For the first time in almost 25 years, the UK is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and there’s no better excuse to throw a themed house party for the occasion. The iconic music competition is coming to Liverpool this May after Sam Ryder took second place in 2022, and the winning country, Ukraine, was unable to fulfil the tradition of hosting the following year.
The final will be screened live on the evening of Saturday 13th May, so get the date in your diary, make that WhatsApp group and start planning your epic Eurovision watch party that celebrates all things weird and wonderful about the event. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.
Make costumes mandatory
Eurovision is renowned for its over-the-top costumes and performances, so it’s only right that dressing up should be essential for your party guests.
If your friends are creative types, ask them to recreate their favourite outfits from past Eurovision events, or come in attire inspired by one of the participating countries. Alternatively, a black tie or ‘sequins and sparkles’ dress code will ensure that everyone pulls out the stops for the evening.
Get everyone to bring a dish
The Eurovision final will air over the course of four hours, so a well-stocked buffet table will be essential. Lighten your load by requesting that each guest contributes a dish of their choice from one of the countries that are taking part this year – if your guests are attending in country-themed costumes, ask that they bring food and drinks from that country too.
Or if you’d rather take care of the catering yourself, a British-Ukrainian fusion buffet would be a fun way to honour the previous year’s winners as well as this year’s hosts. Think pierogi dumplings and chicken kyivs alongside mini Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, and even a pot of scouse (or ‘blind scouse’ without the meat) plus crusty bread on the side as a homage to Liverpool.
Not forgetting drinks, hunt down a bottle of ‘horilka’, Ukraine’s version of vodka which has a minimum 40% alcohol content – so sip it very carefully, or mix with ginger beer, fresh lime juice and uzvar to create a Kyiv Mule cocktail.
Create a Eurovision bingo card
There are some things that are just guaranteed to happen at every Eurovision Song Contest, so make a game out of it with your very own bingo cards. A performer wearing head-to-toe feathers? Check! A novelty act that makes everyone’s jaws drop, and usually not in a good way? Check! Someone mentions ABBA? Of course.
The adults at the party can feel free to make it into a drinking game, but with four eventful hours to get through, we suggest taking it easy if you want to catch the scores – and find out who receives the fateful ‘nul points’.
Test your guests with a quiz
Which one of your guests is the Eurovision expert? Find out with a quiz themed around past Eurovision events and the most famous – and infamous – performances and songs.
As well as testing everyone’s general knowledge about the competition and participating countries, rounds could be dedicated to ‘naming that tune’, completing winning song lyrics, identifying the most legendary artists or bands, and matching them to their country. To get everyone up and out of their seats, add in a charades or karaoke round, and if you end up in a tie-break situation, a dance-off to Jedward’s 2011 entry for Ireland could be the only solution.
Hold a sweepstake for charity
No Eurovision party would be complete without a sweepstake, with some or all of the proceeds going to a charity of your choice. Upon arrival, randomly assign each of your guests a participating country, in return for a small entry fee that goes into the prize fund. Keep going until all countries have been claimed.
If you choose to make a charity donation as part of your sweepstake this year, the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal would be a fitting beneficiary to show your support for the previous year’s winners.