My favourite UK city has now become Liverpool. Well, that’s at least for this week. Such was the fun, excitement, love, welcome and enthusiasm of everyone when I joined the city at the start of its Eurovision celebrations.
it all started at Liverpool Lime Street station.
At the station
The train platforms were covered in signs of welcome with giant billboards full of Eurovision messages. Walking through the street you could feel the Eurovision fever everywhere. The official welcome volunteers were just as welcoming as their title and were so keen to chat to me and my Liverpool friend.
I was carrying a large European Union flag and we had pro Europe stickers and small flags to give out. Never have I seen such enthusiasm for them – people were queuing up to get a flag and sometimes even running after us. So many people were keen to be photographed with us – just to chat about Eurovision – and unfortunately how it has limited the ability of musicians to tour and earn money abroad, caused by losing freedom of movement.
At the docks
Eventually, after many photos and chats we managed to make our way onto the docks area, near the Eurovision arena. There were so many Eurovision fans milling around, impromptu music sessions happening and last year’s UK entry who came second, Sam Ryder was playing to a massive crowd on a street corner. The atmosphere was just electric!
The outfits of the audience were mind blowing in terms of creativity – all in the spirit of Eurovision! As we toured the area, the requests for flags and stickers became never ending, we were constantly being stopped. Everyone looked happy, with smiles that were so genuine. Office workers stopped us, they wanted flags for their windows even an armed police officer was keen to wear a badge. This was truly a city in love with Eurovision and Europe. The EU flags and the positive messages they give out, as well as the music united us. Music should have no borders.
A group of women in a bar opposite the venue put our small flags into their cocktails and even the bar had EU flags above the beer taps. We were invited to stay as long as we liked to shelter from the rain.
Support and welcome
I think our message of support for musicians everywhere in Europe was made very visible. We were shown such respect and given hospitality wherever we went. I felt that it’s fair to say Liverpool loves the EU and every fan coming for Eurovision from wherever in the world or the UK will receive a massive welcome. If it wasn’t for the train strikes, I would have stayed up for several days.
And now the big question is who is going to win? My personal favorite is Norway, but what’s yours?
Don’t forget to watch Saturday night BBC 1 from 8PM