Stockholm 2016 by Ronny Addamo – Australia
I didn’t think anything could top my Eurovision experience of 2015 in Vienna. It was my first year as a part of the OGAE ROW family, and wow, what an experience it was. So many friendly new people to enjoy my euro passion with.
My 2016 trip didn’t have the best start. Our flight was delayed landing in Doha, Qatar. With only a tiny 40 minute window of time to run from one end of the expansive airport to the other, disorganised security area, and drowsy from the 14 hour flight, things looked grim. However we managed to just make the flight. This stroke of luck carried on with us from that moment on,
Upon reaching Stockholm we quickly dumped our bags, ran into people we knew, and started enjoying some live performances in euro village. Then euro fan cafe. That remained pretty much what we did the entire week, when not at Eurovision itself. We organised a fan meet within the club at a lovely cafe, meeting some 23 members of our fan club. We also visited the Hard Rock Cafe for wiwijams concert, visited the abba museum with the club and had many boozy nights with our fellow members. Theres nothing I love more than meeting new people and I can’t count the number of new friends I made through that week. I can’t mention enough just how lucky I feel for being part of such a friendly and inclusive club.
Inclusive is the word I use when describing my experience at Eurovision this year. Stockholm, amalgamating the euro club and cafe was a stroke of genius. Everyone was welcome and the artists themselves wandered around the crowd with us, it was magic! I hope future years follow this lead.
My first Eurovision experience by Beth Hackley currently living in Hong KongAfter being fans for years, the stars finally aligned this year which meant that my husband Stuart and I were able to go to our first Eurovision!I had never been to Scandinavia before, and Stockholm was the perfect host city for my first Eurovision experience, not least, because Sweden is the home of ABBA (and who doesn’t love ABBA)!Of course, being in Stockholm, a visit to the ABBA museum was high on our list of tourist activities. We decided to catch the ferry to the museum so we could delight in the beautiful weather and the stunning sights of Stockholm on the way.The ABBA museum was absolutely wonderful – so well curated and such an extensive collection of ABBA memorabilia from around the world. Speaking of which, we were delighted to run into Roy at the “Ring Ring” exhibit, fresh from delivering his cache of ABBA collectables from South Africa – where we snapped this amazing photo!When people ask me what my first Eurovision experience was like, I tell them that it was like the Olympics – the same great vibe, friendly people and electric atmosphere in the air.I can’t wait for Ukraine in 2017!
Andy Mikheev recorded a little video of ABBA MUSEUM and the collection hand over to the head of the museum on Wednesday 11 May 2016.
We have another competition, but this unfortunately is only for R O W members who will be at the ABBA museum on Wednesday 11 May.
Two South African singers (and R O W members) have done ABBA medleys and these songs are now available on one CD. There are just 5 copies, one will be given to the museum and 4 others to R O W members who are at the museum that day. It will be a lucky draw so everybody who will be there – your name will be put into a hat and the first 4 names drawn, will get these medley singles. The songs on the medleys are
01 – Ring ring
02 – S O S
03 – Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
04 – Waterloo
05 – Thank you for the music
RIANA VAN WYK
01 – Take a chance on me
02 – Dancing queen
03 – Mamma mia
04 – Thank you for the music
Some members have suggested that we try and put all events in STOCKHOLM in one place so those going to Eurovision can see it instantly and plan their days in Stockholm according to that.
There will be events on a daily basis but as it will probably be just for people with accreditation, and won’t be available to the general members. So far there is also no details of any events although we can presume the after parties (after each semi final and final) will take place there. Although, if any country will have a party, it may happen in Euroclub.
EURO FAN CAFE
Once again there will be daily events and the OGAE party will probably be on the Wednesday evening (between the two semi finals) although no final details are available. There is also no news as yet of any other events in the cafe and what the cost will be to members. The moment details become available, we will share it with our members.
This is free to all in Stockholm, be it OGAE members or general public and there will be things happening – I think both Copenhagen and Vienna had a fairly big variety with some artists giving performances. Again no details are available.
SPECIFIC R O W EVENTS
OGAE R O W will have events aimed to show the variety of activities our members are involved in and we would like as many members will attend if their schedules permit. As these evants are organised by the club, we will give the details as soon as an event is finalized. But we can summarize some of the things we are planning
01 – OGAE R O W LUNCH
We have a team planning this and it looks at this stage to be on the Tuesday of semi final 1 and probably at HARD ROCK CAFE but it could change.
02 – HARD ROCK CAFE VISIT
If the lunch won’t take place at the Hard rock cafe, there will be an event arranged there to meet Richard Herrey as it is 95% sure we will cover Diggi loo before Stockholm and hand him a copy of it.
03 – OGAE R O W AWARD – SPECIAL MEMBER
The handing of the award to the 2015 special R O W member IAN FOWELL will be handed over in Stockholm. It can be done in private as Ian will probably working with me in the press center but I think this should be open to other R O W members because we will also announce that the award will continue for 2016.
04 – OGAE R O W AWARD – SWEDISH COMPOSER
This award was won by Thomas Gson and again, I can hand it to him anywhere but it seems they want to make it special with Swedish journalists present and also a radio journalist for a short interview. As Thomas will be there as the composer of the 2016 entry for Cyprus, the idea is that MINUS ONE should also attend so your members can meet them more personally.
05 – OGAE R O W TOP SONG FOR 2016
Of course we have no idea as yet which song R O W members will vote as their top song but we will award a medal to the artist and composer – again this can be done in the press center but we would like it to be accessible to our members and so we want to organize a special 10 minute event somewhere be it Euro fan cafe or wherever.
06 – HANDING OF COVER SONGS TO VARIOUS ARTISTS
A big part of the SA members activities are covering euro songs and melodifestival songs and we will negotiate with several artists to meet with them to hand them the covers. The whole idea is that these artists will be there for photo’s to be taken, autographs to be signed and also if the artists have CD’s to promote it and sell it to our members. Possible Swedish artists we hope to have are Jan Johansen. Mans Zelmerlow, Magnus Carlson, Carola, Charlotte etc.
07 – EUROVISION GROUP FROM A FEW YEARS AGO
Andy is busy organising with a Eurovision group of the recent past who will be in Stockholm and will perform our our members (if euro fan cafe will give them a spot)
08 – ABBA MUSEUM VISIT
I will visit the museum to hand them some unique items from South Africa. Now it probably will take plave during the morning of the Wednesday between the two semi finals. Now I am in contact with the museum and it seems possible that I can bring with me R O W members who also want to visit the museum and they will have something special for us. Now we will need how many people would like to attend and then the museum management and me will discuss possible things. If nobody wants to go, then I will go anyway.
09 – VISIT TO THE MAMMA MIA GREEK RESTAURANT OF BJORN
We could also look at taking a group of members to this event although I personally will not attend as I am not into Greek food but Andy is a big fan of MAMMA MIA show and he is quite eager to go.
Of course members can individually go to any event, it is always nice if we can do things as a group and if anybody has any suggestions of events we could also have, please contact us.