It should have been Ukraine. But for obvious reasons, that won’t be possible. Even if the war is over and the country is safe again by the time Eurovision 2023 comes around, the venues and infrastructure have already been destroyed and the country is on its knees. Hosting a musical spectacle will be impossible for Ukrainians.
Liverpool to host Eurovision 2023
So the country that came second, UK, was appointed to host Eurovision 2023. Back in August, six cities were shortlisted for the honour of hosting the contest, with two cities standing out in their bids – Liverpool and Glasgow.
Until now, neither city has ever hosted the contest before, and neither has been home to a winning act. But Liverpool has a long proud history of music and continues to play host to a thriving music scene. With bands such as the Beetles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Elvis Costello, Atomic Kitten, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Frankie Goes to Hollywood … any many more, it’s no wonder the city was named the ‘City of Pop’ by the Guinness Book of Records in 2001.
Putting up strong competition on the musical heritage front, Glasgow has produced artists and bands such as Lulu (who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969), Simple Minds, John Paul Young and Primal Scream. But it was Liverpool that won the day.
On behalf of Ukraine
Liverpool, twinned with the Ukrainian city of Odessa, was selected based on a number of factors that its venue capacity, the city-wide infrastructure and the strength of the local cultural offer. Liverpool Arena has a seating capacity of over 10,000 and is easy to reach by train. The Arena is on the Waterfront, on Kings Dock, next to the river Mersey. Head of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Osterdahl, said the Arena was the “ideal place” to host the competition as it “exceeded all the requirements”.
The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event and has been running since 1956. Each of the seven shortlisted UK cities put in strong bids, but there could only be one winner. And on Friday 6 October it was announced that Liverpool has won the bid. The Eurovision is coming to the North West!
It has not been revealed how much the city spent on its bid, or how much it will cost to host the competition, but some expect the local economy to get a boost of between £15mn and £30mn
What city can’t use a boost like that?