1683965672 Eurovision 2023 This was the Spanish Eurofans long road to

Eurovision 2023: This was the Spanish Eurofans’ long road to the collapsed and festive Liverpool

The road to Liverpool was not short for a group of Euro fans, social media stars and Spanish journalists who are set to travel to the British city this Friday morning. Their common goal is the Eurovision 2023 final, which takes place this Saturday at the M&S Bank Arena. But the collapse of the country’s transport system has left them stranded in Manchester longer than expected. Finding the train that would allow them to get to the festival venue on time was not easy. Quite ironic for a country chosen by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to organize a major musical event, given the impossibility of holding it in Ukraine, the winner of the previous edition, which is still resisting the Russian invasion performs.

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For weeks, the availability of planes that could fly direct from Madrid to Liverpool at a reasonable price was nil. No flight aggregator offered this opportunity. Manchester, its industrial neighbor some 55 kilometers away, was the alternative for many participants in the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. “I suppose they made my reservation too late…” replies laconically an influencer invited to the event by an alcoholic beverage brand from the seat of an Iberia plane taking off early Friday morning.

Aerial view of a Eurovision mural near Liverpool. Aerial view of a Eurovision mural near Liverpool. Christopher Furlong (Getty Images)

Alex and Miguel looked for their ticket a month ago. “Prices to Liverpool went through the roof so we came to Manchester from Barcelona,” they comment on a train that will take them to their final destination. The other stumbling block for travelers is a fresh wave of strikes that the country’s rail industry has called for May 12-13. This means that the train frequency will be extended to an hour, a time that some use to continue listening and commenting on this year’s 26 finalist songs.

The return of Íñigo and Ernesto next Monday, sharing the same car, will be even more complex: from Liverpool they will return to Manchester for a stopover in Lisbon before arriving in Madrid. “We only completed the trip last week when we found out we’d secured a ticket,” they argue. Although they claim not to have acquired them by reselling tickets for the final, they know that prices in this modality have now reached 1,200 euros, while the original prices ranged from 180 to 430 euros.

Back in Liverpool, the young volunteers who are spreading across the city to help the thousands of visitors wear blue and yellow in honor of Ukraine, the co-host country whose presence in the city, apart from a few artistic projects, that are distributed is very low through the most emblematic squares of the city. In fact, street goers sell Liverpool’s tourist treats. And this is also evident outside of the Eurovillage, which differs little from other open-air markets elsewhere. The museum district around the Stadtkai, in which the Liverpool Museum and a Maritime Museum are located in addition to a branch of the Tate, also benefits from the extraordinary influx of tourists.

Even the most seasoned veterans adapt to the circumstances. Yates, a quintessential English pub in central Queen Square, has been organizing drag karaoke sessions throughout the week and is already preparing a great showing of the finale on Saturday night.

A festival of this nature, which is estimated to attract an additional 50,000 visitors to Liverpool compared to previous years, will be fed from the budget put together by the host UK along with the rest of the Big Five (Spain, Germany, Italy and France) and sponsors. , such as Booking.com, one of the companies specializing in world travel, and the Spanish company Idealista. Between the British government and the host city authorities, they will contribute 13.5 million euros, the BBC said at the time.

Expert Favorites

After seeing all the candidates live during the two semi-finals broadcast this Tuesday and Thursday, the most professional fans are sure of their winner. According to the latest poll of Eurovisivos Cultural Association of Spain (AEV) members, Sweden, France and Spain are, in ascending order, the top three bets set to win this Saturday. They are a trio of “strong women with challenging voices and suggestions,” they explain from the organization.

Swede Loreen, a previous winner of the competition in 2012 and a big favorite according to betting shops, “did not disappoint in her tattoo-themed live performance in the first semi-final, although anyone who saw the rehearsals certifies that she did. “even better”, emphasizes the AEV. “We think her video clip production is quite capable of winning the festival, although she is outclassed by two other powerful women,” it said. France is one of them, because of “the elegance of its interpreter La Zarra, who captivates an audience with very different tastes, but is characterized by melodic simplicity and powerful lyrics in an amazing language,” he points out. His third option is Spain and Blanca Paloma, who will act just ahead of Sweden in eighth position.

Out of OGAE Spain (local branch of the General Organization of Eurovision Fans) also bet on Loreen and Sweden. “It has everything for itself: a good song, a voice that mesmerizes, known for a winning record and a spectacular staging, although it loses impact due to the reduction in stage size and stage ceiling. Eurovision requirements,” they comment from Association. In his announcements, Finland will receive the silver medal as its singer Käärijä has “won the sympathy of all of Europe”. His song is “a song with power and a staging that breaks new standards”. And his third option is exactly last year’s winner: Ukraine. “Europe continues to be sensitive to the question of the war it will wage, not to the same extent as in the previous edition, to fight for its representative Tvorchi to win the bronze medal.” an original staging”, they defend.

Eurovision fans in Liverpool city center ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest semi final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.  Picture date: Thursday May 11, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)Eurovision fans in Liverpool city center ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest semi final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday May 11, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)Peter Byrne – PA Images (PA Images via Getty Images)

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