Eurovision 2023: First song contest event takes place in Liverpool - ‘It’s just sheer joy’

With 160 million viewers watching the live grand finale, Liverpool will be on the world stage once again.

The first Eurovision 2023 stakeholder meeting has taken place in the ACC Convention Centre in Liverpool as the city plots the best way to host next year’s event.

Speaking in front of a packed room, Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said the city has always had ‘a sense of social justice and we know how to have a party’ - making it the perfect place to hold the song contest on behalf of Ukraine next May.

Thirty-seven nations will compete at the event, with around 12,000 staff and 1,200 media are expected to be part of proceedings. Around160 million viewers will watch the live grand finale as Liverpool has the chance to celebrate being on the world stage once again.

’Eurovision to me it’s just sheer joy’

Cllr Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said: "Eurovision to me it's just sheer joy. I love music. I love a bit of glitter and sparkle. I think that's essentially what this is, but there is an added layer that it is Europe and wider coming together for this.

“We think about post-war; this is what Eurovision was all about. It was about bringing countries together that's never left the forefront of my mind. So it's great to see everyone coming together in this event, bringing forward their best musical artists."

Cllr Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, at the Eurovision 2023 stakeholder meeting.

‘We know how to have a party’

Speaking at the event, Mayor Anderson said the city has always had "a sense of social justice, and we know how to have a party". She added it was amazing how happy it has made everyone and said that the event is something we can all hopefully look forward to in these rough times.

’It’s inspiring the next generation’

Alicia Smith is heading up the Schools and Education programme as part of the Eurovision team in the city. She told LiverpoolWorld: "It's very much part of the whole event, so it means a lot. It means for education and community partners that it's inspiring the next generation. When they're watching that show on that night, they're going: 'I was part of that, this is what I did'.

“For our education partners, what we don't want to do is add on more work for them. They're going through a tough time as it is at the moment. This is about how does it translate into your curriculum, so is it about maths is it about geography is it about languages? How can we engage with you and ensure that your pupils feel engaged and part of our Eurovision."