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Sweden: Ecstatic Eurovision fans gather for Semi-Final kick-off01:00

Sweden: Ecstatic Eurovision fans gather for Semi-Final kick-off

Sweden, Malmo
May 14, 2013 at 20:34 GMT +00:00 · Published

Sweden: Ecstatic Eurovision fans gather for Semi-Final kick-off

Thousands of ecstatic fans from all over Europe gathered at the Malmo Arena, Sweden on Tuesday to attend the first Semi-Final of Eurovision - the world's biggest song contest. Flamboyantly dressed fans donned their national colours with the Danes outnumbering visitors from all other participating countries. Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, is less than 50 kilometres from Malmo and the nation are favourites with the bookmakers to win this year.

Millions of viewers watched the kick-off of the 58th annual Eurovision Song Contest, Tuesday and saw Denmark, Belarus, Ireland, Estonia, Moldavia, Belgium, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and the Netherlands reach the Finals which will be held on Saturday.

2012 winners, Swede Loreen's "Euphoria", secured Sweden as this years host for the fifth time in competition's history. The spectacle of Eurovision involves nations within the European broadcasting range competing with electronic songs (live instruments are banned), outrageous outfits, mind-boggling choreography and stage productions that are notoriously both awe-inspiring and cringe-worthy.

Eurovision is an institution. Though a huge cash-cow for broadcasters, countries have struggled to secure budgets for the competition. Not only does the winning nation receive extra international exposure, the potential financial benefits for a nation through tourism and advertising revenue make it an important national event. 39 countries have supplied contestants to Eurovision 2013. Due to the costs of participation at a time when many eurozone countries are struggling with a recession, countries including Portugal, Slovakia, Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina were obliged to withdraw from the contest this year.

Sweden: Ecstatic Eurovision fans gather for Semi-Final kick-off01:00
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Sweden: Ecstatic Eurovision fans gather for Semi-Final kick-off

Thousands of ecstatic fans from all over Europe gathered at the Malmo Arena, Sweden on Tuesday to attend the first Semi-Final of Eurovision - the world's biggest song contest. Flamboyantly dressed fans donned their national colours with the Danes outnumbering visitors from all other participating countries. Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, is less than 50 kilometres from Malmo and the nation are favourites with the bookmakers to win this year.

Millions of viewers watched the kick-off of the 58th annual Eurovision Song Contest, Tuesday and saw Denmark, Belarus, Ireland, Estonia, Moldavia, Belgium, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia and the Netherlands reach the Finals which will be held on Saturday.

2012 winners, Swede Loreen's "Euphoria", secured Sweden as this years host for the fifth time in competition's history. The spectacle of Eurovision involves nations within the European broadcasting range competing with electronic songs (live instruments are banned), outrageous outfits, mind-boggling choreography and stage productions that are notoriously both awe-inspiring and cringe-worthy.

Eurovision is an institution. Though a huge cash-cow for broadcasters, countries have struggled to secure budgets for the competition. Not only does the winning nation receive extra international exposure, the potential financial benefits for a nation through tourism and advertising revenue make it an important national event. 39 countries have supplied contestants to Eurovision 2013. Due to the costs of participation at a time when many eurozone countries are struggling with a recession, countries including Portugal, Slovakia, Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina were obliged to withdraw from the contest this year.