As the Dusseldorf Arena is cleaned up after this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and Expedia surprises everyone by telling them that Baku doesn’t have an Airport (it does, here’s the Wikipedia page, but put your credit card on stand-by before you look), the ESC Insight team is making their way home after what we think was a pretty successful Contest.
If you want to look back and relive those heady two weeks in Dusseldorf, here’s links to all our coverage that led to Ell and Nikki taking the glass microphone trophy for Azerbaijan.
Let’s start with one of the new elements for 2011, our downloadable eBook. It’s already part of our routine to gather information about the songs and artists, historical data for the countries, and keep this at our side during the Song Contest. So why not share all that with the readers of ESC Insight in addition to our coverage? And thus the 2011 Guide Book was born (with a foreword from John Kennedy O’Connor and the delightful minipop icons by Ben Morris).
One of our goals at ESC Insight is to provide in-depth articles and commentary throughout the year on the Song Contest, so many of our articles would apply to the 2011 Contest; but here are those that we ran in the build up to, and during, our time at Dusseldorf.
Once we got on the ground, there was so much news and ideas on the other site that we put together a new feature, the Eurovision List, pointing out some of the best stories on the web. You can step back through them in our Links and List index.
In the eight weeks running up to the semi-finals and finals, we previewed each country’s song in our Juke Box Jury format, with discussion between two judges and host Ewan Spence before rating each song as hit, miss, or maybe.
Probably the most ambitious part of ESC Insight’s 2011 Song Contest coverage was the plan for a half-hour daily chat show, recorded over breakfast and posted by lunchtime, looking back at Eurovision events from previous days and talking about what was coming up that day. Amazingly, it worked and co-hosts Ewan Spence and Sharleen Wright managed to find a wide variety of guests to join us.
The Alternative Commentary MP3’s is where it all started. They were a hit on my own blog, and I decided to promote them in advance by setting them up with a podcast and some introductions. Now there’s the full ESC Insight website, with the podcasts as an integral part. But the commentaries to watch along with a replay of the Song Contest (via www.eurovision.tv/esctv) is the father watching everything grow up around it.
One of the things we’re most proud of is the support, friendship and camaraderie we’ve received from other Eurovision websites. During our time in Dusseldorf, we’ve had contributions on ESC Insight from:
The Eurovision Song Contest has many goals, and one of them is to allow Europe to come together through music, every year. It’s great to see that the same applies to all of the websites, online shows and content producers on the internet, even when we';re all chasing the same news and talking about the same Contest.
So that’s our 2011 coverage archived, it’s time to move on to 2012. But not before asking you, our readers and listeners, if there’s anything you’d like to tell us about this year’s coverage, or what you’d like to see next year!
Picture by Pieter Van der Berghe (EBU).