Got those after Eurovision blues? Not to worry, this Eurovision gallery's got you covered
Now that the dust has settled, it's time to do a quick round up and share some pictures regarding one of the biggest events to ever touch on the shores of the Mersey, Eurovision 2023.
With an estimated footfall of 1.748 MILLION over the past week, the city, docks and surrounding areas were a thriving hub of activity, celebrating everything from music to arts and culture and everything in between.
Whilst the M&S Bank Arena played host to the live Eurovision shows, the rest of the city hosted events to go hand in hand, including the EuroFestival which saw some incredible collaborations between UK and Ukrainian artists to bring meaningful works of art to town, like the Soloveiko Songbirds and Luke Jerram's Floating earth.
Other hot spots around the city included the Euro Village, a temporary space for Eurovision fans to come together and enjoy a variety of acts on a live stage, from Jedward to Conchita Wurst, as well as walking through the Discover Ukraine area where you could try Ukrainian dishes and learn of the history and connection the country has with music.
Even bars, restaurants and venues jumped on the Eurovision hype, many offering live screenings, Eurovision themed food and drink, and even some Eurovision special club nights.
Eager to find out what the city had to offer, I spent most of Eurovision week on my feet and basking in the glorious weather we were blessed with, except for the heavy rain we had on Thursday. I clocked in 122,340 steps and took more than 1000 photos and videos of the week, but don't worry dear reader, I've swindled them down to a select few for you to peruse in a lovely slideshow gallery or two below.
One of the most visited art installations from the Eurovision festivities were the 12 Soloveiko songbirds dotted around the city, all representing a different region within the Ukraine through music and their decorative patterns. The Soloveiko Songbird – nightingale in English – is the national bird of Ukraine and a symbol of song and happiness.
Artists; Amigo and Amigo, Svitlana Reinish, Anton Dehtiarov, Black_Box, and M3 Industries, collaborated on the project to produce 12 illuminated Soloveiko sculptures and imaginative animations, allowing the viewer to watch the birds travel throughout Ukraine, showing the country's beauty, mythology and cities.
Another fan favourite Eurovision art installation is Luke Jerram's floating earth over in the Albert Dock. The installation has been so popular it has extended its stay until May 21st.
The floating globe is something to marvel during the day, but is even more magnificent in the dark of night, fully illuminated by an inner glow.
Semi-final one rehearsal - 8th May
As press, I was lucky enough to be able to attend rehearsals of all three live shows, a rare experience to witness such a huge production here in the city.
The first semi-final saw 15 countries take to the stage including Norway, Malta, as well as fan favourites Sweden and Finland.
And what a show it was, the production was beyond a level I have ever seen at any other concert, with incredible set builds and lighting, to the video introductions which showed a specific monument in Ukraine, Liverpool and then a similar monument in the home country of each act.
The first semi-final also treated audiences to a performance between Ukrainian artist Alyosha and Liverpool legend Rebecca Ferguson with the pair using mixed media to create a beautiful moment of unity, love and hope.
There was also an interval medley act from Rita Ora.
First semi-final at the Euro Village - 9th May
The Euro Village was a hub of activity the entire week from live shows on the stage to drawing in the crowds for the live screenings. The atmosphere during the first semi-final live screening was incredible, every visitor and local had truly embraced the Eurovision spirit, cheering and singing along to every act.
With visitors and tourists flocking to the city in droves, it was no surprise we spotted several people in some glorious garments fit for the occasion. Some particular favourites included a woman dressed as a postbox with Sam Ryder on the front, to costume tributes for this year's Finnish entry Käärijä and 2007's Ukrainian entry, Verka Serduchka.
Semi-final two rehearsal - 10th May
Much like the first semi-final, the second semi-final saw a separate 16 acts compete to get one of the coveted 10 places in the Grand Final. Countries including Denmark, Estonia and Belgium went to battle with their vocals, surrounded by amazing production value from their sets to their backing dancers.
During the interval act, audiences were treated to a musical journey exploring the connection between generations of Ukrainian compositions from the past to the present by singers, Mariya Yaremchuk, and 14-year-old Ukrainian Eurovision Junior representative Zlata Dziunka, performing some of the most well known and beloved pieces of music from their home country.
The second semi-final also hosted a larger than life drag performance which embraced the principle of Eurovision being a place for everyone, a place where people can 'be who they want to be'.
After the rehearsal, I headed over to the Euro Village to catch Finland entry Käärijä performing his absolute bop, Cha Cha Cha.
Sam Ryder surprise performance at the Albert Dock - 11th May
Despite having several shows booked in around the city from the Cavern Club to an interval performance at the Grand Final, last year's second place Eurovision contestant, Sam Ryder, still had time to put on a surprise singalong over at the Albert Dock for visitors and locals alike.
Sam put on a truly wonderful show, encouraging the crowd to join in chorus for his song, Mountain.
Nestled in the confines of the Euro Village, Discover Ukraine was an area dedicated to small Ukrainian businesses, Ukrainian food and a walk through the history of Ukrainian music.
With Liverpool Confidential being a rather food focused news site, I very well couldn't pass off trying a range of Ukrainian dishes whilst I was visiting.
For £16, I bought the vereshchaka (Ukrainian style ribs) and the lviv syrnik (Ukrainian style cheesecake). The ribs were juicy and tender, falling off the bone easily, although it would have been nice to have a toothpick once I finished. The cheesecake was a massive portion for one person, with a layer of chocolate coating the top, and the rest a spongy block of cream cheese and sugar, regardless a solid attempt was made and I spent the rest of the day on a sugar high.
Second semi-final live screening at the Euro Village - 11th May
Just as the first live screening did, the second semi-final screening brought forth huge energy from the crowd gathered, even if it was a rainy afternoon. Acts performing at the village that day included Liverpool local, Ali Horn, Serbian act Luke Black, and Jamala with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Grand Final rehearsal - 12th May
With 37 acts cut down to 26 after an excellent battle of the best voices and dance moves, the Grand Final rehearsal saw all performers belting out their heart and soul, practicing to gain the top spot that would not only earn them a trophy, but would allow for their home country to host the song contest next year.
With the Grand Final set to be the biggest event of the three shows so far, the interval and opening acts were as colourful as they were loud. Opening the show were last year's winners, Kalush Orchestra, with a variety of performances from other Ukrainian acts such as Verka Serduchka, leading onto the flag parade.
Coming in second place last year, Sam Ryder took to the stage during the interval spot to sing his song Mountain. Following on from Sam's performance was the Liverpool songbook, that saw six iconic Eurovision acts return to the stage including Iceland's Daði Freyr singing a cover of Atomic Kitten, Whole Again.
Grand Final event at the Euro Village - 13th May
With the Grand Final screening event being ticketed for over 18s only at the Euro Village, the energy was vibrant and maybe a little bit drunk in the 17 degree heat. Gates opened at 2pm with live performances running till the live screening at 8pm, guest appearances included Brooke, Jedward, The Vengaboys, Claire Richards from Steps and 1967 Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw.
As the Grand Final event began airing on the big screen, the crowd went wild in anticipation, as did I, in the hopes that our favourite acts (Finland in my case) would take home the win. Singing and dancing along to each act , the celebrations and event went on till late in the night, with the last entry, UK, performing at 10pm.
The interval acts were enjoyable, with one particular act, Netherlands Duncan Lawrence, belting out LFC anthem You'll Never Walk Alone, that had the Euro Village crowd in a frenzy of emotions, singing along, crying and cheering in unison.
During the juror scores, the crowd held their breath in high hopes as Sweden jumped to first place earning over 340 points, with Israel, Italy, Finland and Estonia following consecutively in the top five. As the public vote was announced, the crowd chant of Cha Cha Cha began, with many of the public and gathered crowds hoping to give Finland the win due to Loreen winning back in 2012 with her song Euphoria.
Despite the chants and hopes for Finland to win, Käärijä fell short of the top spot by 57 points to Sweden's 583.
With the crowd trundling out of the village after Loreen's win, which will see the song contest in Sweden for Abba's 50th anniversary, and a further live rendition of her song Tattoo, the village closed with some amazing fireworks blasted above the Euro Village stage and Cunard Building.
Before Eurovision came to Liverpool, I had never given it much thought and was rather disinterested at it's yearly showing on the BBC. However, I must admit that being in the thralls of everything happening in and around the city has had me converted, douze points to Liverpool!
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