Time to break out the scorecards, put on something sparkly, and stock up on European flags. The big finale of Eurovision, everyone’s favourite (and admittedly only) celebration of Europop jams, kitsch, and blatantly flamboyant idiosyncrasies, returns on May 13.
Instead of the typical “nul points,” Sam Ryder led the United Kingdom to second place last year, behind only the winning Ukrainian group, the Kalush Orchestra. The awards ceremony will take place in Liverpool this year due to the conflict in Ukraine, but Londoners won’t have to go far to catch all the action.
Many of London’s most popular parties have already sold out because it’s such a popular night out, so you’ll need to move fast to attend any of the events listed below. There are still tickets available for all of the listed events, plus a selection of excellent dining establishments also provide catering. An intelligent man once observed, “There’s not enough silliness in the world,” and Terry Wogan was that great man. A healthy dose of Eurovision keeps everything in check.
Felix le Freak’s Eurovision Party at Signature Brew Taproom
Since 2011, Signature Brew has been making great times. The brewery in Haggerston has always placed a strong emphasis on music, and the event space-cum-bar located directly off the canal is perfect for a Eurovision bash. Partygoers can expect “glitter, glam, cocktails, and the cheesiest tunes” at Felix le Freak’s (a former Drag Idol UK champion) Euro-banging event. This, then, covers the bases. It will be a ripper, what with the big game starting at eight and the DJ playing till 1 in the morning.
Eurovision Party at the Grand, Clapham Grand
Only a few regular tickets are left for the big event, but the early bird tickets, VIP tables, and boxes are all gone. The Eurovision final will be shown on the 25-foot cinema screen at the Clapham Grand beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a DJ set lasting until 2:00 a.m. The evening will get out with a massive lineup of drag artists on stage, setting the tone for raucous fun, outrageous costumes, and music. This is essential viewing for the most devoted fans or anybody looking to lighten the mood.
Boxpark Croydon, Eurovision showing with Club de Fromage
Cheese? Eurovision? Never! Club de Fromage is a legendary party where everyone dresses in cheese and sings along to classic rock while throwing confetti and having a wonderful time. The Eurovision party in Croydon’s Boxpark will have similar activities, live performances, crowd participation (whatever that may entail), and much more. Standard admission for £10 assures admittance, a drink, and (hopefully) a rousing party, while VIP table packages with food and beverages are still available.
Canteen Food Court, Ultimate Eurovision Party
What, you say, “back-to-back euro trash and pop bangers”? It is about right. Nights out on the town without spending money are like gold, and a full-fledged euro-fest is even more of a rarity. The Ultimate Eurovision Party looks to live up to its moniker since it costs nothing to reserve and has a free Eurovision raffle. Dress up; they might even give you a free drink if you show up. Get your sequins ready…
Arcade Food Court, Eurovision Show
Arcade Food Hall provides a refined, food-focused atmosphere for a more sophisticated event. Imagine a hall of vendors selling scorecards, flags, and excellent cuisine. But they will still have a good time: drag queen Karla Bear will host the event, and there will be beer towers and drinks to share while the screens around you broadcast the game in real time from Liverpool.
Big Penny Social and Massaoke Will Be Attending the Eurovision Song Contest
Although Scooch, Daz Sampson, and Joe and Jake aren’t necessarily charted toppers, they have solid Eurovision experience. All three groups have competed in the contest before (well, don’t ask how they performed), so they know how to get the Eurovision bash rolling. They will be singing at Big Penny Social, which is being sponsored by Massaoke, a company whose speciality is, as their name indicates, organizing large-scale karaoke events. In addition, there will be massive Eurovision Bingo, which is both ridiculous and amazing.
Skylight Tobacco Dock, Drag Bingo, and the Eurovision Finale
The brilliant conclusion of Europe’s most prominent (only?) pan-continental singing contest may be seen at the Skylight at Tobacco Dock, an excellent hangout for this purpose. Fabulous drag queen hosts, Eurovision bingo, and the primary event screening must work for camp lovers. The best fancy dress will win prizes, making this the ideal time to let free and get into the day’s spirit (or night, since the party lasts until midnight).
Watch the Eurovision Song Contest Live at Everyman Theatres
Everyman Cinema, one of the more chill Eurovision options around town, will be showing the competition at many theatres in London. The screenings on the big night are available in Borough Yards, Broadgate, Kings Cross, and Chelsea, and they promote dressing up, keeping score, and singing along. We need less of the camp Euro-blowout and more of the serene composure to take in the evening’s grandeur.
Savage Garden’s Eurovision Hottie Brunch
There will be people who wish to spend all day basking in the glitz and glamour of Eurovision. The Bitchin’ Brunch at Savage Garden provides a welcome noon break and much more for any lengthy session attendees. A two-course bottomless brunch (lighter sharing plates of smoked salmon with “savage” eggs benedict to follow) will accompany two hours of drag acts with a Eurovision theme.
Grand Finale of Eurovision, Live from the Barbican
A viewing of Europe’s favourite yearly camp competition amid the more severe surroundings of the Barbican may be the most relaxed adult event of all the Eurovision parties around town. Although it won’t be a complete takeover, guests can watch the concert in peace and quiet from the comfort of a specially designed cinema room as it is broadcast live from an arena in Liverpool.
Eurovision Party at Top Hat’s Restaurant and Bar
This brilliant Eurovision party is paying tribute to Ukraine’s victory in last year’s competition by offering a new cocktail inspired by the country’s national drink and donating a portion of ticket sales to a conflict relief organization. Amid all the glitter and celebration, it’s easy to lose sight of the sad occasion for which this group has travelled to the United Kingdom. The Eurovision viewing party is being held in the appropriately called Top Hat Bar and restaurant, which gets its name from the life-size Monopoly board situated next.
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