A sold-out auditorium with 750 visitors, 12 stellar performers and an orchestra full of students. On May 25, 2023 was the second edition of EURvision, our university's Song Festival. "Next year you really shouldn't miss EURvision! It will be even bigger and more sensational because of the lustrum," says Myouska Zwijnenberg, organiser and host of this 'Rotterdam Song Festival'.
25 EUR students write their own song
Only EUR students are allowed to participate in EURvision. They are required to write their own song. Quite a task! Nevertheless, 25 students submitted their own song. "We were really surprised with so many applications. After the auditions, there were 12 acts left who competed in the show in the auditorium," says Myouska, who will start her master's degree in Innovation Management at RSM next year.
"EURvision was my highlight of the year. The next edition in the lustrum year will be even bigger"
Until 1998, the official Eurovision Song Contest had an orchestra that musically supported the artists. "We wanted to bring that back with our EURvision. Our student band could be heard at every performance. It sounded so much better than the real Song Contest. All the Sundays leading up to the event, they practiced hard."
Myouska wants to bring the university together with EURvision: "Often activities are organised from a faculty or a small club within the Erasmus community. Our event really needed to come from within the university as a whole! Together we are Erasmus University Rotterdam. That should be emphasised more often."
All done by 8 students
The preparation, the promotion and the day itself. Everything was organised by 8 students. Myouska: "That is of course a great achievement. Such a small club and then putting on such a big event. We made weeks of more than 40 hours and nobody got paid for it. During the day of the event we also did everything ourselves. Except for lighting and technology. We hired an external party for that."
Check out the performances of EURvision
Of course, a Song Contest cannot be without the famous Green Room (space where performers rest after their performance). The students built one in the auditorium. "We have much less budget than the real Song Contest of course. Someone had brought green sheets, a plant from my room and there was a chair from another student. Just like the real thing!"
In the weeks leading up to the event, all Myouska could think about was the Song Contest: "I woke up with EURvision and went to sleep with EURvision. But we were doing it together. That was the best part. Working towards a goal together. I'm so proud of everyone."
"Come and see next year"
In addition to organising, Myouska was also on stage. She hosted a room of 750 people. "After 5 minutes, the excitement was gone. I had another exam the night before and the next day I was standing there. It wasn't until the day itself that we started rehearsing the lyrics, but it all worked out."
The auditorium was completely packed with students, staff, parents and even grandparents. "My parents had never been here before and now they were in the auditorium. How fun is that? Many staff members in the room were enthusiastic. We got a lot of compliments."
Myouska advises everyone to come see EURvision next year. It will probably be on Thursday, May 16, 2024: "It's in the auditorium again. Because of the lustrum, it will be even bigger. Hopefully I myself will be the host again. Organising the event has taught me a lot and, among other things, lays the foundation for many other events I want to organise in the future. My dream is to eventually help organise the Olympics."