It’s the final night of Eurovision 2023, and the excitement in Liverpool is indescribable.
Liverpool has been an absolute mecca of activity this week, as fans from all over the world descended on the city to immerse themselves in one of the biggest international events of the year.
On Tuesday, megafans caught the train from London where they started the party early with music, drinks and dancing in the carriages, while those lucky enough to have tickets for the semi-finals have already seen their acts perform.
Each year the host country – this year the UK on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine – welcomes fans from the far corners of the world, some from far beyond the continent.
Metro.co.uk has been in the city all week ahead of the main event, and talked to some devoted fans who have booked time off work and travelled for days to be a part of the 2023 event.
Elise – Came from Brisbane, Australia
‘I flew 36 hours to be here! This is my second Eurovision but I’ve been watching since 2006. I’m very happy we’re here, very happy to be part of it. David and I met in Tel Aviv [Eurovision 2019] on the side of the road!’
David – Came from Australia via Argentina
‘I came via Argentina, so I flew like 50 hours to be here. I’m so excited to see Liverpool, I’ve never been and already the fan experience is amazing – and we’re not even there yet. Tel Aviv was my first Eurovision, and I went to Turin last year. We’re rooting for Finland and Austria!’
Conor – Came from Wallasey, Merseyside, from Ireland
‘I came from Wallersey just on the Wirral, but I’m originally from Northern Ireland. I was gutted for Ireland, it was a good song – if it was in semi final two it would have had a good chance! And the UK couldn’t vote – and the UK always vote for Ireland. Eurovision brings everyone together – and my family will be watching from home in Ireland tonight.’
Ben – Came from Los Angeles, California, from London
‘I came here just for Eurovision, I’m a massive fan of Eurovision. Me and my friends all came from afar, but I think I came from the furthest. I came to enjoy the energy, the vibes, the fun, the alcohol, everything! I only decided to come three days ago, I just jumped on a plane and came straight here.’
John and Maeve O’Flaherty – Came from Norway, from Ireland
‘We’ve come from Norway, I’ve lived there for 30 years. They’re going to win the whole thing! My brother goes every single year, he’s been to all the shows in all of Europe. The first one we ever watched was in Cork. We’re looking forward to the fans, Karaoke, quizzes, the drinking, everything – and winning!’
Maria, Pablo and Antonio – Came from Spain
Pablo and Antonio: ‘We came over on the plane on Wednesday. On Tuesday we went to Barcelona and arrived here on Wednesday. We’ve been to Blackpool, went to the theme park, played mini-golf and just been tourists. We’re not going to the Grand Final tonight, we didn’t get tickets! We’re going to a friends house and to a bar to watch the Grand Final. As soon as we heard it might be in Liverpool [where Maria is living] we thought’ – “Ah! We have to go there!”
Isabelle and Nerea – Came from Glasgow and Liverpool, from Spain
Isabelle: ‘I’ve been living in Glasgow for four years, Liverpool is not too far and tomorrow is my birthday so we said let’s celebrate it together! We’ll be watching the Grand Final at the Eurovision Village. I’m looking forward to the fun and spending time with my friends -and seeing Spain win!
Nerea: ‘I am a big Eurovision fan. It’s the first and probably last time it will happen where I’m living in the same city as Eurovision so I’m excited. I moved to Liverpool 10 months ago and I love it here.’
Stelios, Kat and Sofia – Came from Greece
‘We came from Greece and arrived in Liverpool on Thursday. We’ve been for food, drinks, sightseeing, the Beatles museum, generally walking around the city, meeting people – just on holidays! We will be watching the Grand Final from the pier in Eurovision Village.’
Thelma – Came from Hunt’s Cross, Liverpool
‘It’s in my backyard! It’s just the best, place to be, isn’t it? When you’ve got to do it you’ve got to do it, and Liverpool has been absolutely fabulous, you couldn’t ask for anything better.’
For casual Eurovision fans, tonight is the main event of the week – but for these superfans it means the most exciting week of the year is almost over.
Thousands will pack into the M&S Arena on Saturday night to watch the 26 finalists perform their heart out in the hopes of being crowned the 2023 Eurovision winner.
Former winner Loreen, who won for Sweden in 2012, is a top contender with her new track Tattoo, however Finland’s newcomer Kaarija is hot on her heels with his fan-favourite song Cha Cha Cha.
After Sam Ryder’s phenomenal performance in 2022, Mae Muller is stepping up to represent the UK this year with I Wrote A Song, while Ukraine is represented by Tvorchi and their track Heart of Steel.
The Eurovision 2023 Grand Finals will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 8pm on Saturday
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First appear at ‘I flew 36 hours from Australia to be here’: The Eurovision superfans who came from around the world for 2023 Song Contest