Eurovision Weekend– This year’s Danish guest star DQ rocked the house for Eurovision fans last weekend in Berlin. From the very beginning of her show at Haus 13 of the Pfefferberg, the famous drag queen got the Eurovision fans in the hall from their seats and dance to “Drama Queen” and many other Eurovision party hits.
Eurovision enthusiasts from many different countries came to Berlin for the 4th edition of the Eurovision Weekend, which took place last weekend (17-19 July). Besides fans from Germany and this year’s partner country Denmark (OGAE Denmark), the organizers welcomed fans from Finland, Sweden, Norway, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel.
“This is what the Eurovision Weekend is all about: fans from all over Europe coming together to party and have fun,” said organizer Frank Lochthove
The 2015 Eurovision Weekend saw performances of Kirsten Siggaard (Denmark 1984, 1985, 1988), Ann Sophie (Germany 2015), DQ (Denmark 2007) plus the winner of this year’s Berlin Song Contest (BSC), Merlin Dietrich.
Kirsten Siggard, Ann Sophie and DQ with flowers; Frank, Salman © Eurovision Weekend Berlin
The first highlight of the Eurovision Weekend was, as usual, the Welcome Party on Friday night. For the official opening with Eurovision karaoke and dancefloor, the fans gathered this year at the “Sophienclub” close to Alexanderplatz. For the special evening, the organizers affectionately renamed the location as “Ann Sophien Club” to honour the German guest star of this year’s Eurovision Weekend. Ann Sophie happily baptized the club at the beginning of the night with a bottle of sparkling wine.
For the official opening, the Eurovision Weekend baton was passed from Frank Lochthove to representatives of all the four OGAE fanclubs who have been partner fanclubs of the Eurovision Weekend so far: Mika Behm (OGAE Finland), Daniel Dunkelman (OGAE Israel), Paul Marks-Jones (OGAE UK) and Jens Dahlgaard (OGAE Denmark). After that, fans could sing and dance to Eurovision tunes, with José as karaoke host and DJ Jay-T.
Saturday night, the fans were invited for the Grand Gala which took part on the beautifully decorated stage of Haus 13 at the Pfefferberg. This year, there was even a satellite stage in the middle of the audience which the artists could use for their performances.
José had again organized a high-quality “Fans sing for Fans Contest” with ten brilliant performances. Guest star DQ and José opened the show with a great rendering of “In a Moment Like This” (Denmark 2010) and then hosted the contest. The thrilling voting of international jurors and the audience was won by Alice from Sweden, who performed ‘Kärleken är‘ (Sweden 1998). Tim and Florian (singing ‘Grande amore’, Italy 2015, under the name of “Call Me Survivor”) came 2nd; Martin (‘One Thing I Should Have Done’, Cyprus 2015) came 3rd. As prizes, they all got tickets for this year’s Eurovision Cruise between Helsinki and Tallinn in September.
Next, Salman hosted the concert of our three Eurovision stars, which started with an entertaining performance by Danish legend Kirsten Siggaard. She sang the three songs she had performed at Eurovision together with Søren Bundgaard: ‘Det’ lige det’ (1984), ‘Sku’ du spørg’ fra no’en’ (1985) and ‘Ka’ du se hva’ jeg sa‘ (1988). She also presented two songs with which she did not win the Danish national final, ‘Sig det som det er‘ (1986) and ‘Farvel go tak’ (1987). The fans in the hall were excited to hear Kirsten sing the Danish entry of 1989, ‘Vi maler byen rød‘, and the UK winner ‘Puppet on a string‘. To show a different side, Kirsten also sang the Edith Piaf classic ‘Non, je ne regrette rien‘ with Danish lyrics. Finally, Kirsten and DQ together wonderfully performed the Norwegian winning entry ‘La det swinge‘.
After a small break, Salman welcomed Ann Sophie on stage. The German Eurovision act of 2015 won the hearts of the audience immediately with a strong performance of “Black Smoke”. She presented songs from her new album (‘Changing Lights‘, ‘Get Over Yourself‘) and her winning song from the club concert, ‘Jump the Gun‘. As a surprise for the Eurovision fans at the Gala, she performed ‘I am Yours‘, the Austrian entry of 2015. As encore, Ann Sophie sang ‘Black Smoke‘ again, inviting the fans to wave their arms along to the music.
So the crowd was in the party mood already to enjoy the third artist on stage, the famous Danish drag queen DQ. As soon as the first notes of ‘Drama Queen‘, DQ’s Eurovision entry of 2007, came from the loudspeakers, the fans stood up to dance and walk to the stage to see DQ in her original outfit from Helsinki. The singer had not only brought many Eurovision party hits to Berlin (‘La La Love’, ‘Energy’, ‘Glorious‘), but also several outfits that she changed very quickly between songs. So she performed ‘Only Teardrops’ in a nightgown resembling Emmelie de Forest; she sang ‘Every Way That I Can’ in an oriental outfit and changed into a black dress to present ‘Is It True?‘ DQ also delighted the fans with a Carola medley and gave a great rendering of the Greek winner ‘My Number One‘ together with José. After the concert, fans used the chance to take pictures with the artists while the party continued on the dancefloor of the Pfefferberg Pool Lounge until 4 am.
The Eurovision Weekend ended with the relaxing German-Danish brunch on Sunday at the Sonntagsclub. Like last year, the café was full and people enjoyed food, drinks and the performance of the winner of this year’s Berlin Song Contest, Merlin Dietrich. The BSC was established in 2014 by Kriss Rudolph, who was also on stage to tell a bit about the concept. The BSC works basically like the Eurovision Song Contest; instead of countries, the different neighbourhoods of Berlin compete with songs. Merlin Dietrich performed the song with which he won for Charlottenburg, “Flying out to Berlin”. Finally, Daniel’s Eurovision Quiz offered the chance to win two tickets for the concert of the queer Berlin choir Rosa Cavaliere. They will in autumn have a gala with Eurovision songs.
“Again the Eurovision Weekend was a big success,” says organizer Salman Tanzeem. “All the four artists of Saturday and Sunday told us how much they enjoyed being with us. DQ said that it was the best audience she ever had. We are already looking forward to next year’s Eurovision Weekend.”
Thanks to the Berlin Weekend crew for the review.