Eurovision visitors spent £54m in Liverpool

New evaluation of the economic and cultrual impact of Eurovision in Liverpool reveals it boosted visitor numbers by more than 300,000 and generated spending of £54m. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Eurovision celebrations at the Pier Head in May 2023


New research shows the hosting of Eurovision in May boosted the Liverpool city centre economy by £54m.

Multiple reports being revealed today by city council leader Liam Robinson and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram showed 473,000 people attended Eurovision events in the city, with 306,000 additional visitors heading to Liverpool to be part of the celebrations.

This may be a conservative estimate. Figures published by Liverpool BID Company reveals city centre footfall totalled more than 384,000 – 13.2% higher than the same period in 2022. The BID has a number of cameras counting footfall across the city centre.

Liverpool City Council’s Eurovision Village at the Pier Head on the waterfront welcomed 250,000 visitors during the nine days it was open.

Much of the £54m will have been spent on hotels, bars, restaurants and transport. The latest report shows 175,000 city centre hotel rooms were sold in May – the best month on record since 2018.

While the contest itself, held at the M&S Bank Arena, was organised by the BBC and its European broadcast partners, the rest of the celebrations throughout the city centre were pulled together by Liverpool’s director of culture Claire McColgan and her team

Ukraine was due to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest after winning it in 2022. But the Russian invasion made this impossible. Liverpool was selected as host city in October 2022 beating Glasgow in a run-off.

Liverpool’s culture team had just a few months to get organised and they pledged early on that Ukraine would play a major role in the celebrations. Claire said: “Quite simply, it was an honour to deliver Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine and the UK.

“I’ve never known time move so fast as it did across those seven months and it has been a real pleasure to digest these impact reports and relive the experience once again and reassure myself it wasn’t just a crazy dream.

“They underline the fact Liverpool has the skill, agency-wide teamwork and the creativity to deliver time and time again.”

A multi-agency evaluation steering group led by Liverpool City Council, commissioned five in-depth, independent evaluations – the interim results of which are being announced today.

They looked at the economic and social impact of staging the event on behalf of Ukraine, as well as the influence on cultural relations, the impact on wellbeing in the city and the wider city region and the visitor experience.

The evaluations reveal the education and community programmes, EuroStreet and EuroLearn, engaged with 367 organisations and directly with 50,000 people, young and old. The overall programme is estimated to have reached 2 million people.

EuroFestival – the Culture Liverpool curated two-week culture festival – presented 24 brand new commissions, 19 of which were in collaboration with Ukrainian artists.

328,346 people engaged with this programme – 557 artists, 1,750 participants involved in a commission and an audience number of 326,039.

Visitors to Liverpool reported an overwhelmingly positive experience. In a survey, 89% felt it was a safe event and 88% praised its inclusivity. And 96% would recommend Liverpool as a destination to visit.

And 42 per cent of overseas visitors said the city’s staging of the event had a positive impact on how they viewed the UK. 93% of Liverpool residents said they were pleased with the delivery of the event.

An impressive 475 people provided 12,000 hours of volunteering, covering 350 shifts. The majority (90%) were from the North West of England, and 30 were Ukrainian. A Eurovision job recruitment fair saw 394 jobs offered in one day. 

A partnership between the BBC and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts saw 145 students become part of the Eurovision production.

Between the period of October 2022, when Liverpool was announced as host city, until end of May 2023, more than 280,000 pieces of global news coverage were generated. The three live BBC shows were watched by 162m people.

Claire McColgan added: “We experienced this Eurovision-high as a result of cultural back catalogue. We have spent years working towards what we all experienced in May.

“We cut our teeth during our European Capital of Culture year and from that point we have grown exponentially in confidence and ability as year-on-year we continue to deliver events that rival any other on the world stage.

“The pandemic was a real line in the sand for us, and undoubtedly Liverpool’s role in leading the charge on the reopening of venues nationwide made us stand out from the crowd – we are recognised as a city that can deliver unforgettable moments, safely, quickly.

“I’d like to say to everyone – whether you worked on the event, donned those iconic yellow hoodies and volunteered, performed on stage or on our streets, danced at the Village,.. thank you. You made Eurovision. Liverpool made Eurovision.”


Liverpool hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in May to worldwide acclaim
Visitors to Eurovision in Liverpool in May 2023. Picture by Tony McDonough
Claire McColgan
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough


To bring together the findings of the reports, Liverpool City Council’s Public Health team commissioned The Heseltine Institute to compile the headline findings. This comprehensive overview can be found at the Heseltine Institute website.

Steve Rotheram added: “There was never a doubt in my mind as to whether our region was up to the challenge of hosting a global spectacle such as Eurovision on behalf of our friends in Ukraine. Nowhere does culture bigger or better than the Liverpool city region.

READ MORE: Eurovision drives revenue rise at Liverpool hotels

READ MORE: Liverpool ONE smashes records thanks to Eurovision

“While that’s an incredible result in itself, the contest was also a vital shot in the arm for our local economy, bringing in more than £54m, creating thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people and showcasing our brand to an international audience.

“None of this would have been possible without the hard work of everyone who truly embraced the Eurovision spirit and made our visitors feel so welcome.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.