Eurofest is run in their spare time by a group of friends who wanted to make sure there was a Eurovision club night in London. The Eurofest team is:
Dave Simmons has been a DJ for over 20 years, playing a variety of music across pop, dance, techno and hard house. In recent years, he brought his passion for the Eurovision Song Contest into his work and started to play his unique style of Eurovision music, mixing old favourites with edits and remixes of current contest entries. He spent over a decade as a DJ at G-A-Y at the London Astoria and has played at some of the UK’s best known clubs as well as other countries including Spain and Lebanon. In recent years he has played in several Eurovision Song Contest parties in the host city, including the official fan Euroclubs in Athens 2006, Helsinki 2007, Belgrade 2008, Oslo 2010, Dusseldorf in 2011 and Malmo 2013. In 2007, he became resident DJ at the London Schlager Party, an event designed to promote Swedish pop music and Melodifestivalen hits mixed in with classic and current Eurovision anthems. He is also resident DJ at the London Eurovision Preview Parties since they began in 2008, plus at the annual OGAE UK ‘Eurobash’ events. Now Dave is bringing his love of Europop and Eurovision back to the London scene as one of the resident DJs at the new event Eurofest.
Favourite Europop song: “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” by Modjo
Favourite Eurovision song: “My Heart Is Yours (7th Heaven Mix)” by Didrik Solli-Tangen (Norway 2010)
Don Grant became a DJ in 1992. His 18-year residency as a DJ at G-A-Y on Thursday nights made him the longest running resident DJ in the country. He was known for having two musical styles – commercial dance and pop, and also Dutch and German house and techno. This led to residencies in many of the leading gay clubs in London, Bristol and Birmingham as well as running his own successful club night, LA3. As music started taking a turn towards R&B and funky house though, Don decided to take a break from DJing, but after going to a couple of Schlager Parties and Eurovision Preview Parties, soon became hooked on the sound which has so many similarities to the style he was known for at G-A-Y. For this reason, Don couldn’t resist the offer to play at Eurofest.
Favourite Europop song: “Dangerous (Cahill Mix)” by Cascada
Favourite Eurovision song: “This Is My Life” by Euroband (Iceland 2008)
Alasdair has been a fan of all things Eurovision related since the age of 7, and a pop music fan for as long as he can remember. Having written for Eurovision-related websites in the past, he leapt at the chance to be involved with Eurofest. His passion for all things Eurovision is an ideal balance to his day job as a journalist covering European politics. Alasdair has attended an increasing number of Eurovision events and is always keen to spread the gospel – and is proud to have turned a number of “non-fans” into confirmed fanatics. Just to add to his Eurovision credentials, Alasdair is also the President of OGAE UK, the UK Eurovision fan club. As someone who has been a fan of pop – and specifically Europop – since the days of Stock Aitken & Waterman, Alasdair says it’s fantastic to be involved in a night that’s bringing this kind of music to a wider audience. He spends a lot of time listening to music from across the continent and is pleased to see that despite the doom-mongers, Europop is alive and well!
Favourite Europop song: Anything Stock, Aitken & Waterman laid their hands on!
Favourite Eurovision song: “Bandido” by Azucar Moreno (Spain 1990)
John’s earliest memory of Eurovision dates back to 1990 when Emma performed “Give a Little Love Back to the World” at A Song For Europe which went on to represent the UK in Zagreb. However, he began to fully follow the euro-spectacle in 2000. He’s been a big euro pop fan since the early 90’s and constantly seeks new music by looking at the European singles charts and web blogs. John has been attending the Eurovision finals since 2003 and loves meeting new euro-fanatics! He’s very keen to be involved in an event that combines both europop anthems with Eurovision hits.
Favourite Europop song: “Back In My Life” by Alice Deejay
Favourite Eurovision song: “Euphoria” by Loreen (Sweden 2012)
That his choice in music has never been seen as cool is not something John has let get in the way of his enjoyment of all things Eurovision and Europop. From an early age he remembers watching Eurovision every year, with Céline Dion’s win in 1988 being one of the most memorable. John’s interest in Eurovision has increased over the years, not least because his partner Alasdair drags him all over Europe to go to Eurovision events. His love of Europop manages to fill the months between Eurovisions, stemming back to the nineties when the first single he bought was by Roxette. John funds his appreciation of Europop by working in local government, and longs for the day that Eurovision will be hosted in London so that he might get the chance to work on it. Until that happens John is happy to be involved in making sure there is a fantastic Europop night being hosted in London.
Favourite Europop song: “Stay The Night” by Alcazar
Favourite Eurovision song: “Never Ever Let You Go” by Rollo and King (Denmark 2001)
All the graphics for Eurofest were designed by the fabulous Rob Nash. And each Eurofest is also supported by a great team of people who help out on the door or looking after our live act so a big thanks to Simon, Ceri, Tim, Donal, Vaughan, Chris and everyone else who has helped out.