Support ESC Insight on Patreon

Every Fan Of Eurovision Is A True Fan Of Eurovision Written by on April 3, 2023

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the largest musical parties of the year. Ewan Spence hopes that it is a party for everyone who wants to join our community.

What does it mean to be a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest? As ‘Eurovision Fever’ builds in the United Kingdom ahead of Liverpool’s hosting of the Song Contest, more people are talking about the Contest, their love for the Contest, and how excited they are to get tickets when they decided to try and get into the Liverpool Arena.

It’s wonderful to see so many joining the community. But there’s also an undercurrent of gatekeeping and entitlement from parts of the community that these fans aren’t true fans because they haven’t lived and breathed their Contest for countless years, and tuning in on Saturday night doesn’t make them a true fan.

We must be better than that.

Enjoying Melodifestivalen (Photo: Alma Bengtsson, SVT)

Enjoying Melodifestivalen (Photo: Alma Bengtsson, SVT)

If Football Could Sing

Imagine if you loved the FA Cup. Imagine if once a year you watch a game of football, this thing you love, that you look forward to every May, that you invite friends over and have huge watch parties and celebrations and buntings… and imagine if the FA Cup Final was only game of football you knew about. Now imagine if someone told you that there was a Semi Final in the week before the  Final and you could watch more football if you wanted. And there were Quarter Finals, and heats, and a football competition that runs from September to May. And there were football games played in other countries.

As a football fan, you would be surprised, delighted, and eager to explore this amazing world.

Now imagine loving the FA Cup, organising the parties, and looking forward to May. And someone comes along and righteously declares that you are ‘not a good enough fan’ because you haven’t been following every moment of every game in the knock-out stages. Which makes you feel welcome? Which leaves a bad taste in your mouth and look for another sport to follow?

When people say that watching the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night is not enough, that only the true fans of the Song Contest watch outside of the Grand Final, and if you don’t know about any of the other activities then you aren’t really a fan… then the community becomes a little bit colder, a little bit more distant, and a little bit more elitist.

We can all be better than this.

Moscow Olimpisky, Home of Eurovision 2009 (Image: Ewan Spence)

Moscow Olimpisky, Home of Eurovision 2009 (Image: Ewan Spence)

The Streets Of Moscow

I remember attending my first Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. Before then I had watched the Song Contest since 1982, I saw the explosion of Lordi in metal forums ahead of the 2006 Contest, and one Halloween put together a “Eurovision Host” cosplay. Was I part of any of the Eurovision clubs, societies, or online forums? Not one. But I was a fan. And I was off to Moscow to cover the Contest for the theatrical newspaper The Stage; 2009 being the year Andrew Lloyd Weber was part of the UK delegation.

Walking through Moscow on my first day – naturally in my kilt – I was greeted by a thick Scottish accent shouting across the street “Who are you? You’re not from our crowd!” I had stumbled over a group of Scottish Eurovision fans, who proceeded to point out the stadium, guide me to the accreditation centre; basically, they welcomed me to the Contest with open arms.

I also met up with someone who had introduced herself to me in the comments section of The Stage’s Edinburgh Fringe blog. Sharleen Wright was attending her first Eurovision, flying in from Australia, and had a fan accreditation. We decided to start a blog and a podcast about the Song Contest.

It’s fair to say that without those two welcoming meetings, ESC Insight would not be here some fourteen years later.

Be Nice

Have you seen Käärijä’s live performance of  ‘Cha Cha Cha‘? No doubt many of you have, and it’s something rather special. At the same time, many more are going to experience that same moment of amazement when he takes to the stage in May. Fans fall in love with their favourites all the time. When it happens is immaterial, there’s nobody keeping track of who was ‘first’.

As a community, it is of vital importance that we should welcome everyone who loves the Eurovision Song Contest on that single night in May. They are the true fans. We should welcome those who experience the Semi Finals. They are the true fans. We should welcome everyone who have just discovered what a preview party is. They are the true fans. Even if someone hasn’t discovered any of these delights, let alone the National Final scene, then we should welcome them with open hearts and kind words,

No matter how we celebrate our passion, every fan is a true fan.

Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest.

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

Read more from this author...

You Can Support ESC Insight on Patreon

ESC Insight's Patreon page is now live; click here to see what it's all about, and how you can get involved and directly support our coverage of your Eurovision Song Contest.

If You Like This...

Have Your Say

Leave a Reply