How a Liverpool music venue bounced back from the pandemic with a sold-out run of Eurovision fan parties
A live music venue in the creative heart of Liverpool got firmly back on its feet after the devastating effects of Covid thanks to a sell-out run of Eurovision party nights.
Camp & Furnace, a converted warehouse in the Baltic Triangle district, was chosen to host the high-profile Eurovision Fan Club.
Over nine successive nights the event space shook to the sound of Euro-pop as around 2,000 revellers danced the night away, including to a live show from last year’s Ukrainian winners Kalush Orchestra.
Camp & Furnace Senior Manager, Marketing and Events Greta Speed today told how Eurovision boosted hospitality in the city region as new figures reveal hosting the world-famous song contest attracted more than 300,000 extra visitors and delivered nearly £55m of economic benefits.
“When we found out the Eurovision bid had been successful it was really exciting because hospitality was struggling after Covid, consumer confidence was low and people were nervous about going into large spaces. We were really lucky and we got a lot of grants, including from the Arts Council – without which we wouldn’t be here – but even when we did open, we weren’t at full capacity.
“This was the biggest thing we have done since the pandemic. We had people from all over Europe and the world – from as far away as Australia. We sold to capacity of 2,200 and we were between 1,800 and 2,000 most nights. The more we got into the week the better it got – from Tuesday onwards we sold out every night. It felt like a bank holiday every day and walking around the city was such a nice atmosphere. We didn’t have a single issue or any incidents during the whole nine nights.”
Opened in 2012, Camp & Furnace has previously held Eurovision final show parties and hosted several Liverpool festivals including Sound City and the 6 Music Festival.
After being chosen to host the Euroclub, the venue worked with the Eurovision Fan Club (OGAE) to learn how to best organise the perfect Eurovision fan event.
The collaboration was key to planning timings, catering and the type of experience fans were used to. It also meant much-needed updates to the venue and its technical equipment could be brought forward.
Tickets were sold out by mid-April, with a low number of no-shows. The busy run kicked off with an Abba tribute act and ended with live screenings of the semi-finals and final.
The experience shaped business operations, helping the team work more closely together across departments, improving standards and efficiencies in communication, procedures, and safety.
“People were dancing until 4am every night. It was really great to see the venue full like that. We had artists from around the world flying in, high security around the place and lots of technicians from different countries.
“The summer is always a hard time – unless you are a festival, it can be quite hard with people going away on holiday or wanting to meet people outside or in their gardens – so it gave us a boost to get through until things get busier.
“It has definitely had a legacy for us. We had everyone back for a Eurobash a few weeks ago with the OGAE – the half-way to Eurovision 2024 “in between party”. That was more of a corporate kind of thing but still went on until 2am and it felt like the atmosphere from the event was a bit of a flashback to May.
“We are speaking to the fan club next week to get some advice about the upcoming Eurovision in Malmo. We have always had a Eurovision party on the final so we will definitely do the same thing as previous years, but maybe screening the semi-finals as well next year.
“We feel really lucky to be so involved and would do it every year if we could. It was really exciting to see the city get dressed up and we felt like a big part of it – a once in a lifetime thing. Even if it does come back to this country, it probably won’t be in Liverpool.”