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On the Streets at Eurovision

RainbowIn Australia Eurovision is a night in front of the television watching the performances and commenting on the outrageous costumes and dance routines. In Copenhagen the competition has taken over the whole city.

As you walk into the arrivals hall at Copenhagen airport you are dropped in t the world of Eurovision. A giant red carpet greets all arriving passengers, there is a massive crowd, people are wearing crazy wigs and there is a rock concert in progress.

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The Olsen Brothers, who won Eurovision back in 2000, are here giving a rousing rendition of The Beach Boys ‘Barbara Ann’ before launching into their Eurovision hit ‘Fly on the Wings of Love’.

A short train ride and you’re in the centre of Copenhagen. Eurovision is everywhere.

The square next to the town hall has recently been renamed Rainbow Square, creating a permanent space to recognise the importance of Denmark’s LGBT community. During Eurovision it’s the home of Eurovicious, a space for extra queer partying, as if the competition itself wasn’t enough? Dj’s play supe camp tunes, stalls sell a variety of Eurovision and rainbow goods and people are sitting around drinking beer and meeting people from all over the world, even though it’s quite cold and grey.

AirportThe centre of town features the Eurovision walk, a mile long mall that features banners with the names of the recently voted top 10 Eurovision songs of all time. The Olsen Brothers are named, alongside my personal favourite, ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ by Brotherhood of Man that won the competition for the United Kingdom in 1976. The all time favourite is ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’ which this year celebrates it’s 40th anniversary.

A giant stage in the centre of the city has a rotation of performers from previous years and special performances from this year’s contestants. Dubbed the Eurovision Village, it’s a meeting place for people from all over the world.

Earlier in the day the Danish AIDS Council had staged an attempted to break the record for the world’s longest kissing chain.

On the stage singers are recalling the many previous submissions that Russia has had in the competition. Tomorrow Irish singer Johnny Logan, one of the few people to win multiple Eurovision’s is set to perform.

Every way you look it’s Eurovision, People walk along dressed in the colours of their country’s flag, kids have the Eurovision logo painted on their faces, people keep launching into song, and on occasions yodels.

After a brief shower of rain, a giant rainbow appears over the city, without doubt the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen. I’m quite convinced it’s linked to level of queerness going on below.

Watch the Eurovision final on SBS this weekend!

Graeme Watson

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