Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Song Contest Could Have You Singing a Global Tune

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Song Contest Could Have You Singing a Global Tune

Article excerpt

As much as I like to hype the global reach of the Internet, I have to admit that, for me at least, Web surfing has always been pretty much an all-American activity.

A quick glance over past columns indicates that only about one percent of the sites I mention are located outside the United States. This embarrassing bit of ethnocentrism came to light when someone asked for a list of sites devoted to Eurosong, one of the premier events on the European pop-culture calendar. The only problem was, I'd never heard of it. Fortunately, the Web soon got me up to speed.

The event, which will be held May 3 in Dublin, is a natural for the Web. The Eurovision Song Contest, as the competition was originally known, is a sort of musical Olympics that began in 1956 as a means to promote the newly formed European Broadcasting Union. My guess is, it's just a matter of time before someone realizes it can also be used to promote Europe and European music on the World Wide Web. All the ingredients -- including an existing international audience and the ability to broadcast FM quality music on the Web -- are in place. All that's needed is for the Web to reach the "critical mass" in Europe that it already has attained in North America. Here, where every event from the Olympics to the Oscars spawns numerous Web sites, Eurosong would be a major `Net happening. In Europe it doesn't even have an "official" site. Fortunately, there are plenty of unofficial sites to pick up the slack. The best are euroActive! and the Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Homepage. If you're unfamiliar with the contest, I recommend starting with the latter, since it offers a brief history. The site also contains Real Audio clips from several of this year's contestants -- although you'll have to hunt to find them -- and a tribute to 1974 winner ABBA. …

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