Fireworks, glitter and soul-shaking crescendos: friends and foes know exactly what to expect of the world’s longest running international TV song competition. The annual Eurovision Song Contest, or 'Grand Prix' as it is known in Germany, has been held since 1956 and has gathered a true cult following in Europe and beyond. International audiences have been quoted as high as 600 million viewers. Most years, the German live broadcast happens right here in Hamburg on the Spielbudenplatz square in St.Pauli.
The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual, international competition in which some 50 countries (mainly European) participate. The countries each submit one original song to be performed live on television, after which they vote for the other countries’ songs. The final scores are a combination of jury and popular votes, announced live from the respective countries. Historically Eurovision has occasionally served as a star-maker, initiating the rise of prominent artists to fame after performing in the contest: notably ABBA (Sweden), Céline Dion (Switzerland) and Bucks Fizz (UK).
Most years, thousands of Eurovision fans from all over Germany gather on the Spielbudenplatz square in St. Pauli. At this Grand Prix Party, international stars take the stage, after which the Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast live on-screen. Among the performing artists in 2019 were Sarah Connor, Stefanie Heinzmann, Laing, Annett Louisan, Christopher, Alexa Feser, Milow and Nico Santos. At the end of the contest, the German votes are live broadcast from the stage, allowing viewers all over the world a glimpse of the jubilant audience in Hamburg.
The 2023 Eurovision song contest will air as follows:
9 May: quarterfinals
11 May: Semifinals
13 May: Grand finale
Most years spectators gather at Spielbudenplatz for public viewings, but this party will unfortunately not take place in 2023.
But anyone curious about the particularly European phenomenon that is the Eurovision Song Contest can certainly still find it playing at many local bars or even have a good time tuning it at home and watching on TV stations ONE and Das Erste, as well as live-streaming online.
U3 to St. Pauli or S1/2/3 to Reeperbahn