Eurovision Song Contest fans in Sweden received an exceptional musical treat yesterday, as star after star took to the stage for the Stockholm SchlagerPride event jam-packed with song contest music from Sweden and abroad.
The SchlagerPride event in Pride Park was held as part of the Stockholm Pride celebrations this week, and was attended by thousands of enthusiastic Schlager and song contest fans. Elysion kicked off the proceedings with a rendition of their Melodifestivalen second-chancer Goldenstar.Guy-group blond were the first former participants for Sweden on the stage with their 1997 entry Bara hon älskar mig.
Queentastic provided the first taste of international Eurovision, representing Norway on the stage with the Melodi Grand Prix bronze-placed Absolutely fabulous, which received a huge reception from fans. Likewise for Sonia Alben, who followed the girls to present her 2006 Melodifestivalen number Etymon, and then the song she originally demoed and gave up for eventual winner Carola – Invincible.
A taste of Melodifestivalen from days gone by was evident in the appearance of Titti Sjöblom and the classic 1974 hit Fröken ur-sång, which came fourth behind ABBA's song contest winnerWaterloo.
Norway were represented again by Charmed, who sang their 2000 entry My heart goes boom, giving way to Swedish 1993 entrants Arvingarna, who reprised their Millstreet entry for Eurovision Eloise. The first half was concluded by a huge international surprise – Sibel Tüzün, Turkish participant at the 2006 contest in Athens, treated the audience to the English version of Süper star.
Magnus Carlsson provided an explosive beginning to the second half, after a 45 minute break, singing his 2006 solo Melodifestivalen attempt Lev livet. Not long after that came the second big international treat – Duo Datz, 1991 Israeli representatives, gave a rousing rendition of their third-placed entry Kan. They proved so popular amongst the crowd that they gave a reprise of the chorus in English.
It was Finland's turn soon, and they were represented in tandem first by Ami Aspelund with the 1983 Finnish entry Fantasiaa, then by her sister following with the 1977 entry Lapponia. The evening provided not only entertainment for the fans, but also a chance for a sisterly reunion, and a surprise one at that; Monica, who has been living in Florida, USA for some years, was not even aware of her sister Ami's presence on the same bill until the show opened.
Roger Pontare gave a triple-bill performance of Silverland (Melodifestivalen 2006), När vindarna viskar mitt namn (Eurovision Song Contest 2000) and then, to the crowd's delight, Stjärnorna, his 1994 duet for Sweden, sung with Melodifestivalen personality Shirley Clamp. Shirley remained on stage to give her own solo performance of Att älska dig.
Eurovision 2006 was further honoured by Mihai Traistariu and Kate Ryan, who both sang their entries for Athens.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the enthusiasm and fun had by Lars Berghagen (Sweden 1975) on stage – possibly the last person many Swedes would expect to see at the Stockholm Pride event, he threw himself wholeheartedly into the spirit of things and generated a great crowd buzz with Jennie, Jennie. His popularity ensured a welcome reprise as the show drew to a close with Waterloo sung by the whole cast of stars, and Kikki Danielsson's1985 Swedish entry Bra vibrationer. It concluded a hugely successful evening which went down as one of the highlights of this year's Stockholm Pride.
The after-show party at Hamburger Tor was well-attended, with Andreas Lundstedt amongst the personalities performing for revellers, and Helena Paparizou belting out her hits, including 2005 winning song My number one, as Sweden's biggest Eurovision party ever came to an end.
The full line-up was as follows:
- Elysion – Golden star
- Tina Röklander – Kom och dela min hemlighet
- Blond – Bara hon älskar mig
- Kina Jaarnek – Son of a liar
- Queentastic – Absolutely fabulous
- Sonya – Etymon, Invicible
- Kayo – Innan natten är över
- Titti Sjöblom – Fröken ur sång
- Therese Lööf – Ingenting går som man vill
- Kikki Danielsson – Idag och imorgon
- Charmed – My heart goes boom
- Arvingarna – Eloise
- Sibel Tüzün – Superstar
- Magnus Carlsson – Lev livet
- Lisbeth Jagedahl – Varje natt
- Duo Datz – Kan
- Simone Moreno – Aiayeh (The Music of the Samba)
- Janne Lucas – Växeln hallå
- Sandra Dahlberg – Jag tar det jag vill ha
- Ami Aspelund – Fantasiaa
- Monica Aspelund – Lapponia
- Towe Jaarnek – Ett liv med dig
- Roger Pontare – Silverland, När vindarna viskar mitt namn
- Roger Pontare with Shirley Clamp – Stjärnorna
- Shirley Clamp – Att älska dig
- Kate Ryan – Je t'adore
- Lasse Berghagen – Jennie, Jennie, Min kärlekssång till dig, En kväll i juni
- Mihai Traistariu – Tornero
- Kikki Danielsson – Bra vibrationer
You can see pictures and find out more about the event at stockholmpride.org.