyone in the room has a clear view of the proceedings. Bean bags or cushions scattered across the floor are useful ways to maximise space. Tidy away breakable items, provide low tables for drinks and snacks, and ensure the freezer is well stocked with ice. The contest is quite a marathon, so you’ll need plenty of survival rations. This is a relaxed occasion where flamboyant décor is acceptable: festoon your room with flags, bunting and balloons, and don’t forget the party poppers for celebrating the results. Eurovision is the world’s most-watched non-sporting TV event, which is reason alone to join in on the action.
Organise a sweepstake
With the aid of a printer and a pair of scissors, it's easy to divide the European entries amongst your guests. Keep a note of who draws which song and country, and ask for a small donation from each entrant: The Winner Takes It All at the end of the night! This adds to the enjoyably competitive edge both on-screen as the contest airs and within the party.
Prepare international snacks
With so many nations taking part in the contest, there are endless choices when it comes to serving refreshments. As this year’s host city is Stockholm, why not go for a Nordic influence and serve shots of vodka with Swedish meatballs? Side dishes of lingonberry jelly will add authenticity. Pickled herring is another favoured delicacy, which is often scrolled into rollmops, or gravadlax, cured salmon soused in dill and mustard. Saturday is known as a day for indulging in sweets in Sweden, so lay out some sugary treats too.
Plan standby entertainment for voting periods
A playlist of previous winning songs can be turned on when there’s a lag in on-screen proceedings, allowing for a sing-a-long. Guests may enjoy showcasing their own talents on a karaoke machine; ABBA hits are always popular. For an opportunity to impress with nuggets of historical knowledge, try creating a quiz using some of the curious facts and trivia accumulated since 1956 when Eurovision began. Drinking games are also a stalwart of the celebrations – just make sure the rules are as unexpected and entertaining as the contestants!
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