Boos, Tears, Sweat, and Toil: Experiencing the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest Live

Chris Hay, Billy Kanafani


In this article we consider the live experience of the dual audiences of the Eurovision Song Contest, recently awarded the title of the world's longest running annual music competition. The Contest commands an audience of some two million each year for its broadcast, but there is also a small live audience of between 10 000 and 30 000 spectators. Following recent theoretical debates on liveness, we argue that both audiences can be understood as experiencing the Contest live: despite their lack of spatial co-presence, the temporal connection established by the live broadcast allows both experiences to be understood as live. This argument is supported by thick descriptions gathered on-the-ground (or on-the-dance-floor) at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

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Popular Entertainment Studies ISSN 1837-9303