The official Opening Ceremony for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was held at the Euroclub on 10 May at 21:00.
A Red Carpet reception was de rigueur, when the contestants arrived one after the other in a parade up the Red Carpet into the Euroclub. Media reps and fans lined the Red Carpet on each side, and many contestants obligingly stopped a every few metres for snapshots and to reply to questions.
Some contestants from previous years’ ESC also attended, among others Dima Koldun (Belarus 2007), Ani Lorak (Ukraine 2008) and Carola (Sweden 2006).
Food and booze were plentiful from buffet tables, side tables, the bar as well as from scurrying polite waiters and waitresses with delectable trays weaving through the attendees. You know it’s good service when you only need to stand in one place and grub & hooch would arrive on trays while empty plates & glasses are removed at the same time
Many contestants freely mingled in the crowd, with some like Inga & Anush (Armenia), Jade Ewen (UK) and De Toppers (the Netherlands) being followed by an entourage of camera crew and managers, while others like Elena Gheorge (Romania) were seen simply walking around the buffet tables proving that the food was, literally, finger-lickin’ good.
Performances by previous years’ ESC contestants were backed by video clips from those contests on big screens. Carola opened the show with a performance of her three Eurovision entries (1983, 1991 and 2006). Ruslana (Ukraine 2004) and Dana International (Israel 1998) opened their respective acts with their Eurovision entries followed by songs from their new albums. The now grown-up girls of t.A.T.u (Russia 2003) in charming cocktail dresses also performed, and Maria Serifovic (Serbia 2007) brought memories of those heady spring days in Helsinki when the video clip showed the magnificent Helsinki stage in the Hartwall Areena. Also seen was Teach-In (the Netherlands 1975) with their famous song ”Dinge-Dong”.
And finally the Russian winner Dima Bilan performed his entries from 2006 and 2008, followed by this year’s Russian contestant Anastasiya Prikhodko.
The party then continued with music by invited bands and dj’s, by which time tired ol’ me decided to call it a nite and leave, only to find a crush at the exit door, but it was a welcomed crush because I was stuck behind Malena Ehrman (Sweden)
All in all a great start to the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, so let the games begin!