You probably have noticed that my posting this Eurovision season has been a little sporadic, especially for someone who is so excited about traveling to ESC for the first time. Part of the reason for that is that I was starting to wonder. I know I love Eurovision, but I wasn’t so sure that Eurovision loved me back. I had originally hoped to be sporting a Press accreditation during my time in Malmö, but Roy and Matthias at ESC United wised me up on that score. With a small, relatively new blog like mine, I had no hope to be approved as accredited press. But there were other options. (Then started the misadventures.)
The Rest of the World Eurovision fanclub at OGAE constitutes fans from such farflung areas as South Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. The countries IN Eurovision that don’t have an official OGAE delegation also belong to this motley group. I was offered a chance to join the delegation of one of those official nations with no recognized fan club, Latvia. I would gladly have hung out with the Latvians and proudly waved their flag at the event, but due to some misdirections, I submitted my Fan accreditation applications before the Latvian head of delegation was prepared to pluck it out and approve it, and was denied. The official response from the EBU was that any fan from outside the Eurovision area could only be accredited if they were a college student working on a thesis or dissertation about Eurovision. When the Latvians asked me to find a way to reapply, my application was again denied, with the additional warning that denied applications would not be later approved under any circumstances. So I was starting to feel that the official stance toward fans in places like the US was not that we were actively disliked, but the contest is not aimed at us, so we were kind of irrelevant in the eyes of the EBU organizers.
My last opportunity to see Eurovision as anything more than a ticketed audience member was the recenty announced Euro Fan Pass, that carried quite a few of the benefits of accreditation. If approved, I would be allowed to watch rehearsals and shows on the big closed-circuit screens in the Euro Club, would be allowed into some of the official events and parties, and would also get the added benefit of free passage on the buses and trains throughout the Skåne region of southern Sweden. I really hoped to be approved, but since only 1000 would be given out to fans across the world, I wasn’t going to get my hopes up.
Today I was APPROVED! My trip to Denmark and Sweden a week from now takes on a whole new element when I can be a part of Eurovision both in front of and behind the scenes. Really looking forward to blogging from the unique and happy perspective of a Euro Fan passholder! My faith in Eurovision is restored, and stronger than ever!