International Cat Day should be every day for cat owners

Today is International Cat Day and it’s an awareness campaign I think about a lot. As a marketer, it offers huge opportunities for businesses to create plenty of creative marketing content for social media marketing and online marketing activity. As a cat owner however, every day should be International Cat Day – a pet cat is a part of the family, totally dependent on its owner for food, medication and survival. Working with Bristol Marketing on the Awareness Day calendar has highlighted so many ways that people and their businesses can promote a good cause whilst boosting their own marketing activity. An awareness day provides the opportunity to do just that. There are plenty of local and national charities focussing on animal welfare and cat protection that you can support. The beauty of International Cat Day is that it raises awareness about cats that are not lucky enough to haveRead More

Bristol Pride – Putting Bristol on the Eurovision Map

Bristol Pride Eurovision Bucks Fizz

Bristol Pride remains the largest free Pride festival in the UK and yesterday it reached new levels of support with the biggest turnout in the event’s history. It was a privilege to work on such an important event, promoting equality, diversity, combining my Eurovision passion with the local community to generate a special Eurovision thread within Bristol Pride. The success of the Eurovision feature at this year’s Bristol Pride may open the door for a greater Eurovision theme in future years. British Eurovision winners, Bucks Fizz had the 25,000 crowd dancing across Castle Park as they performed their legendary skirt ripping routine. Combining Bristol Pride and Eurovision to promote social diversity This year, I was able to work with the organisers to bring some of the all time favourite Eurovision acts together at Bristol Pride. Attracting the Eurovision community to Bristol is a great opportunity for local businesses and venues,Read More

Bristol HMD challenges – How to keep the memory alive for Holocaust victims

Bristol-HMD Holocaust Memorial Day service

On Tuesday 27th January, I attended the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event at Bristol’s M-Shed. The Bristol HMD event saw a vibrant mixture of people from multi faith backgrounds united for a day of film, poetry, discussion, talks and reflection. A challenge was set out: How do we continue to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, honour and commemorate those that lost their lives and work towards the prevention of genocide in the future? For me, The Holocaust has always been an emotive issue and now in my mid 30s, it is a sad state of the world that I can look back on so many examples of ethnic cleansing, genocide and mass murder that have taken place long after the NAZI death camps were made known to the world. Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur – all in my lifetime. The Bristol HMD event created news coverage, multimedia interest and keptRead More

A realistic starting point for Bristol Social Service Improvement

Obstacles to services improvement everywhere and the blame game goes on.

support services improvement Bristol system change

Whatever it is you set out to do in life, there are always going to be obstacles in your path. The more determined you are to achieve your goals, the bigger and more frequent the obstacles usually become. That’s certainly my experience working to create services improvement in the realms of mental health, addiction and homelessness services in Bristol since joining IF Group at the end of 2014. The amount of good will and desire to see services improve is colossal. There is unanimous agreement that the demand for services far outstrips their ability to support everyone in need, service providers are doing their best to adapt their plans in the face of tightening budgets and government cuts and the numbers of people in need seems to grow by the day. This makes it all the more difficult to achieve services improvement and provide service to meet the needs of all whoRead More

Five reasons why the United Kingdom failed at Eurovision 2015

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 result scoreboard

British viewers had high hopes that Electro Velvet would be able to achieve a decent Eurovision Song Contest result this weekend in Vienna, but alas it wasn’t to be as the United Kingdom failed at Eurovision yet again, finishing 24th with just five points. In truth, hopes were based on good will for Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholls who had been hand picked to sing ‘Still In Love With You’ by an internal selection panel responsible for the United Kingdom’s Eurovision Song Contest entry. Electro Velvet’s song had proved popular with Eurovision fans and they worked tirelessly to support their entry in Vienna. It quickly became clear that compared to other delegations, the BBC effort lacked cohesion, understanding and leadership. Whilst entries such as the eventual winner from Sweden had been tried, tested, perfected and locked down through the course of a six week selection show, Electro Velvet had their first runRead More

Building Bridges at Eurovision – Conchita Wurst and Polina Gagarina

Conchita Wurst Polina Gagarina Eurovision Song Contest Building Bridges

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest has a theme of Building Bridges and it seems to be having a positive effect for one of Eurovision’s strongest supporters – the LGTB community. There is no doubt that Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision Song Contest victory has had a positive effect on the cause of equality. She dedicated her Eurovision win to all those who hope for equality and unity, stating. “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable.” Conchita has taken up the cause of equality for the LGTB community and was hailed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who called her victory ‘an electrifying moment of human rights education’ and said ‘she confounds people’s preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality – and she appeals to them to accept her as she is.’ ARead More

United Kingdom Eurovision Chances Hampered by lack of Stage Planning Expertise

Electro Velvet Eurovision Song Contest 2015 United Kingdom Rehearsal

The chances of success for the 2015 United Kingdom Eurovision Song Contest entry have been drastically reduced by the staging according to the massing journalists in the Eurovision Press Centre. There was real hope amongst Eurovision Song Contest journalists, fan sites, bloggers and Eurovision fans that we would be reporting on a song with a strong act on stage and a strong stage performance. Usually two out for three ain’t bad. At Eurovision, United Kingdom fans would be glad for one out of three. The problem is that the strong song and strong act are washed away by the poor staging. Everything had been moving towards a good song. A strong stand-out entry, excellent vocalists with growing stage presence, a solid Eurovision promo tour, a well produced promo video prepared in advance and record United Kingdom Eurovision YouTube viewing numbers all pointed to very good score potential. But hopes of successRead More

2015 Eurovision Song Contest is yet to explode

Three days into rehearsals at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and Europe’s most popular television show has yet to deliver a truly explosive moment to set the competition alight. The highlight from the first three days of rehearsals is the Russian first rehearsal, ensuring Russia are seen as potential Eurovision Song Contest winners this year. Polina Gagarina, Russia’s Gaga as she’s being dubbed in the Eurovision press centre in Vienna, pushed Russia firmly into contention for a second Eurovision Song Contest win with a pitch perfect performance of her entry ‘A Million Voices’. Read more about my review of Russia’s 2015 Eurovision chances on Metro online here The stage is a contender for the best Eurovision stage of all time and the organisation on the ground here in Vienna is pretty much perfect. The press centre is performing brilliantly so far, internet is reliable and the team of volunteers areRead More

Conchita Wurst becomes Champion of Eurovision and LGTB rights

Anniversary of a great Eurovision Moment: Honouring Conchita Wurst

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Winner Conchita Wurst Austria

It seems incredible to think that an entire year has passed since that moment that Conchita Wurst stood victorious on the Eurovision Song Contest stage in Copenhagen and declared: ‘This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable.’ The moment came as a result of two years of dedication after finishing second in the Austrian Eurovision selection final of 2012. In 2013, Austria was absent from the Eurovision Song Contest, claiming that it was too political and they didn’t stand a chance of qualifying for the final. Even broadcaster ORF hadn’t realised the potential of the Unstoppable Conchita Wurst. In 2014, ORF gave the nod to Conchita, the brainchild and creation of the incredibly talented Tom Nuwirth. As Conchita, Tom toured Europe, performing at every available preview show, tirelessly promoting Conchita andRead More

Eurovision Expert Ben Royston Returns To Eurovision Journalism

Benny Royston is the new editor of ESC Buzz Eurovision Website

Benny Royston Eurovision Song Contest Expert

Benny Royston is the new editor of Eurovision Song Contest website Benny has experience as Manager and Chief Editor at, which remained the most visited independent Eurovision Song Contest site while he worked there. He is also the Eurovision Song Contest blogger for Metro UK and will be reporting for them again this year in Vienna. From today, ESC Buzz has a voice and opinion of it’s own. Benny Royston is a leading Eurovision Song Contest Expert based in the United Kingdom. He has provided commentary, opinion and debate on television from Iceland to Israel and many places in between. He has served on national selection juries and panels in several countries and has an ear permanently wired to the Eurovision Grape Vine. He will now be providing opinion and his take on all things Eurovision in the all-new ESC Buzz Blog. “It’s great to be writing for theRead More