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Eurovision for the un-accredited Written by on April 27, 2011 | 4 Comments

As the Eurovision events in Dusseldorf kick off this weekend, thousands of press, websites and fans will start to descend upon the host city. Sure enough, many of those there for the whole two “Euroweeks” will be there to specific write and provide coverage to the rehearsals, press conferences and parties, many people do not get such a privilege. So what is there to actually do in Dusseldorf beyond attend the two semi finals and jury final and final? ESC Insight lets you in on where the fun is to be had…

Airport Grand Prix

Taking Eurovision exposure to a whole new level, if you are stepping off the plane on 1st May, you will experience a very special event – the Eurovision Airport Grand Prix.

From 11.00 am till 7.00 pm on Sunday 1st May, the Airport Arcades invite you to a first-class music competition where thirteen formations, selected by the German A Cappella team, will be displaying their skills at the Airport Grand Prix and taking the audience on a flight through the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.

As with the well-known European music competition, their performances will be given one, eight, ten or twelve points – awarded by a jury of five who will be using their expert ears and eyes to evaluate the performances.

Eurovision Song Contest stars Lys Assia and Nicole will be taking part as star guests.


In 2011 the Eurocafe venue, a place for fans to gather over a bite or drink to discuss Eurovision and make new friends, will be hosted in the same venue as the Euroclub, an accreditation only venue this year. It will be held in Quartier Bohème, a large venue able to host up to 1200 people, based in the Altstadt (Old Town).

Eurocafe will be open to all people between 11am – 6pm, and after that time it will switch and reset its configuration for the evening Euroclub. Eurocafe has a varied and reasonably priced food and drink menu making it the perfect lunch spot, and will be playing Eurovision music throughout the day.

There shall be a special information desk set up inside the Eurocafe which will be staffed by fans to answer your questions, as well as special meet and greet sessions with acts there, which will be announced on a daily basis. We are also led to believe that it is here a limited number of tickets will be granted to fans to access the Euroclub on any given evening (the number of which will vary depending on the scheduled event of the nights).

In addition, for those who are members of Eurovision OGAE, the Eurovision fanclubs, the Euroclub will be open to those holding fanclub cards on the evenings of 6 & 7 May. On those evenings, OGAE Germany has organised for many of this years acts to perform on stage. Further information is available at

The Eurocafe / Euroclub

The Eurocafe / Euroclub

Euro Dance Nights

For those that want to boogie in the late evenings to your favourite Eurovision tunes, Monkey Bar is where it is at, located near the Ko on Graf-Adolf-Plasse. From 10.30pm, at a cost of 5 Euro for entry, OGAE Germany will be hosting a Eurovision music only nightclub. It will feature the best Eurovision DJs between Sunday 8 May till Friday 13 May until the wee hours of the morning.

More information on the Eurovision Nights can be found at The Monkey’s Plaza website.

Eurovision Drinking

If you are after a more chilled out place to hang amongst fans in the evening, the beer garden of Knoten may be the spot for you. It will play Eurovision music at a lower level, and you can take advantage of the cheap beer and outside smoking area, allowing fans to chat from 5pm every day of the Euroweeks.

Its located near Burgplatz, where last years flashmob in Germany was filmed, and it will also play host to outdoor screenings of both semi finals and the final for those of you who do not have tickets.

For how to get there and to keep informed of any special events, visit

Grand Prix Classics

Remember the good old days when orchestras played all our Eurovision favourites and the artists sung along live? Well, those days are returning – at least for one night. Taking place on 11th May at the Tonhalle, you can catch Katja Ebstein, Johnny Logan, Mary Roos, Nino de Angelo, Guildo Horn and Ingrid Peters sing their own Eurovision contributions as well as many other classics. You can even vote for your favourite act of the night via televote. Will Mr Logan remain Australia’s Mr Eurovision?

Tickets are available .

Tonhalle, by Adaptor-Plug (Flickr, CC)

Tonhalle, by Adaptor-Plug (Flickr, CC)

All aboard the Euroboat!

On 13th May, the evening before the Eurovision final, the MS RheinFantasie, welcomes all who are enthusiastic about the ESC on the Euroboat.

On three decks on board, live you can see performances by Nicki French from the UK (ESC appearance in 2000), Igor Krukov from Croatia (ESC appearance in 2009) and the group WIND from Germany (ESC appearances in 1985, ’87 and ’92, 2nd place in the year 1985 and 1987). DJ Ohrmeister shall be Djing on board following the performances.

Tickets are available at Eventqube, starting at 25 Euros.

Eurovision Village

Just like Oslo, a special Eurovision fan area has been organised for central Dusseldorf to showcase not only the artists, but the nations that form part of Dusseldorfs cultural hub. Located at Johannes-Rau-Platz, the public square will play host to national parties such as a Greek Day, and will feature a stage from 10th May to bring locals a taste of the music and screen the semi finals and final publically.

All the events are listed at the Dusseldorf Tourism website’s Eurovision section.

About The Author: Sharleen Wright

Sharleen Wright is the co-founder of ESC Insight and a freelance journalist and researcher. She has previously worked for numerous community radio stations in Sydney Australia, and contributed to the wider world of comedy holding production and promotions roles at both the Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her written words have appeared online, as well as The List magazine, and numerous fanzines on the topics of television and specifically, Eurovision . She is currently based in Australia and undertaking research on food and event tourism. You can follow Sharleen on Twitter (@sharly77) and Facebook (

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4 responses to “Eurovision for the un-accredited”

  1. PJ says:

    Great article! Looks like it’s going to be a packed two weeks! Looking forward to it! 🙂

  2. David says:

    Plenty to do. I went to my first (and until this year) only ESC in 2003 as an Unaccredited person and had a great time!

  3. Michael says:

    I wonder if the Euroclub is really going to be restricted to keep out OGAE members who aren’t accredited. As an US-resident OGAE UK member, I’m not eligible for “F” accreditation because I don’t have a national broadcaster to approve my application. The past two years, the EBU and the host broadcaster have always threatened to close down to Euroclub to accredited people only, but after outcry from the OGAEs, they backed down. (In Oslo, a woman in front of me at the entrance to the Euroclub was hunting through her purse for something with five or so people gathered around her when the bouncer saw me holding my OGAE ID card and said, “You! In!” and waved me inside.)
    Making the OGAE nights so early in the Euroweeks means that the only OGAE members that will be there are accredited fans and press anyway, because no one else will bother to get to Dusseldorf that early when they can’t get into the arena or most of the parties and there isn’t that much to do in the area. Close it down on event nights, sure, that’s fair. But either open up “F” accreditation to more than two or so per country or allow in the OGAEs.

  4. Sharleen says:

    Michael, just to reply, you are able to apply for “F” accreditation – you would qualify as a international and not have to be approved by a broadcaster but the EBU directly. I have been approved with an “F” accreditation for 2 years despite being Australian. And I’ve known a number of people living in New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, Australia and indeed the US who have received “F” accreditation before and this year.

    There is certainly an argument for more “F” accreditations to be given, but I guess thats something for the EBU to investigate about how many, what access, etc when they already accommodate 2500 press in the same facilities through the Euroweeks.

    Both Oslo and Moscow gave access to OGAE members at the Euroclub freely (with exception of party nights when it even some accredited people were rejected without invites). The word we have received is that Germany will be stricter as to control numbers inside the Euroclub which only holds 1200 people.

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