Eurovision 2013: It's Malmo a Go-Go
Could this be the way many Copenhagen-based fans get to attend Eurovision 2013?
In a move which caused mass Photoshop-related consternation among fans who had spent the time the captions rolled on Baku 2012 creating logos for Stockholm 2013, Malmo has been confirmed as the host city for next year's Eurovision Song Contest by Swedish telly. I'm quite chuffed as, in 1992, Malmo was the setting for the Contest which made me a fan so it will be nice to see how the old place is getting on (as well as ensuring they don't use that horrific brush script font they use on 'Talent Night Down the Social' posters for the song title captions again).
It would appear that having the Contest in the 12,000-ish capacity (it still depends on how big the stage will be) Malmo Arena (pictured, left) is part of the EBU's plan to make Eurovision more manageable again. This means that if a country such as Albania or Montenegro scoops the trophy, there won't be an embarrassed hush when they realise they have to compete with the gargantuan showpiece of pyrotechnic-led antics in an arena seating 60,000 people where the stage enables the artistes to perform in zero gravity and the scoreboard is a hologram beamed direct from the Mir space station to which the continent has just bore witness. That doesn't mean Malmo 2013 will look like London 1960 but we could certainly looking at an event of Kyiv 2005 proportions next year - impressive enough onscreen but intimate enough inside the hall for the spectators. I think it's a good move but there are already rumblings that there won't be enough tickets for everybody.
Winner of the last Eurovision held in Malmo. Please don't be put off by the font used for the song title
Malmo is Sweden's third city and one based at the other end of the Oresund bridge from Copenhagen in Denmark. This has thrown up an interesting quirk into the travel arrangements for those planning to attend the Contest next year. It is perfectly feasible to base oneself in the Danish capital (where life is a bit cheaper than it is in Sweden) and take a train ride lasting less than 20 minutes to get to Eurovision over the water (Malmo used to be part of Denmark). It seems to be the option a lot of people are considering as the Danes appear to have more hotel rooms on offer than the good innkeepers of Malmo, making this (sort of) the very first Eurovision to be held across two nations - a bit like Euro 2012. I almost wish I was going myself.
So with the grumbling in some quarters already underway and the goings-on in Baku six weeks ago seemingly forgotten, Eurovision really is that self perpetuating gift which keeps on given. Especially if you write a blog about it.