EuroStarz - A journey - 5 years on...
By Jay Lacey
To mark the fifth concert of EuroStarz we are having a look back at some of the ‘best bits’ and highlights for the team since it’s premiere show in 2016.
EuroStarz was born from an advert in a ESC fan group for a small Eurovision event to give UK fans another event to add to their Eurovision calendar. August was chosen as PED (Post-Eurovision Depression) has had 3 months to set in and everyone needs that lift later in the year. A group of three friends: Caroline, Michael and Tania joined together and set about putting on their first show.
In 2016, the original venue for the show was ‘The Star of Kings’ (also in London’s Kings Cross) and they didn't mess about securing 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest, UK Eurovision royalty Nicki French as well as three time San Marino entrant, Valentina Monetta! The branding was ready, the VIPs arrived and had their meet and greet and we were all treated to a fabulous intimate show. EuroStarz was born!
When 2017 rolled around, the team had a quandary; was it to be a one off spectacular or was there a call for more? Feedback from the 2016 show was glowing and the fans were clear that EuroStarz needed to become an annual slice of Eurovision goodness. The challenge for the team though was to improve; making the staging, the artists and song selections more enticing year on year. 2017 called on the Eurovision 'Grande Dame' Anne Marie David to do exactly that. Anne Marie, winning for Luxembourg in 1973, brought an element of class of sophistication to the show and paired beautifully with the youth and exuberance of up and coming UK acts Salena Mastroianni and Karl William Lund. Throw in 3 celebrated artists from across Europe: Kurt Calleja (Malta), Anjeza Shahini (Albania) and Mihai Traistariu (Romania) and the power of 6 set the stage alight!
In 2018, the show was now well established and making a name for itself with promoters and Eurovision artists. The decision was made to move to a larger venue and ‘The Water Rats’ became the new home for EuroStarz in Concert. A bigger venue meant big voices were needed to fill it; provided by no other than 1992 Eurovision winner from Ireland Linda Martin. Having competed twice representing Ireland Linda bought a fantastic repertoire of crowd pleasing songs. 2 UK artists featured in 2018, Scott Fitzgerald and Lindsay Dracass, building on the synergy of 2017 with artists from different decades of the competition adding a balance and beauty to the line up, culminating in a wonderful (now famous) medley of songs to close the show. The talent from other parts of Europe in 2018 was abundant this year with the hugely talented and highly entertaining Esther Hart from the Netherlands and John Karayiannis from Cyprus, however the biggest applause of the night was undoubtedly for Romanian 2 time entrants Paula Seling & Ovi.
What’s another year? 4 years in and the brand EuroStarz is becoming well developed with loyal fans returning year on year. The line up was essential and, once again, a varied mixture of talent from across Europe was delivered. Krista Siegfrids from Finland had everyone singing along and Axel Hirsoux from Belgium brought us to a hushed silence with his stunning vocal performance. Striking the balance of musical styles and genres has become the crux of a good show and the night was well received. Martin Fitch, having appeared at the first EuroStarz 2016, just couldn’t stay away and it was a pleasure to have him back to perform a full set. UK entrant, SuRie, hot from the 2018 competition impressed with her repertoire of Eurovision tracks showing range and diversity on her musical ability too. And who can forget Glen Vella, who brought the party from Malta but also Maltese JESC star Gianluca Cilia as a surprise special guest! What a treat!
And the rest, as they say, is history. Sadly the 2020, like so many things, had to be cancelled due to COVID restrictions but EuroStarz is BACK for 2021, with new team member, Jay, on board to bring you the very best evening of entertainment.
EuroStarz in Concert 2021 is on Saturday 14th August at the Water Rats, London.
Who is coming along to celebrate our 5th birthday? You will be treated to:
2 time entrant and 1993 winner from Ireland, Niamh Kavanagh
North Macedonia’s finest, duo EyeCue
1989 2nd place, Ray Caruana (of Live Report)
For her second EuroStarz performance, returning is Nicki French, UK 2000
Michael Rice, 2019 UK entrant