GAYTIMES.CO.UK REPORT – The month of May is just around the corner, and that can mean only one thing: the Eurovision Song Contest! With experienced Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman at the helm and script-writing dream team of Alex Worrall and Tim Telling (editor of the Daily Mash) in tow, it looks like we’re on for a clever and spectacular show of Scandi-proportions… but not everyone will be watching the show on TV.
Some of us fans devotedly follow the competition around Europe. So, how’s the party going to go down when thousands of beglittered British boys and girls turn up to one of Europe’s most conservative countries? Because Sweden this ain’t. What should gay Eurovision tourists heading to Kyiv expect?
I spent a few days in Kyiv trying to find out. It’s late March and we’re speeding along a Soviet-era motorway in a people carrier with no seat-belts and a cracked windscreen. Below us is the river Dnieper, still carrying sizeable ice sheets that haven’t quite managed to thaw, and in front of us are many chunky, gigantic, brutalist tower blocks. We’re heading East towards Kyiv’s answer to the ExCeL centre – home of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. I arrive at the International Exhibition Centre to meet our venue guide Pavlo Shylko (he co-hosted the contest back in 2005, the last time it was in Ukraine). “It’s an incredible opportunity for us to show the world what Kyiv can offer. Everyone wants to be a part of it” he tells me.