Eurovision fans in Liverpool reveal who they’re tipping to win – and why contest beats any coronation

Collage showing three Eurovision fan: one in a pink frilly dress, one in double denim and a pink t-shirt and one in a hot pink wig and matching top

Those who have made it to Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest can’t quite believe their luck.

The city is overrun with people wrapped in flags, many of them Union Jacks. Glittery, sequinned costumes are the order of the day. There’s a feeling of excitement in the air as Liverpool braces to host the Grand Final on Saturday (13 May) – guaranteed to be one of the weirdest, wildest and queerest nights of the year.

Speaking to fans and locals around the city, there’s a sense that many never expected to see the wackiness of Eurovision on home turf ever again.

But fans are also keenly aware of the fact this wouldn’t be happening were it not for the war in Ukraine. The city is decked out in blue and yellow as a constant reminder to Eurovision fans that this year’s contest has a deeper meaning.

Self-described Eurovision fanatics Rai and Zoe were at the first semi-final on Tuesday night (9 May), where they saw Sweden’s Loreen and Finland’s Käärijä hold the audience in an iron-like grip.

Rai and Zoe in Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest. (PinkNews)

“Our friends back home aren’t as into it as we are – we’re really big Eurovision fans,” Rai laughs. “Being here amongst the community where everyone else is just as into it is incredible.”

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Like so many other Eurovision fans, Rai is rooting for Finland’s entry – a high-energy, camp extravaganza.

“The crowd reaction to him is just incredible, I think he’s really in with a chance of potentially dethroning the queen Loreen,” Rai says. 

Meanwhile, Zoe is rooting for Serbia’s Luke Black. “I think he’s amazing. I love the message, I love the vibe.

“Also, Alessandra from Norway. She gets my heart pumping,” Zoe laughs.

Even beyond the music, Rai and Zoe are just excited to be a part of an event that’s widely seen as a bastion of LGBTQ+ inclusivity. It feels like a warm, welcoming space.

“It’s very unashamed and that’s a huge part of Pride in general,” Rai says. “I’ve been walking around all weekend in quite feminine presenting clothing which I’d never do back home because you’d be worried you might face repercussions for that.

“Everyone is in the same boat and everyone is here for the same thing, and that’s kind of the same as a Pride parade – you can just be yourself completely.” 

Eurovision in Liverpool gives queer people joy in the face of adversity

Sarah, from Edinburgh, and Lucy, from Bristol, are self-described “huge fans” of the Eurovision Song Contest.

“I could show you the video of when we almost won last year – it was ridiculous, the level of excitement at the idea that it could be here,” Sarah says. 

Lucy (L) and Sarah (R) in Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Lucy (L) and Sarah (R) in Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest. (PinkNews)

“It’s just so joyful – everyone’s walking around, everyone’s so welcoming, it really brings that joy to the UK – especially at a time when there’s so much s**t going on.

“The ridiculousness of the coronation compared to the joy here – this is for everybody whereas that was a party that wasn’t for everyone, so this is really nice.” 

They’re also excited to be part of an event where queerness is front and centre.

“If you just watch the representation on stage, everyone’s owning their own identity and not apologising for it. I think that’s really important,” Lucy says.

Carley and Kara, both students in Liverpool, are working on Saturday evening when the Eurovision Grand Final takes place – but that hasn’t stopped them from soaking in the atmosphere.

Carley and Kara, university students in Liverpool, share their thoughts on the Eurovision Song Contest. (PinkNews)

“It’s been crazy. We get the bus into town every day and it’s just so much more lively, there’s colour everywhere. Everything seems cleaner now,” Kara laughs.

“Everyone’s in a very good mood – it’s definitely helping the businesses,” Carley adds. “It’s nice to hear loads of different accents too. It’s usually just England but there’s loads of different nationalities here at the moment.” 

Jamie, from London, is bringing colour in spades to Eurovision this year – and it’s safe to say the excitement is building as the grand final draws nearer.

“I love Liverpool, I have loads of friends here. It’s always super welcoming – they’re the nicest people. And to be able to get to Eurovision in two hours – what a dream!”

Jamie, a Eurovision fan, in Liverpool.
Jamie, a Eurovision fan, in Liverpool. (PinkNews)

Like most Eurovision fans, Jamie is glad to be part of something that’s so inclusive and welcoming.

“It means everything. In my day to day work and the friends that I keep and the way I live my life that’s really key to me. Having open arms to everyone, especially welcoming them to one of our own cities. 

“I’ve seen some of the most flamboyant outfits, everyone looks amazing. Everyone’s having the best time.”