Liverpool has officially offered to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest following the announcement that next year’s event could be held in the UK.
Ukrainian rap-folk band Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 competition in Turin in May but the European Broadcast Union (EBU) has confirmed the contest will not be hosted in Ukraine next year due to the ongoing war.
The UK’s Sam Ryder finished as runner-up in the voting and the EBU is now in talks with the BBC over the possibilty of broadcasting the event next year.
Liverpool’s bid for Eurovision
As England’s only UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool has officially thrown its hat into the ring, promising to pay tribute to the war-torn country if it is selected to host the prestigious event.
An approach to organisers has been made and the city is preparing 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.”
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 destiations.
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.
Aberdeen, Brighton, Belfast and Cardiff have also shown an interest.