¡Gracias Madrid! — this was the ESPreParty 2018!25 April 2018 at 15:00 CEST
The first ones to arrive for the event were, obviously, the home act, Spanish duo Amaia and Alfred, who confessed being excited and happy to welcome the artists from the other countries to their home country, after having visited preparties in other countries themselves.
While Portugal is hosting their first Eurovision Song Contest, host country representative Cláudia Pascoal only attended the preparty in neighbouring Spain. Cláudia was accompanied by Isaura, who not only wrote and composed O Jardim, but will also join Cláudia on stage. "It's all about Eurovision in Portugal these last weeks," they said.
The attending artists had one more chance of hanging around togerther before travelling to Lisbon where the competition will take place. In a few days they will perform their song on the Eurovision stage, but what if they could chose to sing any other song from this year's contest?
Reunion in the south
Ahead of the party, Belarusian contestant ALEKSEEV reunited with, what he calls, his Spanish family, after sixteen years of being apart. When ALEKSEEV was a little child he spent six consecutive summers with the same Spanish family in the small town of Mula in Murcia.
The evening prior to the ESPreParty concert another concert was held to welcome the acts to Madrid and introduce them to the Spanish fan community. Eurovision.tv's very own Victor Escudero alongside former Spanish Eurovision participant Lucía Pérez hosted the show, which also featured numerous former participants.
One more time
On Saturday, the acts strolled the red carpet ahead of the concert, while cheering fans and dozens of journalists contributed to a festive atmosphere.
The ESPreParty was hosted by Soraya Arnelas (Spain 2009), Susanne Georgi (Andorra 2009) and Filipa Sousa (Portugal 2012). They introduced the 21 participating acts to take on the Madrid stage and perform their Eurovision 2018 entries in front of a big crowd one last time before flying to Lisbon: Eugent Bushpepa (Albania), Michael Schulte (Germany), Sevak Khanagyan (Armenia), Sennek (Belgium), Alekseev (Belarus), Mikolas Josef (Czech Republic), Lea Sirk (Slovenia), Madame Monsieur (France), AWS (Hungary), Ryan O'Saughnessy (Ireland), Laura Rizzotto (Latvia), DoReDos (Moldova), SuRie (United Kingdom), Eye Cue (F.Y.R. Macedonia), Jessika & Jenifer Brening (San Marino), ZiBBZ (Switzerland), Ari Ólafsson (Iceland), Vanja Radovanović (Montenegro), The Humans (Romania), Cláudia Pascoal from the host country, Portugal, and Amaia y Alfred from Spain.
A tribute to Lys Assia and Avicii
Last month, the very first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Lys Assia, passed away. The ESPreParty kicked off with a heartfelt tribute by Soraya Arnelas and the composer of this year's Spanish entry, Raul Gomez. Of course, they sang Lys Assia's winning song Refrain:
Just a day before the party in Madrid, the incredibly sad news reached us that superstar DJ Avicii passed away aged just 28. He collaborated with ABBA’s Benny and Björn for the opening track of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. One half of Spain’s duo, Alfred, was joined on stage by Latvia’s Laura Rizzotto in a tribute performance to the late Swedish artist.
La fiesta terminó
The ESPreParty, true to its name, finished in fiesta style, as Eurovision music blasted from the speakers until the wee hours of the morning.
This year marked the second time Madrid hosted a preparty to the Eurovision Song Contest, organised by independent fan site Eurovision-Spain.com. Spanish broadcaster RTVE aired the party live. The concert, split in two parts, can be watched online through RTVE's site here and here.
See you in Lisbon!
The Eurovision.tv team would like to thank the organisers of ESPreParty for their generous hospitality.