Liverpool on seven-city shortlist to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023

The city ‘sailed through’ the first phase of the process and will now compete with the likes of Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Liverpool has be named on the seven-city shortlist to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 after ‘sailing through’ the first phase of the process.

The city will now go head to head with Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield in their bid to stage next year’s international event.

The final contenders were announced on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show on Friday morning by the European Broadcasting Union.

The song contest is due to be held in May 2023, with the winning host city announce in the autumn.

Rap-folk band Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 competition for Ukraine, but the nation are unable to host next year’s event due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.

It will be held in the UK because Sam Ryder finished as runner up with his popular song, Space Man.

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest at Turin in Italy. Picture: AP Photo/Luca Bruno.

Liverpool’s Eurovision bid

Liverpool officially submitted its bid to host the international event earlier this week after making an expression of interest back in June.

The City Council and the Combined Authority will now work with partners across the region to produce a detailed bid to set out why Liverpool could - and should - host the biggest song competition in the world.

Details are being kept under wraps, but the bidding team has already hinted Liverpool’s proposal will pay tribute to Ukraine and its communities.

What’s been said

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Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson said: “Eurovision is made for this city and I’m so pleased Liverpool has been shortlisted.

“When we heard the sad announcement that Ukraine would be unable to host, Liverpool stepped forward and offered to stage the event in solidarity with, and in tribute to, this amazing country and its people.

“A huge amount of work is already going on behind the scenes to make Liverpool’s vision and ambition a reality. There are a number of complexities in staging a show of this scale, but we have one of the best event teams in the world, and one of the best cities in the world to act as a backdrop to Eurovision 2023 – let’s do this Liverpool!”

Claire McColgan CBE, director of culture Liverpool, said: “We are so excited to be shortlisted and now we have the chance to fully demonstrate this city’s culture credentials, our enviable creativity and our passion and expertise in staging large-scale, major events.

“As a city our award-winning events team opened up the nation’s first music events as we emerged out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is our moment to show everyone what we can deliver. We are a city of music and a champion for social justice, so in this unique situation for Eurovision we feel like there is nowhere better than Liverpool to host Eurovision 2023.”

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Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The Liverpool City Region is the UK’s cultural capital - home to a flourishing music scene that has been entertaining and inspiring the world for decades. It is a massive part of our identity, and we are a proud UNESCO City of Music. It’s safe to say that Liverpool wouldn’t be Liverpool without music - and music wouldn’t be music without Liverpool.

“No region in the UK has had more number one hits - and nowhere can throw a party quite like us. I can think of nowhere more qualified, more experienced or more fitting to host the Eurovision than the Liverpool City Region.”

Which cities are Liverpool competing against?

Twenty cities originally announced an ‘expression of interest’ when it was determined the event would be held in the UK.

Just seven - Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield - are now in the running to host the first Eurovision in the UK since 1998.

The winner will be decided through a two-stage process, based on the city’s capacity and capability.

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The critea explains that the city must have a venue able to accommodate 10,000 spectators, hotels for 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators, a press centre for 1,500 journalists and an international airport.

The winning host city will be announced in the autumn.

Where would Liverpool host the event?

Exhibition Centre Liverpool, ACC Liverpool and M&S Bank Arena are candidates to host Eurovision, offering large capacity and a range of hotels within walking distance.

However, the BBC report that no large arena in the UK currently has enough of a gap in its event listings to host Eurovision next year.

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Council officials say that organisers have informed them that the host venue would be needed by producers six to eight weeks ahead of the date of the song contest.

The M&S Bank Arena, for example have the following acts currently booked in for April and May 2023: Elton John, Magic Mike, Reminisce in Concert, Michael Starring Ben and André Rieu.

When will Eurovision 2023 take place?

The contest is likely to be held in May 2023, with semi-finals taking place during the week.

The BBC will announce official dates as they are confirmed.