Bom dia, Oneuropeans! Tudo bem? It’s mid afternoon already and I’m afraid to say I’ve only just got up! I was up late, at the Eurovision Fan Café organised by OGAE Portugal. It was my first trip there after yesterday afternoon’s dress rehearsal and I had a most jolly night. But more of that in a moment.
Tonight’s semi final remains one of the most difficult to call for years; I’m none the wiser after seeing them back to back, so good luck to anyone trying to vote tonight. UK can vote in this one so please do give your favourites your support. Everything is going to count this year.
It’s a fast start to the show – no time lost to an expensive opening act, and the first song is on stage in about 5 minutes. That’s about a quarter of the time it took to get a beer last night but again, more of that later too.
Serviette of doom
If you’re still reading us here you’ll have been through all the individual rehearsals with us, so I won’t over egg your pudding song by song again. I will though attempt to provide you with my famous-last-words Serviette of Doom predictions. Here goes, in performance order:
Well. There you are then. I’m sure I’ll be as widely inaccurate as everyone else. I think it’s good going if anyone gets more than six right this year.
I love the nightlife
So, onto the nightlife. The Fan Café venue is terrific. It’s a little walk out of the centre, but only 20 minutes or so. It’s over two floors, the upstairs a lounge with a huge central oval bar and stage, and downstairs a more dance focussed space.
Our good chums at ESC Bubble had taken over the top floor, and had special guests including Suzy and Christabelle from Malta. (I think others were there too but flitting between one floor and another made it difficult to know what was happening, and as you’ll know I need to be seen everywhere.) Their party was great fun, and it’s nice to see Fan Sites hosting these events. A lot of work must have gone in to this so really well done to all the lovely team!
The venue has experienced some complaints: drinks are on the pricey side and at times it took forever to get served at the bar. The venue is one of Lisbon’s newest and trendiest and would definitely have benefitted from additional staff capacity as more people than they’ve probably ever had though the doors demanded to be refreshed. At €6 for a large beer it’s on a par with London bars, so didn’t feel overly expensive to me, though is for a Lisboeta and in comparison with the rest of the city.
OGAE Portugal are listening to this, and it’s great to see their social media responding so openly and promptly with measures to help address this. I really hope this does help as the venue is only going to get busier as the week goes on. It’s a superb space with a fantastic vibe, better than my brief experience of the EuroClub on Sunday, so I hope the rest of the week goes well for them.
If the adversity they’ve faced finding a venue and being dumped by them at the last minute before hurriedly arranging this one is true, then the team has done an excellent job of pulling this together and trying their best to accommodate as many people as possible. If you have been unlucky and not secured a weekly pass, do try for a day one, or get down to the freely open programme during the day; it’s definitely worth a visit.
Have a great first semi-final everyone! It’s going to be a blast!