Bury St Edmunds Eurovision fan takes his St Edmund flag to Kiev

James Sheen with the St Edmund of Suffolk flag which will accompany him at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev
James Sheen with the St Edmund of Suffolk flag which will accompany him at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev
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A ‘massive’ Bury St Edmunds Eurovision fan is planning to fly the St Edmund of Suffolk flag at this year’s song contest in Kiev.

When James Sheen flew to Ukraine’s capital on Sunday he was ‘bursting with excitement’ over going to the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest.

He attended the event in Stockholm last year, Vienna in 2015 and Dusseldorf in 2011, but this is the first time he will have fan accreditation – one of just 10 people in the UK to have it – giving him access to the second round of rehearsals, the first dress rehearsal of each show, the fan zone at the venue and the EuroClub.

The We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook group founder was also successful in a ‘golden circle’ ticket ballot run by the Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l’Eurovision (OGAE) which means he will be able to stand in an area immediately next to the stage.

James, who held Eurovision parties for 15 years before deciding to attend his first live contest, said: “The parties got more outrageous each year and I realised I couldn’t take it any further unless I went. The first time I was six rows from the back but you could still hear me during the live broadcast.

“It’s like a big family. You see people who have been to other Eurovisions and other events around the country – it adds glue to those friendships and you become friends with a lot of the artists as well.”

“People should go out and have a party for it. It’s not just about the music, it’s about getting people together and having a really good time,” he added.

The Eurovision semi-finals will take place next Tuesday and Thursday (May 9 and 11) followed by the grand final on Saturday (May 13).

James will be dressed in embroidered jeans and waist coat and his usual Union Jack flag tie and is planning to wave the St Edmund of Suffolk flag because he ‘loves Bury and wants it to be well known’.

His tips for this year include Croatia’s My Friend song which is his favourite, Romania’s Yodel It and Estonia’s Verona.