Liverpool makes Eurovision final two

Liverpool is on the final shortlist of two to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 with a final decision to be made ‘in weeks’. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool is on the shortlist of two to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023


Liverpool will battle it out with Glasgow in the race to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.

On Tuesday it was announced the original shortlist of seven had been whittled down to just two. Originally due to be held in Ukraine, the annual contest is switching to the UK following the Russian invasion. A final decision will be made “in weeks”.

Liverpool was first told it was on the seven-strong shortlist in August. Other cities now eliminated from the contest are Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. There were originally 20 bids from across the UK.

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “I’m so thrilled to hear Liverpool’s hopes of hosting Eurovision have moved a big step closer. We all know our city is great at hosting big events – nobody throws a party like Liverpool – and the judges at Eurovision agree.

“From The Beatles, to Cream, to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – Liverpool always moves to its own beat – and hosting Eurovision would write a brand-new chapter in our musical heritage. In the short term however, it will be a huge boost to the local economy and will also provide a platform to sustain jobs well into the future.

“We are so proud to have the backing of our sister city in Ukraine – Odesa – and it would be a privilege to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of them and the people of Ukraine.

“Glasgow is a great city and so I don’t envy the judges who have to decide between us, but for me there is no city anywhere in Europe which would make a more perfect home for Eurovision than Liverpool.”

Eurovision organisers stipulate the host venue must be able to accommodate about 10,000 spectators. It must also be within easy reach of an international airport and have enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and ticket-buyers.

They will need to be able to access the venue, likely to be ACC Liverpool, for six to eight weeks ahead of the song contest. This means the host city will need to move concerts and events that are already in their schedules.

BBC’s director of unscripted content, Kate Phillips, said: “We are committed to delivering a truly unique song contest that celebrates wonderful Ukraine and champions British music and creativity in all its diversity.”

Liverpool’s bid team has said it will look to pay tribute to Ukraine if the city was to stage the event next summer.

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