Eurovision takes place on 10 May and this year it’s in Copenhagen — less Sarah Lund, more Sarah Harding. The UK’s entry is Molly Smitten-Downes, channelling Cher and Madonna and ditching the surname on stage. Can she erase the stain on the nation’s collective consciousness from two years of oldies-but-not-quite-goldies? Or do we just take the opportunity to down a shot whenever the Ukraine-Russia crisis plays itself out over the voting?
Get in the mood with these preview events. On 11 April at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern there are DJ sets and videos of all 37 entries in this year’s contest (advance tickets have sold out but get there early on the night to snap up limited £5 tickets on the door; if there’s space after 11pm entry goes up to £8).
The big London Eurovision Party at Cafe De Paris is on 13 April and features performances from Molly herself and other 2014 entrants, plus some contestants from previous years. Tickets are £28.12 including booking fee.
Douze Points will be trying to pick the winner at the New Bloomsbury Set on Marchmont Street in two semi-finals on 10 April and 24 April, followed by a grand final on 1 May. Answer questions between songs to bag a free drink, though you should have plenty of cash to spare as tickets are just £3 per event.
Be sure to book ahead for all of these as they’ll be popular.
The Phoenix Artist Club on Charing Cross Road is screening the show on the big screen, plus a quiz, themed menu and a free glass of bubbly to toast the winner. Take flags, banners and feel free to dress as your favourite country / competitor. Tickets £7.50.
The Nordic Bar on Newman Street in Fitzrovia is going all out with big three screens and a karaoke party once the contest is over until 2am. Expect there to be loud support for Scandinavian countries, so you might as well make yourself at home with a Ski Breeze cocktail or one of the 20 flavoured vodkas in stock. Contact the bar to reserve a space for you and your mates.
The winner for sheer number of screens is The Water Poet in Spitalfields: eight in total, including a projector screen in the main bar, the cinema downstairs and one in the garden, which will be transformed into a glitter bar for the night. Design a Eurovision 2014 poster using just clip art, word art and Paint to win free booze — email entries to charlotte-at-thewaterpoet.co.uk by 20 April.
Eurodisco takes over Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, which promises free shots the first time the UK gets awarded douze points. So you’d better hope Europe’s in a friendly mood. Expect games, live performances and DJ sets, or if you want to concentrate on the telly for a bit there’ll be a quiet room. Tickets £6 (early birds)/£7 (prebook)/£10 (on the door), prebook, from 6pm
Relive the Drama
This is the last year to see West End musical casts singing Eurovision hits, all for charity, in West End Eurovision late night at the Dominion Theatre on 22 May. You’ll be able to see performers from We Will Rock You before it closes for good, Once, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Phantom Of The Opera, The Bodyguard, The Book Of Mormon, The Commitments, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, plus Sonia and guest judges Graham Norton and Rylan. Tickets £25-£75.