Liverpool is on a shortlist of seven UK cities bidding to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool has made the seven-strong shortlist of UK cities bidding to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Originally due to be held in Ukraine, the annual contest is switching to the UK following the Russian invasion. Liverpool’s bid team has said it will look to pay tribute to Ukraine if the city was to stage the event next summer.
Other cities on the shortlist are Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. There were originally bids from 20 UK cities.
Liverpool has successfully made it through the first part of the bidding process. The BBC and the European Broadcast Union (EBU) confirmed it has met the essential criteria. This criteria includes the suitability of the venue, transport links and experience of hosting major events.
Liverpool City Council and the Combined Authority will now work with partners across the region to produce a detailed bid. Details will be kept under wraps for now. A final decision on where Eurovision will be held will be made in the autumn.
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.”
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, added: “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.”