The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the UK in 2023, the show’s organisers have confirmed.
Ukrainian rap-folk band Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 competition but the nation can’t host next year’s event due to the ongoing war following Russia’s invasion.
The UK finished as runner-up in the voting with Sam Ryder’s song Space Man and, following talks with broadcasters the BBC, has been chosen as the new location.
It’s not yet known which city will host Eurovision 2023 but Liverpool have already made an official bid and are among the favourites to land the event.
Which UK cities could host 2023 show?
Liverpool is not the only city in the running.
The UK last hosted Eurovision in 1998, in Birmingham, after Katrina and the Waves’ won and England’s second city has again been named among the possible destinations.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has name-checked Glasgow, while the leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig, has also thrown her city in the hat.
Leeds are eager to get the gig and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he would welcome Eurovision with open arms.
Liverpool currently has odds of 14/1 at bookies William Hill and are firth in the running, behind Birmingham (13/2), London (5/1), Manchester (6/4) and the favourites Glasgow (5/6).
Cardiff, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Belfast, Sheffield, Brighton, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol and Leicester are also in the betting.
Liverpool’s bid for Eurovision
As England’s only UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool officially threw its hat into the ring last month, promising to pay tribute to the war-torn country if it is selected to host the prestigious event.
An approach to organisers was made and the city prepared to draw up plans which would look at options for venues and the opportunity to reflect Ukraine’s culture in a schools and communities programme.
Liverpool was pivotal to the post-COVID re-emergence of the live music industry, staging the world’s first music concert and nightclub event in a trial to understand how venues and events could operate safely as the pandemic regulations eased.
The city has an enviable events calendar that features some of the best large-scale music activities – Africa Oyé, Liverpool International Music Festival and Sound City to name a few
Liverpool City Council also highlighted the city’s diverse music scene, adding it is also home to one of the greatest bands ever with the Beatles.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool and sister venues ACC Liverpool and M&S Bank Arena would be obvious candidates to host Eurovision.
What’s been said
Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and would like the opportunity for Liverpool to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest and in doing so pay tribute to their wonderful country.
“We are an events city and no one can stage a party like us. Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year’s host – great venues, enviable experience, a world-renowned music heritage, UNESCO City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome that just can’t be beaten.
“The event would become a beacon of hope around the world and we hope that Liverpool as an unrivalled music brand is given serious consideration by the decision-makers.”