In the weekend gone, millions of Europeans (and Australians) tuned in to watch the biggest contest of the year, the Eurovision Song Contest.

From the bold, and the beautiful to the not-so-sure, Eurovision is one of the maddest nights of television.

Fans from every corner of the world head to the host city, with this year seeing Sweden’s Malmö host for the second time after Loreen’s second win with ‘Tattoo’ in Liverpool in 2023.

Many fans of the contest watch the event from home, but some head to the host city and watch within the arena.

This year, I was lucky enough to be one of those fans after receiving a special invite from to attend a Eurovision Grand Final that would go down in the history books.

@uktoday_ Congratulations on ten years! #eurovision #eurovision2024 #fyp ♬ Secret Getaway - Eazy &

Exploring and staying in the 2024 host of Eurovision, Malmö

When I first received the invite to Eurovision, while I was excited to attend the event, I was excited to visit Sweden and Malmö.

As a keen (but nervous) traveller I was eager to explore a new destination in a country I only knew from meatballs, Ikea, and Abba.

Ahead of arriving in Malmö, shared I would be staying in the city centre of the very modern and swanky Elite Hotel Esplanade.

Arriving at the Elite, the rooms were huge, with a large comfortable double-sized bed, a desk, a large wardrobe, a mini bar, a great modern bathroom and a tea and coffee station, the room had everything you could want.

The hotel also has breakfast included. I’m not a huge fan of a typical breakfast let alone a continental, so I was a bit worried.

However, the Elite knew how to please even the pickiest of guests, with the normal cheese/meat/fruit option, there were also some more sweet offerings like pancakes, crispy bacon and meatballs (when in Sweden) which I pleasantly enjoyed with my breakfast.

The VIP experience of the Eurovision Grand Final 

As part of being invited to Eurovision by, I got to experience the song contest from the very glamorous VIP side of the event.

With a special lanyard and a pink wristband, I was able to enjoy the hospitality suite where I could tuck into some yummy food and plenty of drinks ahead of the show.

The basement room was decked out in style with a live DJ, a glitter station, canapes, cocktails, a sweet station and much more, adding an extra sparkle to the evening.

I was sensible and only enjoyed a couple of drinks for the night, knowing that the evening would be very long and I would like to remember it.

Heading to the arena for 8.30pm, everyone took their seats as producers took to the stage talking to guests about what to expect.

Watching the acts for two hours was fantastic, it was clear they were proud of themselves and were happy to be representing their country, while it was also clear that some were not happy with the choices of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU/ heads of Eurovision).

Despite this, those who took to the stage, danced, sang, set off fireworks, span around and even found their shorts with nearly all receiving high cheers from the crowd within the arena.

As a Brit, I knew our chances of winning were low, not because of Olly Alexander (I loved Dizzy) but because our record speaks for itself.

When he took to the stage in his odd space, gym dressing room situation, I stood up, danced, and cheered as the singer belted out and made many Brits proud.

Once all the acts had taken to the stage and my energy levels had officially begun to flag, I headed back down to the hospitality suite to enjoy some more drinks and snacks with mini burgers and, of course, Swedish Hotdogs.

The suite had a TV showing the live scores, and the booing, not wanting to miss out on the end result, I headed back into the arena, ready to feel the tense atmosphere and watch the winner take to the stage.

After another, very long and very intense, hour, it was finally announced that Switerzland had won the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest with Nemo's hit 'The Code'.

While Nemo got huge cheers (deservingly so) it was Ukraine's public vote results that had the biggest cheers and claps of the night within Malmo arena.

The Atmosphere of 2024 Eurovision

As a lifelong fan of Eurovision, I knew this year would be different than most.

The normally peaceful event felt heavier and faced a lot more tension than in previous years over Israel’s entry into Eurovision amid the ongoing calls for a ceasefire in the Middle East.

While some suggest that Israel’s entry in the song contest and events in Palestine shouldn’t be linked, being in Malmö, you couldn’t help but feel the difference in the atmosphere compared to last year’s host of Liverpool.

Liverpool was buzzing with party and excitement; Malmö was tense.

Walking around, ahead of the Grand Final on May 11, the city was a mixed bag of excitement and anticipation/on-edge, but it still felt welcoming.

Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will not be an event I will forget anytime soon

The event could only be described as a rollercoaster. It had many ups and downs and plenty of loops and twists and I would not be surprised if, in a few months, we’ll all be watching about it in a brand new streaming service tell-all documentary.


While the event was not all happy and cheerful and to put it lightly, more controversial than most years, Malmo did a fantastic job hosting.

They welcomed guests of Eurovision, accepted all opinions, and did not attempt to dismiss different thoughts.

Fingers crossed the next host city in Switzerland does just as good of a job next year.