ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eurovision 2000-2014 - a Danish adventure

Updated on September 15, 2013

ESC returns to Copenhagen

It has finally been announced, that the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 will take place in Copenhagen, following Emmelie de Forests victory in Malmö - just across the water from Copenhagen - last May. It has been 13 years since the Olsen Brothers won the ESC 2000, which was then also held in Sweden, although a bit farther away in Stockholm.

I remember when Denmark last won

I watched the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 on a small café in the Spanish city of Malgrat de Mar, together with my then girlfriend (now my wife). The song contest held special interest to me that year, because Jørgen - one of the Olsen Brothers - had once been my music teacher in elementary school, and he had often played some of the tunes for us with which he competed in the national selection contests in the 1980s.

Nobody had really expected the two old guys, whose career had topped in the 1970s with a number of hits in Denmark and Germany, to win the ESC, which had by then become more and more about appearances, stage shows and dance rhytms. But as the evening progressed the numbers started adding up, and even the eventual runners-up from Russia gave the brothers a maximum score of 12.

Our hosts at the restaurant in Malgrat had noticed that something special was going on, and so even though it was after hours for them, and we were the only customers in the place, the staff joined us in watching the remainder of the final and offered us hearty congratulations when in the end the Olsen Brothers won by a huge margin with a total score of 195 to Russia's 155.

Copenhagen 2001

Following the victory of my old music teacher in Stockholm in 2000, the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Copenhagen in 2001. The venue was Parken Arena, and it was the first time in the history of the contest, that it was being held on such a large scale. The arena could hold up to 35,000 spectators on the evening of the final, dwarfing the previous year's Globen arena in Stockholm, which had "just" 16,000 spectators.

And this time, my girlfriend and I were in the arena itself - not for the actual final, though, but for the dress rehearsal, which had much the same show, but not quite the same intense atmosphere - and with no real voting taking place, of course.

It was quite the experience to watch the show, which we had both followed since we were kids, live. The experience was slightly marred by the awful concept of "the rhyming hosts" - almost everything that was being said by hosts Søren Pilmark and Natasja Crone was done in rhyming couplets, which made it sound extremely artificial. This lead long time British ESC commentator Terry Wogan to name them "Dr. Death and the Tooth Fairy".

In the end, Latvia won the ESC in Copenhagen - the third Baltic sea country to win in as many years. Denmark came in an impressive second place with a song that quickly faded from memory.

Only Teardrops

Emmelie de Forest performing her winning act at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö (Photo: Dennis Stachel (EBU))
Emmelie de Forest performing her winning act at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö (Photo: Dennis Stachel (EBU))

Fast forward 12 more years almost to the date. Bare-footed teenager Emmelie de Forest walked on stage in Malmö, just 30 kilometers from Copenhagen, on the other side of Ãresund, the strait separating the Danish island of Zeeland from mainland Sweden.

Although in some ways the anti-thesis of the Olsen Brothers, being young, innocent and unknown, she did much the same thing as they had done by performing an original and atypical ESC song without too many special effects and few dance rhytms. She did go on stage bare footed though, which just contributed to her "innocent" image - in sharp contrast to fx Norway's Margaret Berger who, dressed in leather and accompanied by heavy drum and bass rhytms, performed the suggestive song "I Feed You My Love".

I did not have the pleasure of watching the final this year. I was on a long awaited journey to Scotland, visiting the 18th century home of author and advocate James Boswell (1740-1795) in the countryside near Auchinleck, an hours drive from Glasgow. Having gotten back to my hotel, the Dumfries Arms in Cumnock, I had a few beers with my travelling companion, Hans, and around midnight I checked my smartphone for news. Main story was: Denmark had done it again! Emmelie de Forest had won with her song "Only Teardrops" and the song contest was to be performed in Denmark in 2014. We celebrated by having another beer.

ESC 2014

And so, next year the ESC will be held in Denmark, more specifically in Copenhagen, which was announced a few days ago. This time it won't be in Parken but in the old production halls of B&W, a former shipyard and engine manufacturer, which was dissolved in 1980. Their halls on the Refshale island at the tip of the Copenhagen harbour has been mostly silent for several years, but are now about to be redeveloped and put to new use as part of the song contest. They won't hold as large an audience as Parken did, but there may be the possibility of making some related ESC "parties" near the actual show venue, with some sort of interaction going on between the official show and the "satellites". Perhaps even an entire Eurovision Island.

The decision to place the ESC in Copenhagen dragged out for a few months, as a few cities on the Jutland peninsula, Horsens and Herning, threw in their lot as well. Both of them have one interesting venue each, which could be an option if that was the only selection criteria. However, as one blogger pointed out, hotels in the vicinity of Herning can only accomodate about 600 persons at a time, which is by all accounts much too little for a Eurovision Song Contests - I guess it would be difficult even if only the people directly involved in the production should stay there.

So, Copenhagen it is, and we are looking forward to see when the tickets will be released - the entire event will be composed of one final (duh!), two semifinals and six main rehearsals, which are also open to a paying audience, and we have already sort of promised our daughter that we would try to get a ticket for her as well, so. No turning back now.

Join us!

And finally, my invitation to you is the same as the official slogan of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest:

Join us!

So, how do you like the Eurovision?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mcstacy profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting, i didn't know this, (living in NZ) but as i love music, i will check out this singer and her song, Only Teardrops.

      Thanks for sharing this great article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)