On Saturday May 12, the sixty-third Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Lisbon, Portugal. The UK’s 2018 entry, ‘Storm’ by singer-songwriter SuRie, is a pretty decent electro tune that would be even better if it were given a proper dance remix. Obviously it stands no chance of winning, thanks to our lack of popularity on the continent. But then, that’s almost become part of the fun of Eurovision.
Of course you could stay home and watch the whole spangly spectacle on BBC One, but it’s loads more fun to embrace the camp madness at one of London’s Eurovision parties. Here are five of the best taking place this year.
Lady Lloyd is one of Soho’s most beloved drag queens, and her annual Eurovision party in Ku Bar’s basement is something of an institution. Expect plenty of bunting, plenty of boozing and plenty of booing every time the UK is awarded ‘nul points’. Entry is free, but arrive early if you want a decent seat.
30 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA.
Fitzrovia’s Nordic Bar knows how to throw a Eurovision party – with terrific Scandi beers and cocktails, bar food to soak them up and a generous side order of irony. Both Norway and Sweden are tipped for success this year so the atmosphere here should be electric on the night. Tickets are a fiver and can be bought in advance.
Nordic Bar, 25 Newman St, W1T 1PN.
The team behind Haggerston hangout The Glory never do anything by halves, and their Eurovision party is no exception. Both floors of this queer/alternative East End pub will be screening the song contest while Euro-themed lip-syncs keep your spirits up. Entry is free if you arrive before 10pm – and they won’t mind a jot if you dress up.
281 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AS.
If you like the idea of watching Eurovision on an actual cinema screen, this one’s for you. Before the song contest kicks off, you can take part in a karaoke battle for a £100 prize. Afterwards you can bop to Eurovision bangers till 3am. There are more prizes for ‘the most fabulously dressed guests’, so definitely dust off your old ABBA costume. Tickets cost £19.
107 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB.
This roomy Spitalfields boozer is going all out for Eurovision. Reflecting Portugal’s rich nautical heritage, the pub is being transformed into an ocean liner with a ‘desert island’ out on the terrace. Portuguese food and tropical cocktails will be available all night, and punters are encouraged to come dressed as a pirate, sailor or ship’s captain. Frankly, the whole thing sounds nearly as bonkers as Eurovision itself.
9-11 Folgate St, E1 6BX
After even more events to fill up your month? Have a look at the best things to do in London this May.