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2014: A Year That Made Me Proud

 

Turkvizyon & JESC Host Nations
Turkvizyon & JESC Host Nations

2014 has been quite frankly an amazing year no matter what way you look at it. It’d be wrong for me not to start with a massive thank you to the rest of the team at Eurovoix.com, who without I don’t know what I’d be doing, you make this fun and are all brilliant people.

But also an enormous thank you to you the reader, we’ve had people come to the website from 110 countries across the world from the likes of Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and even El Salvador. Without all of you coming to the website daily, reading our articles, commenting on the news and following us on social media we wouldn’t be half of what we are today.

Instead of going chronologically through the past year I want to look at the year in terms of the events we covered and the stand out moments from the year, so let’s go.

 

Power To The People
Power To The People

Eurovision Song Contest 2014:

Eurovision 2014 will always be the first contest that we ever covered live on the ground and to Richard a massive thank you, and also to Glen who in the first week gave us round-ups of each day. In the build up to the 2014 contest we interviewed a vast number of national selection participants and the artists who were selected to go to Copenhagen, all of them had their own unique reason for trying to do the Eurovision Song Contest and all brought something very different to the stage.

By far the best idea that we launched in 2014 was Eurojury. Eurojury brought together past Eurovision participants and national selection participants from a number of competing and non-competing Eurovision nations to score the 2014 songs. In the end 32 countries participated in the contest with nearly 100 artists participating, to all of them I say thank you and I can’t wait to co-operate once again with our friends at ESC+Plus on it.

As always when the night came I stepped away from social media and settled in on the sofa to watch the highlight of the year. With every fan they have their favourites going into the shows and expectations of what they want to see from a host nation. Denmark well and truly trumped any expectation that I had, the show was amazing, and the songs were superb. We finally saw San Marino and Montenegro qualify for the final and of course I was happy. While the United Kingdom in the final didn’t live up to the expectations placed on it, Molly still did us proud.

 

An Outstanding Winner & Show
An Outstanding Winner & Show

Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014:

It’s only right to say a massive congratulations first to the team behind Junior Eurovision, you have in the space of two short years transformed the contest from something that was on its last legs to a contest full of life and with a bigger fan base than ever. Through the year we saw interest in the contest continue to increase, at the start we were just one a handful of sites that still actually covered Junior Eurovision, by the end of the year nearly every website out there had at least one article on Junior Eurovison which speaks volumes of the transformation that has occurred.

Richard had the pleasure of going out to Malta to see the contest live and from all reports he had the best time ever at a Eurovision event, which means wherever it may be in 2015 Richard will be there and I’ll be trying my best to as well.

Malta showed what happens when you have a broadcaster that is passionate about the contest and a group of countries that are willing to try to change things. Already we know for 2015 that there are two countries that are near enough certain to be participating for the first time; Hungary and Ireland and we’re sure that many more countries will be returning or debuting.

Exotic Turkvizyon
Exotic Turkvizyon

 Turkvizyon Song Contest 2014:

We always get backlash for covering this event, but regardless the 2014 contest showed something that 2013 didn’t. That the contest isn’t just a cheap rip off of Eurovision, never at Eurovision would you get such a mix of styles and performances from throat singing to traditional Bashkir instruments, with the massive over the top performance of Tatarstan (You need to see it, click here).

While there may have been some dodgy occurrings in the voting, in the build up to the contest I met some lovely individuals. I will always feel bad for Ipek Amber who never got to represent Northern Cyprus in Kazan and will always be as confused as Xhoi as to why Albania suddenly didn’t exist on the official website. But as the news from earlier confirms countries are still lining up to take part in Turkvizyon in 2015.

So if there is ever a contest that you cannot predict it is Turkvizyon, it’s a handful to cover but  wouldn’t change it.

Live From Macau
Live From Macau

Other Contests:

  • ABU TV Song Festival – This year we were live from Macau, well we would have been live if the livestream at any point decided to work. We provided the most extensive coverage of the festival of any website, getting confirmation of participation directly from a number of participating countries. For 2015 we are working on trying to get interviews with the participants in the show which is something we have been unable to do up to now.
  • ABU Radio Song Festival – Another interesting event that seems to get overlooked, the show in Sri Lanka was very good with a number of brilliant songs and artists. A massive thank you to Iluka who managed to make sense of my questions when I still thought the contest was competitive, when it turned out it wasn’t. Let’s see what Myanmar can do in 2015.
  • Bundesvision Song Contest – This was the first time that we covered the contest, even though we only managed 9 articles on the 2014 contest the interest was there from our readers so we are hoping to try to work on getting more interviews with the participants and maybe even attend the event.
Revolverhead Winning Bundesvision
Revolverhead Winning Bundesvision
  • Cân i Gymru – Ah the Song for Wales, I think everyone thinks we are mad for covering the contest, but regardless its something that impressed me. For 2015 we are going to expand coverage to the Pan Celtic Song Contest instead of just Cân i Gymru, so keep an eye on this.
  • Europe Sings – Was a lovely event that commemorated 100 years since the start of WW1, it was a somber but also remarkable event that hit the mode of the moment perfectly.
  • Eurovision Young Musicians – There’s a first time for everything and this was the year that we really delved into Eurovision Young Musicians. While classical music will never be my favourite thing in the world, we provided extensive coverage of all of the national selections, while we wont be seeing the contest again until 2016,  at least we know it’s in Cologne again.
  • The many MGP Juniors – While MGP Nordic no longer exists these little kids contests still power on, highlighting the talent of kids in Denmark, Finland and Norway.

Casting my mind back to January 1st I looked back at what we managed in 2013 and frankly I was blown away, in the space of a year we’d gone from a little website getting 70,000 views to one getting over 200,000 views in a year and that was amazing. But as I write this now, we’ve just passed over 800,000 views for the year to date and I frankly can’t believe it, every month this year we’ve managed to break records. We’ve shown that you don’t just have to cover Eurovision to find a fan base, whether it be Junior Eurovision, the ABU TV Song Festival or Turkvizyon, there are people out there that are truly passionate about these contests and that’s what makes it special.

So a massive thank you to each and every one of you.

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