I remember the 18th March 2020 vividly. In the same way, the night also feels like one long continuous blur. Sure, I remember dancing around my room to “Story of my life” thinking, hey, Ireland might have a chance- but I only have fragments of that memory. And yes, I remember thinking I should be sleeping, but I wasn’t- and trust me, I wish I did. But for the most part, those two clear memories were all I remember of that night.
And then of course, around about 12:41 am, 19th March 2020, I opened Instagram. And I saw it.
“It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.”
What came after was two hours of sobbing silently in my room at 1am, trying not to wake people up. It was the moment I realised COVID-19 was serious, that it would define the whole year. That- for lack of better word- we truly lived in unprecedented times. No one knew when we would get Eurovision again- or what would even happen in the original broadcast slot. It was truly a time of uncertainty for everyone.
How has the cancellation of 2020 affected Post Eurovision Depression in 2021.
There is no doubt about it for me, the post Eurovision depression is worse this year. Everything had been such a big build up to 2021 – 2 years of waiting, anticipation and hype. So when it was over and Italy were reprising their winning entry, I was like “huh, that happened”. It almost felt like I was waking up from a weird, long and beautiful dream. For some countries, such as Ukraine, Iceland and my own country, Australia, we were letting go of artists who we had been following on their Eurovision journeys for almost two years. It felt more like closing the chapter that was opened after Duncan’s win in 2019 than Europe: Shine a Light ever did.
One thing I almost instantly noticed since the grand final is the fact that last year, even with all the uncertainty, we were getting news left right and centre. We didn’t have the traditional off season that we normally got. There was news of who would return and who wouldn’t all year round. As soon as 2020 was cancelled, the rumours begun. We had many replacements shows. We wondered who’d return and who wouldn’t. Furthermore, we even got a movie based around Eurovision to tide us over for a bit. In this way, the radio silence that we are getting now feels almost foreign- the rumours more uncertain. At least last year, we already knew some artists and some broadcasters didn’t hesitate before resending their cancelled artists. Now, we just don’t know.
How to keep Eurovision spirit all year round and defeat Post Eurovision Depression
There is nothing we can do to change the fact that Eurovision 2021 is finished. However, we can speed up the process between now and FiK. And who says Eurovision is just a May thing? So, with that, here’s some things that helped me with the cancellation last year, and that I’ll be using to help me with, what is hopefully, a very quick off season. Pre-warning- this list is mainly how I do it, which is the full in, no thoughts, just Eurovision method. If you think that doing stuff asides from the contest is the best way to combat post Eurovision depression, then this may not be the list for you.
Find your people
First and foremost, this really helped me, but join group chats! Make friends that have the same interests. Many of these activities that follow imply that you have friends that you can come together and share the moment with. However, some can be done alone (because it IS okay to dance alone.) Join communities, say hi, don’t be afraid to reach out to people. If you see an opportunity to join a group chat or a discord, do it and try and find your tribe. Joining my group chat was a risk, but it was one of the best things I could have done to combat post Eurovision depression in the off season. The memories I made there are priceless and have kept the spirit of the contest going all year round.
Try and get people to #joinus
You can recruit new meat and try to get your family and friends into the contest. Firstly, to do this you need to know their tastes and what might rope them into Eurovision. For example, don’t show them Silvia Night if they are more of a ballad fan. Or you can show them a whole year and have them guess where each song ranked. Good starter years are 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2021. 2009 has the right amount of wacky and serious with an iconic winner. 2012 has an iconic winner and the songs have good production value (and you get the grandmas baking bread). Finally, 2016 and 2021 are both just high-quality years all round. However, I would hold off showing Love Love Peace Peace until said initiate is more familiar with the contest, as they won’t get the references.
Have a night in
Re-watch old contests! I know this seems obvious, but it’s very fun. For example, you rediscover songs you forgot about. That, or you find something to like about a song you thought you disliked. Furthermore, it’s a good excuse to watch some of the vintage contests that you may have looked past before. With vintage contests, try not to look up the results (even if you may know a few here and there). This way, you can predict where each song may have come (unless you are me, and desperately need the running order for some unknown reason.) Alternately, you can re watch NF- anything your mind wants to watch, you can probably find it.
In the same vein, once you have re watched an old contest, you can do a ranking of the contest- with your friends, or you can rejig your own personal ranking. It’s always good to look at things with a new set of eyes and see how maybe your personal taste has changed since the contest aired. Find out who truly should have won 1969.
Rank (but this time, theres no theme to it!)
Something I like to do is random rankings. To do this, you go onto ESC radio. This can be done alone, or with friends. What you do is grab out a sheet of paper and rank the first twenty or so songs that come on. When you have done that, you then convert your scores to the official 1,2,3,4…8,10,12 system. Then, combine the score with your friends’ scores to create a completely random ranking. Sometimes I do this with rules- no foreign language versions of songs (e.g. Dutch Ein Bisschen Frieden), no NF songs (e.g. Witch Woods by Emmy), and no non ESC songs from ESC competitors (e.g. Stars by Duncan Laurence). There may be no theme to the ranking, but it’s always interesting to see the results.
Support some of your favourites!
Find an ESC artist you like but haven’t checked out their other music and listen to one of their albums. You don’t need to rank it or anything (I mean if you like to review things you can). Grab some tea or a nice drink, sit outside, and enjoy the vibes. Who knows? You might find your new favourite song.
Join an online contest. There are a few on Facebook- it’s fun to go out and pick a song you like to share with others (and hope they like it). Once everyone that wants to compete has sent a song you all listen to them all, send in your votes and wait for the results and hope you don’t flop. They’re just as fun as the real thing, you discover cool songs, and some even have themes (such as only sending songs in certain languages)! They’re also a great place to make friends and are more than certain to tide one over until FiK.
So yes. It can be done. Whether it’s from having a mini concert while cooking pasta, or re watches with friends, the big scary beast that is Post Eurovision Depression can be defeated. As well as this, the Eurovision mood will be set all year round. Before you know it, it will be time for Måneskin to hand over the microphone before you know it.
What do you do in off season? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. Don’t forget to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo source: EBU / Andres Putting