The Eurovision Song Contest has been held annually since 1956; it is one of the longest-running television programs in the world and is watched by millions of people every year.
The contest brings together singers and performers from all over Europe to compete in a musical extravaganza that has captured the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide.
Hosting a Eurovision watch party is an excellent way to bring friends and family together to celebrate one of the most popular television events of the year. You might have left it to the last minute, but never fear: you can throw a great party together at short notice at low cost.
In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to hosting a Eurovision watch party – with extra tips and tricks from a Eurovision superfan – that will be remembered for years to come!
Step 1. Set the date and invite your guests
The first step in hosting a Eurovision watch party is to select the venue.
Do you want an intimate affair with a few close friends in your living room, or are you hoping to throw a bigger bash involving hiring a venue? If you want to hire a venue, you’ll need to get booking ASAP!
Next, set the date for the event. The most logical choice is the night of the Eurovision final, which is on Saturday 13th May 2023, so you can watch live. If that’s really not possible, you might like to plan it for the following day (Sunday) to try to minimise the chance your guests will have the winner spoiled for them!
Next, you should start inviting your guests. You can use social media (perhaps setting up a Facebook group or a group chat) or email, or you might prefer to send out paper invitations to ensure that everyone knows when and where the event will take place.
Your invitations should make the dress code for the event (if you decide to have one) very clear. You could request fancy dress (famous characters from assigned nations is a fun one, as is former Eurovision acts!) or ask guests to dress up to the nines to embrace the glamour of the contest.
You may also like to get your guests in the mood by inviting them to a pre-Eurovision event! Many of these events are in and around Liverpool as the host city, but make sure you keep an eye out for local events, too: the UK’s hosting of the contest is a big deal and you may be surprised how many Eurovision fans want to celebrate it!
- If you happen to be in the Liverpool area, they’re hosting a multitude of events in the month leading up to the contest to celebrate it visiting their city: from art exhibitions to rave parties, there’s truly something planned to suit every taste!
- You’ll need to hurry if you want to attend the London Eurovision party on the 16th April. Tickets are sold out, but you can join a waiting list and snag cancelled tickets or be notified of a new ticket drop.
- If you’re in London the weekend before the contest (Saturday 7th May), you could attend the amazing drag brunch The Best of Eurovision, hosted by the inimitable Wilma Ballsdrop. Warning: this is DEFINITELY an 18+ event!
- Flight Club are hosting Eurovision Brunch socials all over the UK on the day of the competition (13th May). Nothing will get you in the mood for the contest more!
- If you’re an avid reader, you may like to check out the Hay Festival’s Eurovision book contest: they’re taking nominations for the best books to come out of the 37 participating countries. Perfect for immersing yourself in the competing cultures!
- Should you choose to avoid hosting a party of your own, cities all over the UK are screening the contest at major locations! Perfect if your idea of heaven is getting lost in the crowd, though wrap up warm as some of the screenings are outdoors. If the idea of the outdoors leaves you cold, but you like the idea of the camaraderie, over 500 cinema screens UK-wide are screening the grand final!
Step 2: Plan the menu
A Eurovision watch party is incomplete without delicious food and drink.
You can opt for a potluck-style meal, where everyone brings a dish to share, or you can plan a more elaborate menu yourself, depending on how capable you are in the kitchen!
Either way, a buffet is a good idea because it means people can keep coming back to it all night and eat at their own pace… plus it ensures you’re not slaving away in the kitchen and missing all the fun!
Traditionally, hosts serve popular dishes from the nations competing; this may include Swedish meatballs, Spanish paella, French crepes, or Italian pizza. If you wanted to try the pot-luck approach, you could assign a country to each guest and challenge them to bring two or three popular food items from that country along with them.
The website Mission Eurovision features some amazing recipes for food and drink which fit the theme.
Step 3: Decorate your home
To create a special festive atmosphere, you may want to decorate your venue. An obvious choice for decoration would be to hang flags from the competing nations around the room, representing the competitors and the ideal of unity that Eurovision aims to bring about.
Eurovision is all about glitz and glamour, so you might like to select balloons, banners, or tableware with a bit of sparkle! You can’t really be too over the top when it comes to Eurovision, so you can feel free to go a bit wild with the décor. Disco balls and confetti ahoy!
You might also like to create a Eurovision photo booth where guests can take pictures with Eurovision props such as microphones, sequined jackets or glittery hats. You can buy inflatable props and costume items relatively cheaply on sites like Amazon and eBay, or you could ask guests to bring along the jazziest items they own to crowdsource the props!
Step 4: Plan your Eurovision party games
The Eurovision Song Contest is all about having fun, and what party is complete without a few games?
Firstly, it’s essential for any real Eurovision party to allow your guests to award their own scores to the performances!
So we’ve created a Eurovision scorecard that guests can use to keep track of the performances, allowing them to award points for different categories such as the best song, best costume, or best performance. Download our scorecard pdf file and print it out for your guests!
We also strongly recommend playing along with our free and customisable Eurovision bingo card as you watch! The entries on our Eurovision bingo card are superfan-approved, but you can add anything you like and either print off the cards for your guests or send out the link and play on your phones as you go.
With TikTok officially a partner of Eurovision this year, another fun game to play might be guessing which song will go viral on TikTok after the contest! Each guest can pick the one song they think has the most viral potential and enter their answer on their scoresheet. A month after the contest, you can go back and check if anyone guessed right!
Step 5: Create a Eurovision playlist
To ensure the atmosphere is kept cheerful all night long, you could create a Eurovision playlist with some of the most popular songs from past competitions. This is a great way to keep the party going during breaks in the competition, or to get everyone in the Eurovision spirit before the event starts.
We suggest your song selections include classics like ABBA, Katrina and the Waves and Celine Dion, but not forgetting to sprinkle in some of the more unusual winners and entries over the years (who can forget Lordi’s winning song, Hard Rock Hallelujah?!)
Step 6: Set up the viewing area
Make sure you have a comfortable viewing area for your guests, with lots of chairs and a clear view of the action on a big-screen TV or projector. You could also set up additional screens around the room to ensure that everyone has a good view of the stage.
If you have a large group of guests, you may even want to consider setting up multiple viewing areas to accommodate everyone. You might need to borrow some extra chairs or cushions to ensure everyone can sit comfortably, as the contest runs for quite a long time and you want your guests to be able to focus!
It might be handy to share the rules of Eurovision with any guests who may not be familiar with them beforehand to help them follow proceedings seamlessly. We’ve provided a short summary here that you might like to provide guests with:
Step 7: Have fun!
Most importantly, make sure you have fun and enjoy the Eurovision watch party with your guests. This is a great opportunity to celebrate European culture, music, and friendship, so make sure you relax, let loose, and have a great time!
In conclusion, hosting a Eurovision watch party is a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can create an event that will bring together friends and family for a night of music, food, and fun. So get ready to sing along, dance, and cheer on your favorite performers – Eurovision is coming!