A campaign has been launched to allow New Zealand to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.
The team at Kiwi brewery Yeastie Boys has released an unofficial Eurovision song made by comedy duo Two Hearts as part of their bid to get contest bosses to permit the nation to compete.
Once exclusively open to European countries, the Eurovision Song Contest now has competitors from as far away from the continent as Australia.
Two Hearts, comprising Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore, have shared a track called ‘Eurovision (Open Up)’ as part of Yeastie Boys’ campaign. Their petition is available to sign here.
In the petition a statement from the brewery read: “Can New Zealand come and play too?”
“New Zealand is a country with a rich musical heritage that could bring a lot to the Eurovision party. Just ask Lorde, Crowded House or Dane Rumble,” the statement continued.
“We have taken it upon ourselves to highlight this injustice and right this wrong by inviting fellow New Zealand pals Two Hearts to launch the first ever official unofficial Eurovision entry.”
Yeastie Boys founder Stu McKinlay said: “We’ve become big Eurovision fans since arriving here in the UK but we really miss having our own country to cringe at while simultaneously supporting unwaveringly” [via NME].
“I was the youngest of five kids and whenever my older siblings went to gigs, I was too young to join them. Australia being in Eurovision, when New Zealand hasn’t been invited, gives me the same vibes and I don’t like it.”
He added: “New Zealanders grow up with a sense of social justice being very important and Australia being invited to Eurovision without New Zealand is like inviting someone to your wedding but not giving them a plus one!
“Everyone loves New Zealand and finds us cute and non-threatening and that makes us a sure thing for doing well in the public vote. I mean who really likes Australia?”
Israel joined the song contest in 1973 and is permitted to take participate because the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Australia joined Eurovision in 2015 to commemorate the competition’s 60th anniversary. Other additions over the years include Cyprus, Armenia and Morocco.
Rolling Stone UK spoke to the UK’s entry Mae Muller earlier this month about her hopes for the 2023 contest, while stage designer Julio Himede and lighting designer Tim Routledge told us about their “hug for the world” vision for the event.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 grand finals take place tomorrow (13 May) in Liverpool at the city’s M&S Bank Arena.
The UK is hosting in honour of last year’s winners, Ukraine, who can’t host due to Russia’s ongoing invasion. It will be broadcast live from 8pm BST via the BBC.