OGAE Azerbaijan was established in 2007 as a network of Azerbaijani pioneer fans of Eurovision. The initial founders of the club were Fariz Gasimli, Omar Abdulkerimov, Ruslan Ismayilzade, and Rufat Khanmammadov. At ESC 2009, in Moscow, we officially got the active membership status in the European family of OGAE. OGAE (in French: Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l’Eurovision) is a major network of fans devoted to the Eurovision Song Contest, with established clubs in more than 40 countries.
Our club has enjoyed established close ties and constructive working relationship with the national broadcaster Ictimai since the very first participating year of our country. Every year, our members attend Eurovision as accredited fans, media and concert viewers. Three of our members worked for the core organisational team of Eurovision 2012. And also, our club takes part in traditional annual OGAE contests, particularly in the OGAE Song Contest and sometimes in the Second Chance Contest.
The primary mission of OGAE Azerbaijan is to consolidate Azerbaijani Eurovision fans, to promote Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, and to promote Azerbaijani music, culture and the country as a whole in Europe.
Azerbaijan in Eurovision
Azerbaijan debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in the year 2008 right after our Public Television (ITV) had gained active membership in the EBU. Prior to this Azerbaijan already broadcasted Eurovision in the years 2006 and 2007 and the popularity of the contest was increasingly growing in the country. Before the debut Azerbaijan introduced the motto “Land of Fire” as a name for the national selection and general country reference on Eurovision. Already in the first year, Azerbaijan reached Top 10 taking the 8th place with the song “Day by Day”. Just 4 years after the debut, our country won the contest in 2011 with the song “Running Scared” performed by the duet Ell and Nikki in Germany. In 2012 Azerbaijan hosted the 57th Eurovision Song Contest.
Out of 11 years on Eurovision, Azerbaijan has reached Top Ten 6 times.
OGAE (Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l’Eurovision) International is a non-profit umbrella organisation, which gathers national Eurovision fan clubs under itself. OGAE was founded in 1984 in Savonlinna, Finland and eventually has become the biggest organization for Eurovision-fans.
Until 2011 OGAE International served as a loose association without any legal protection. Since 2002 local clubs have elected an International Coordinator who chaired the annual Presidents’ meeting held in that year’s host city and who acted as the organisations figurehead. In 2009, in Moscow, the presidents decided that OGAE International would become a formal legal entity and a subcommittee was formed to draw up registration proposals and statutes. On the 13th May 2011, in Düsseldorf, the OGAE Presidents agreed unanimously to incorporate OGAE International under the French law and to set up an elected administrative bureau to manage the new organisation.
Each year OGAE International is responsible for distributing fan-tickets, which are generally the best front-row seats in the three main ESC-concerts (semifinals and Final). Annually OGAE International also hosts three music contests, which aim to promote national popular music throughout all the local OGAE-clubs and to increase co-operation through the network of clubs. Naturally OGAE also aims to develop the Eurovision Song Contest itself while establishing strong relationships with both the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the organising broadcasting companies. Each local OGAE club also aims to work in co-operation with their respective national broadcasting company in order to work together in the national pre-selection events.
OGAE is recognized by EBU as a trustworthy organisation for Eurovision-fans.