City Event

Armenia community event at Konstnars Huset, Konstnarsklubben were privileged to have been invited to the Armenian community event this evening held at the Konstnars Huset, Konstnarsklubben.

This annual event organised by the Delegation from Armenia is meant to connect the local community with the artist from that year and to give local Armenian fans a chance to meet the performer.

Armenia community event photos

The evening started with the gathering go local VIPs from the local community and approximately 50 local Armenian fans of both Iveta and Eurovision. The atmosphere was quite quiet in the the room, until I made a short interview clip with the backing singers, in which they sang part of LoveWave. This got the audience in the mood of some of the nice moments to come....

The Iveta arrived, to applause and the speakers playing LoveWave, there was a short speech and then while refreshments were served, Iveta spent 20-30 minutes meeting all the people there and giving one-to-one selfie style photos to all her the fans gathered there.....

Then onto the performances...

First up were the backing vocalists themselves former Junior Eurovision Song Contest contestants Masha Mnjoyan (backing vocalist in JESC 2008 and national final participant of the same year, as well as participant of New Wave 2013) and Sona Gyulkhasyan (national preselections of 2010 and 2011 and New Wave Junior 2012), as well as Anushik Ter-Ghukasyan and Christina Mangasaryan. These were joined on piano by songwriter Lilith Navasardyan. They performed two traditional Armenian songs; Yerat Im Yerkir and Kilikiya.

They up came Iveta to join the backing girls and Lilith in a piano rendition of LoveWave.....

We also had a great opportunity to chat with Iveta for some minutes after the show;

Finally the evening was completed some traditional dancing from the troupe Alik Barakhoump (Members are Seri, Arsen, Mego and Nareg) and also from young Setali in a solo performance

Please also enjoy our photo gallery here;

Armenian community event

Finally our grateful thanks to both Gohar and David from the Armenian for the invitation to cover this event organised by the Armenian Delegation here in Stockholm

Video clip of the Bonfires Parade from Stockholm last night....clip is in Russian

Report from one of our Russian correspondents;

We were able to visit the celebration of Walpurgis Night in Stockholm.
Mass expulsions and intimidation of witches and other evil spirits using torches and bonfires.
We visited just one of many events across the country.
A torchlight procession from the Old Town Square - the Stortorget, which ended on Riddarholmen island - it brought out the torches and then lit a huge fire - no witch, but nevertheless there gathered an impressive crowd on the Swedish coast.
After this the Swedes decided to use the occasion to show off their limitless musical resources and demonstrate the performance of a local choir, and then the vocal-dance troupe who performed in front of an audience.

Let it begin.....Team Kaz are on their way to Stockholm

Well the day finally arrived, its time to head to Stockholm for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

It's with a slightly heavy heart as some of you who know us personally, yesterday was a very sad day for Daniel and myself.

And annoyingly we are not the first of the team to start their journey, one team member left on Wednesday already BUT we should be the first to arrive in Stockholm later today...

What to expect from the next few weeks? Well the usual stuff from us, interviews, rehearsal clips, opinions, city information and maybe some drunken antics, if the Kapitan allows it....

In the mean time here's last years winner for you to drool over again.....see you all in Stockholm


Falco grave

Andy on Thu, 05/21/2015 - 23:43

One probably the most must-do task for me in Vienna was to visit grave of my idol Falco.

At 2.5 million square meters and containing 300,000 graves, Vienna Central Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the world. Many prominent figures in music history – Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Schubert, Salieri as well as Falco and Udo Jürgens are buried here.

To reach it you need to take tram 71 (which stands for as a metaphor for death in Vienna) or tram 6. The closest underground stop is "Simmering". Central entrance to the cemetery is Zentral Friedhof Tor 2, it's there where you can get map, find info center (nothing in English) and also Funeral museum. But if you're interested in Falco grave only, Tor 3 is closer.

The dedicated bus line for the cemetery runs every half an hour from 9 am to 3:30 pm, and also at 4 pm and 4:30 pm on Saturdays. This saves walking long distances within the extensive cemetery grounds.

You have to prepare yourself in advance. The map you get is very basic and fully in German. But you can read the names of the most prominent figures and the sector they are buried in. There aren't many descriptions on the site, just the sector numbers and sometimes the map showing the location of numbered graves. At info center you can get a more detailed book with the descriptions of cemetery, but again it goes fully in German. Cost 10 Euros.

Most of the famous graves are in special groups known as Ehrengräber (honorary graves). There are four main sections dedicated to Ehrengräber, labelled group 32A, group 32C, group 33G and group 40. Aside from the Ehrengräber, it's also worth noting the Präsidentengruft (Presidential Crypt). This is where all the post-WWII Austrian presidents are buried.

Vienna Central Cemetery is the second largest cemetery in Europe. It covers a total area of 2.5 million square metres and is home to around 330,000 graves, approximately 1,000 of which are honorary graves. Viennese joke that the Zentralfriedhof 'half the size of Zurich and twice as much fun', as the cemetery is half as large as the city of Zurich. Zentralfriedhof has a dead population of almost twice the present living residents of Vienna. Between 20 and 25 funerals take place at Vienna Central Cemetery every day.

The complete information about:
Falco grave:…

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Building Bridges Special

Andy on Thu, 05/21/2015 - 23:06

As part of Trip For Free program offered by the host city of Vienna, today we have visited Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)

The Kunsthistorisches Museum was built by Emperor Franz Joseph to house the splendid imperial collections, and they make it one of the world’s most important museums. Artefacts from five millennia – from ancient Egypt to classical antiquity to the late 18th century – document the patronage and connoisseurship of the art-loving members of the House of Habsburg.

Celebrated masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, Vermeer, Velázquez, Titian and Durer, as well as the world’s largest collection of works by Bruegel, make a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum an unforgettable experience.

Daily till May 23rd 2015 on offer is a special program of guided tours at the Kunsthistorisches Museum for all fans of the Eurovision Song Contest! Check the details at:

For example, tomorrow, on 22 of May at 16:30 fans can visit "Once I'm transformed, once I'm reborn" tour - Drama, triumph and eternal life.

Today we had a short appr. 1 hour tour that included visits to Kunstkammer Wien and Picture gallery halls of museum. The modern thing was that all tour guests were equipped by special portable set, allowing to move a bit away from the guide and go on exploring neighbouring stands on your own, at the same time still listening to guide speech right in your ear. Very helpful.

Eurovision highlights of the tour included: first recognized painting of Conchita, statue of Phoenix and painting parodied at Belgian postcard in ESC 1979.

The tour was really nice, with experienced English speaking guide and tongue-in-cheek commentary, even though probably a bit rushed. Since we have not visited Egyptian part of museum I mostly was interested in, I continued touring on my own after the end of the official tour.

It is also worth to note that the museum features huge shop where one can find numerous books and memorabilia.

Trip to a Palace

Before arriving to Vienna I booked a tour to a Schloss Hof castle and afterwords to wine tasting to a local winery. So, our trip started today at 9.30 am not far from our flat in Vienna. We were also joined by delegations from Latvia and Czech Republic (Marta only). It took us approximately 40 min to get to the palace as it is situated out of the city.

The total area of the property is about 50 hectares and it's absolutely amazing! It is green, quiet and very beautiful. We were welcomed by the management to nice ladies dressed is medieval dresses. And they actually were our guides throughout the whole journey in the palace. We visited the most of the rooms (dining room, playroom and the owner's bedrooms). We've been to the chapel and inner gardens. The views, landscapes are very relaxing and you can even see Bratislava clearly. A lovely tree course lunch was served, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Later on were drove to the winery where we met welcoming hosts - a Netzl family. We were offered a small tour around all the cellars and after that an 8 wine type tasting. We started with the whites and rose and continued with the reds. Each of the wines were supported by explanations of how it is produced and properly served. At the end we could buy a wine up to our tastes.

It is an unforgettable experience and I'm thankful to the Free Trips for such a joy.

Boggie flashmob live in Vienna....

ESCKAZ were very happy to attend the final flashmob of the Hungarian singer Boggie live in Vienna.

There were lots of local diaspora from Hungary in attendance and all were given lyrics to help with the singing and we had a practice run

After this, Boggie lead us all in her flashmob performance of the song Wars For Nothing…..I was very happy to join in with this and in fact I translated some of the words into Russian in my head and feel the whole sentiments of the song now….

Boggie was very happy to talk to the people who were there and spent some time given photographs to anyone who was there and the whole event was filmed by Hungarian television.

Thanks to Boggie for the invitation and we are happy at to have attended as many flashmobs as we can and no have a lasting memory of this event to take away from the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 and keep forever

With thanks from and delegation to Hungary.

The Montenegro party yesterday.

Good morning!

Yesterday there were four parties in Vienna: Nordic, Serbian, San Marino and Montenegro. And I visited the last one.

So what can I tell about it? First it started at 19.00 and the way there from press center took just 15 minutes. It's not so far, just 6 stations by metro. The party took place in small and very cute club SPARK.

Perticipant from Montenegro met all guests at the entrance. A bit later after all guests came he performed his Eurovision song together with backing vocalists. After backing vocalists were singing Maria Sherifivich's song MOLLITVA.

Mamma Mia

Andy on Thu, 05/14/2015 - 00:34

As part of the Trips For Free invitation we had a chance to visit today Mamma Mia musical at Raimund Theater of Vienna. Centrally (two metro stops away from the ESC Arena) located theater was very convenient location and the tickets have already been awaiting with friendly volunteer at the entrance to the building.

One thing that we would specially like to notice is that unfortunately we're hearing that a lot of Trips For Free that are listed as fully booked, are not fully attended. People booking free tours are not bothering to unsubscribe themselves in case of not planning to go, and thus not giving any one else a chance to step in their place. Same had happened today, when at least 3 seats near us seemingly booked for international press/delegates/fans as well, remained empty, while we know some people would love to attend, but had no chance to book in.

Well, I will not be going into the details of the complete show. I would just mention that it runs completely in German, but for the convenience of the foreigners in Raimund Theater are 4 screens with English translation of the dialogues and songs. The text there is a bit small, and from the 1st floor (rang) of the hall where we got press tickets, you needed to have really good eyesight to be able to read English text. Anyway, probably every Eurovision fan knows Mamma Mia musical in details and it won't be a problem to watch it in German.

The songs in German haven't lost their magic at all, so to me there was practically no difference from listening them in original language.

The cast we had today included Ana Milva Gomes as Donna (by the way first black Donna in the history of musical), Madeleine Lauw as Sophie, Susa Meyer as Tanja and Jacqueline Braun as Rosie. In other roles were playing original actors Livia Wrede, Boris Pfeifer, Peter Kratochvil, Andreas Wanasek, Pierre Damen and several covers as Carolin Schönemann, Raphael Dörr and Nicola Gravante (who danced for Conchita Wurst at Life Ball). Herbert Pichler was leading Popband of Orchestra of the United Stages Vienna providing music part.

I totally felt in love with Madeleine Lauw as Sophie. She appeared a bit strange to me from the very beginning because of her pretty unusual vocal technique, but in the end felt ideal for the roles, a little beast as Sophie should be and not a homegirl as often portrayed. The other actors were really good in their roles as well, so I would rate the show with 5 stars easily.

In the venue you can buy loads of souvenirs, which ended with me buying (of course in addition to the official program and German language CD of Mamma Mia with Hamburg cast) 5 CDs of musicals with Thomas Borchert! (coming in September to Vienna for new run of Mozart). There were so many on offer, so I had no chance to touch ones with Uwe Kröger and Drew Sarich (fresh from Jesus Christ Superstar performances in Vienna on Easter), so a comeback to Austria (or to that extent to Germany) in next couple of years will have its reason. Take a look on other available souvenirs here:

We wish those attending the show on two further Trips For Free screenings on May 15th, 07:30pm and May 16th, 07:30pm to enjoy it as much as we did. Madeleine Lauw will be off on both of those days, and it will also be the last chance to see Franzisca Schuster as Sophie and Tim Hüning as Sky on Saturday. To the people who had no chance to book Free trip, but would like to attend the show, there still are tickets available, including for such a low price as 49 Euros and it runs every day except Mondays.

You can find more about the musical on it's official pages: