It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer. The weather is getting just a touch warmer. And horrible schlager music fills the radio waves. Because Eurovision is coming up. And that can mean only one thing in Sweden. Melodifestivalen. Which is a horrible misnomer. Melody festival. That would suggest there is something melodic to the music being played at this lovely festival. But that is a lie.
Last year I watched Melodifestivalen with morbid fascination. I couldn’t turn away. It was like a train wreck. But this year is different. I’ve learned my lesson. As of today I think I’ve watched a grand total of maybe five minutes. When my ears started to bleed I turned the channel. And I feel good about myself. There are better things to do on a Saturday night. Like re-lace all of my shoes. Maybe clean the grout between all of the tiles in the bathroom.
Last night was the third night of Melodifestivalen. This one was held in Leksand, a city quite a ways north of Stockholm that might be more known for having signed Ed Belfour to their hockey team last year. But last night, Ed Belfour was a distant memory as Melodifestivalen invaded. I didn’t watch. I missed out on seeing E.M.D. and Molly Sandén move on to the finals at Globen. What a shame.
I truly do not understand this cultural phenomenon. It is amazing. And frightening in so many different ways. The music is awful. There’s just no way around it. The performances are hilarious. Because they are so awful. Maybe that is part of the charm. I hope so at least.
I will say this for Melodifestivalen though; they do a good job of raising money. To vote costs a bit of money. That money is then passed on to a Swedish charity. Last night over one million crowns was raised.
Welcome to Sweden. Where horrible schlager music dominates the media in February.