Good morning Oneuropeans! What’s this? I’m in the press centre before 9.30am! What’s happened to my hectic party schedule? Well, I was knackered, to be brutally frank, and went home early, though not before I’d given some good glad-handing at the Nordic soiree.
A full day of rehearsals yesterday, then I popped back to the hotel before heading to the Nordic performances at the Eurovision Village. It’s big, and it was busy. This is definitely the most well-attended Eurovision Village I’ve ever seen. It was busy with locals and fans alike last night, and had a pleasing array of beer bars and stalls. It’s slap in the main drag Kreshchatik Street which is fenced off and pedestrianised. It must be quite an upheaval to Kyiv, similar to shutting down a section of Oxford Street for two weeks, should the Contest ever return to London.
Playing to the crowd were the Nordic acts: I saw Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Estonia (Sweden was on when I was coming through the tight security). The stage is huge, and even has a catwalk, and camera crew relaying the action further back on a big screen. It felt like a great atmosphere. Kyiv is really showing us it can compete with the recent Contests in western Europe. They’re making a great job of it so far.
Afterwards it was on to the Nordic party, a reception in the Premier Palace hotel. The Dutch had held a rooftop reception there earlier that evening, though even I couldn’t squeeze that in with everything else going on. There weren’t any planned performances but several of the artists gathered for an impromptu jam in the corner, Robin Bengtsson strumming a guitar. It was a bit too quiet to hear really, but by then the hospitality had been exceptionally generous, so who cares?
I chatted to Agnese from Triana Park, who as ever had an interesting get up on. We played a guessing game as to how many suitcases she’d brought. I forget the answer but she indicated the dimensions of her packing cases to be of considerable volume. I’d hate to see her excess baggage charge. She was a little disappointed that rehearsal footage means she can’t keep her stage outfit a secret. I also chatted to Koit and Laura from Estonia, the former surprising my friend Juha by speaking perfect Finnish, the latter dressed as a pale salmon shower puff.
One drink in the EuroClub, which had been hosting the Wiwiblogs Party, then home, to be up with the cock this morning. It’s our last early morning, except for when I head to Chernobyl on Wednesday, so some much-needed lie-ins to come. Now, time for some Ukrainian rock to start the day – O.Torvald are up first.