• Eurovision in Concert 2017 (Supplied)Source: Supplied
It is the big show before the BIG show.
Shane Cubis

13 Apr 2017 - 11:51 AM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2017 - 11:51 AM

Deep in the heart of Holland’s capital, at the converted milk factory turned premier music venue Melkweg (Milky Way), Europe’s finest performers gathered for the ninth installment of an evening that is rapidly approaching the main event in prestige and excitement: Eurovision in Concert.

For those who came in late, EiC is not only the biggest promotional event for Eurovision, it’s a chance for the performers to prepare for the big night in Kiev, belting out their chosen numbers in front of a cheering crowd. Call it a dress rehearsal with an audience – in this case, 1500 people queued up to catch a sneak preview of what will be unleashed in Ukraine. In fact, the event was sold out within 30 minutes of tickets going on sale.

Melkweg has been the home of Eurovision in Concert for six years now, and each time it grows bigger and bigger. This year’s event was hosted by local TV presenter Cornald Maas and Icelandic singer Selma, who performed both her 1999 and 2005 Eurovision entries for the crowd, and brought in a record 34 of 43 participating countries, from Albania to the UK.

Participating this year:

  1. Albania  - Lindita – World
  2. Armenia – Artsvik – Fly With Me
  3. Austria - Nathan Trent – Running On Air
  4. Azerbaijan - Dihaj - Skeletons 
  5. Belarus – Naviband – Story Of My Life
  6. Bulgaria - Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
  7. Cyprus – Hovig - Gravity
  8. Czech Republic - Martina Bárta – My Turn
  9. Denmark – Anja – Where I Am
  10. Finland - Norma John – Blackbird
  11. France – Alma – Requiem
  12. Georgia - Tamara Gachechiladze – Keep The Faith
  13. Germany – Levina – Perfect Life
  14. Hungary - Joci Pápai – Origo
  15. Ireland - Brendan Murray - Dying To Try
  16. Israel – IMRI – I Feel Alive
  17. Italy - Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma
  18. Lithuania – Fusedmarc – Rain Of Revolution
  19. FYR Macedonia - Jana Burčeska – Dance Alone
  20. Malta - Claudia Faniello – Breathlessly
  21. Moldova - Sunstroke Project – Hey Mamma
  22. Montenegro – Slavko – Space
  23. The Netherlands - OG3NE – Lights And Shadows
  24. Norway – Jowst – Grab The Moment
  25. Poland – Kasia Mós – Flashlight
  26. Romania - Ilinca & Alex – Yodel It!
  27. San Marino - Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson – Spirit Of The Night
  28. Serbia – Tijana Bogićević - In Too Deep
  29. Slovenia - Omar Naber – On My Way
  30. Spain - Manel Navarro – Do It For Your Lover
  31. Sweden – Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
  32. Switzerland – Timebelle – Apollo
  33. Ukraine - O. Torvald - Time
  34. United Kingdom - Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You

The atmosphere was fun and electric, especially at the pre-concert press conference in Amsterdam’s famed Vondelpark, where artists took the opportunity to hang out with fans and answer a few media questions about their preparation for the contest and dreams for the future. Then it was time for an afternoon sound check and plenty of butterflies in anticipation of taking the stage for real.

Who was best on the night? Ahh, that would be telling. But it’s important to know that after the performance all participants were handed delicious Dutch stroopwafels, which is a strong incentive for more countries to get on board in 2018. Can we make it 43 of 43?  

The Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast over SBS’s Eurovision weekend - Friday 12 May, Saturday 13 May, and Grand Final Sunday 14 May at 7.30pm on SBS with LIVE early morning broadcasts begin Wednesday 10 May at 5am on SBS.

More on The Guide:
The style and the flair of Eurovision
Eurovision is known just as much for its fashion as it is the music. We invited stylist Gemma Williams to break down the fashion of some of the more memorable styles on stage.
The pulse-pounding thrills of Eurovision voting
While the music is a blast, the real tension in Eurovision is the voting.
Eurovision entrants: where are they now?
Catch up with some former contestants whose lives have gone in unexpected directions.
Robbed: 9 Eurovision contestants that should’ve won
Not everyone can be a winner – but these Eurovision Song Contest entrants deserved to be.
The artists hooked on competing in Eurovision
Some Eurovision contestants just can't stay away from the competition.