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EUROVISION

Tourist group accused of inflating Eurovision stats

The tourist organisation Wonderful Copenhagen continues to deal with the fallout of May’s Eurovision song contest after a report that it exaggerated the song contest's effects.

Tourist group accused of inflating Eurovision stats
Although Conchita Wurst was crowned Eurovision winner five months ago, the event continues to cast a long shadow over Copenhagen. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
Following a long line of revelations about the enormous overspending at the Eurovision song contest in May, Wonderful Copenhagen is now facing disputed allegations that it vastly overstated the event's impact on local tourism. 
 
According to reporting from Metroxpress, Wonderful Copenhagen claimed that the song contest brought an additional 68,000 overnight stays to the city while figures from the hotel and tourist industry association Horesta show that Eurovision only gave 3,000 extra overnight stays. 
 
“It was 7.6 percent higher than the other weeks in May. How many came here because of Eurovision is hard to say. People were also here for reasons other than Eurovision,” Horesta spokeswoman Katia Østergaard told Metroxpress.
 
 
Metroxpress reported that, according to Horesta, there there were 42,000 overnight stays in Copenhagen during the week of Eurovision, compared to 39,000 in May’s other months. Following the Metroxpress report, however, Horesta countered that the newspaper's calculations were faulty and that the 42,000 figure actually represented the additional stays created by Eurovision. 
 
But several Copenhagen hotels also reported that they were far from sold out during the Eurovision event and the city's most popular tourist attractions told Metroxpress that they did not experience a significant boost from the singing contest. 
 
"We didn't have more visitors in the museum's collections or exhibitions as a result of Eurovision," the National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) told Metroxpress. The newspaper said that Tivoli, the Blue Planet and the Royal Theatre had a similar response. 
 
 
The discrepancies did not sit well with Copenhagen City Council member Rasmus Jarlov. 
 
“This indicates that the tourist organisation has used grossly inflated figures. It is strongly criticizable that they have misled the public and tricked people by making it look like a lot of tourists came to town,” Jarlov told Metroxpress.
 
Because of the continuing controversy surrounding the Eurovision event, both Wonderful Copenhagen and public broadcaster DR have taken the unusual step of releasing all documents related to the programme. 

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EUROVISION

Is Denmark’s Eurovision entry a rip-off?

Danes on Friday night voted for the song they wanted to represent them at this summer’s Eurovision contest. But before the euphoria even wore off, the winning entry was accused of being a rip-off of a smash hit German pop song.

Is Denmark's Eurovision entry a rip-off?
Lighthouse X will represent Denmark at Eurovision with the song 'Soldiers of Love'. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
The Danish trio Lighthouse X won Friday’s Melodi Grand Prix with the song ‘Soldiers of Love’. With 42 percent of viewers’ votes, the winners should have spent the next few days basking in glory before preparing to represent the nation in Stockholm this summer.
 
Instead, social media users began pointing out that the song performed by Johannes Nymark, Søren Bregendal and Martin Skriver sounded an awful lot like German pop superstar Helene Fischer’s ‘Atemlos durch die Nacht’ hit from 2013. 
 
Lighthouse X flatly denies being inspired by the German track. 
 
“We are not, because none of us know that song,” the group told tabloid BT. 
 
Two music experts came to the Danish group’s defence – sort of. 
 
Producer Chief 1 acknowledged that the two songs sound familiar but said it was likely “just a coincidence”. 
 
“We don’t have so many tones in the pop palette, so you can’t avoid touching on something else in this universe,” he told TV2. “I really don’t think the people behind this song sit around listening to bad German schlager to find inspiration.” 
 
The head of the official Melodi Grand Prix fan club also said the two songs are very similar but not close enough to qualify as pure plagiarism. 
 
“I’ll admit that when you hear Helene Fischer’s song, the chorus sounds a lot like the Danish winning song. But otherwise the songs are quite different and I have a hard time believing that EBU [the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the Eurovision Song Contest, ed.] would threaten to disqualify it based on this,” Johann Sørensen said. 
 
So, is the Danish song a rip-off of the German? Listen to them both below and judge for yourself. 
 
 

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