Destinations

Up close and personal with Eurovision

Arlene Zelina

My Austrian adventure began before even touching down in the country, with Austrian Airlines flying me to the motherland.

My first moments in Vienna took me by surprise. It is one of the most magical places I have been to. The entire city is laced with history, culture and delicious traditional food. The people are so welcoming and the architecture is a designers dream.

Hosting both Eurovision and Life Ball in the same week meant that the atmosphere in the entire city was truly electric. It was incredibly inspiring and everyone seemed to be in a bubble of happiness.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when it came to the competition itself. I had seen it before but was never completely involved like I was this time around.

From the moment it began, I was in awe with the fluidity of the event, the production, the stage, lighting and the professionalism of everyone involved. It was perfectly seamless. Everyone was incredibly helpful, especially for the non-German speakers like myself.

From one act to the next, the backstage crew worked like a well-oiled machine. The performances were strong and every country brought something different to the show. From my previous experience, the atmosphere is relatively difficult to translate through the TV screen.

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So the stadium’s favorite performers seemed to be a little different to the viewers at home. Some of the crowd favorites in the stadium, such as Serbia, Israel and Spain, didn’t place as high as everyone thought.

The hosts, including last year’s winner Conchita, were so charismatic and did an incredible job of reminding people of what this competition was all about.

And of course, our very own Guy Sebastian did a remarkable job of representing Australia. We were so loved by Europe!

Reflecting on the entire event, the atmosphere was like nothing I had experienced before. There was so much happiness, excitement and love. Everyone really understood and embraced this years theme of building bridges through acceptance, support and unity.

This gave me a glimpse of how music and events such as Eurovision give humanity a tool to create a better place. Europe and Austria should rightly stand proud.

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