Liverpool has been selected as the host city for the next Eurovision Song Contest, the first to be held in the UK in 25 years.
Having come second to 2022 winners Ukraine, the UK was selected as the event’s host nation due to Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia. The forthcoming instalment of the competition in Liverpool is therefore set to contain elements that reflect and celebrate Ukraine, too.
Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson said the winning city “faced strong competition” from Glasgow, the other contender to be host, and added it would “do you proud” in a message to Ukraine.
“This is a massive event and the eyes of the world will be on us in May, especially those of our friends in Ukraine,” she said.
“Now begins months of work to put on the best party ever. Ukraine – you have my promise we will do you proud.”
The UK’s second-placed finish came as a result of Sam Ryder’s stellar effort in Turin, Italy, earlier this year. Ryder has since gone on to become something of a national treasure, with his affable personality and having performed as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Once the UK was decided as a location for the event, the process of selecting the same city was a tight race, with scores of councillors, politicians and local leaders coming out to claim why their city should win the right to have tens of thousands of visitors and some 160 million TV viewers focusing on them when the competition kicks off.
The cities, therefore, had to meet the criteria, including having a suitable venue of at least 10,000 capacity; being within easy reach of an international airport, with enough hotel space for 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators; can offer a solid cultural showing of regional activity as well as Ukrainian culture and music, and align with the BBC’s “strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster”.
With Liverpool being named next year’s host, the show will be held at the city’s M&S Bank Arena, an 11,000-capacity venue on the docks of the River Mersey.
Given the logistical requirements for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, the venue in the host city needs to have a preparation time of six to eight weeks in the run-up to the event, moving all other concerts and events in its schedule.
This could mean rescheduling Sir Elton John, André Rieu and Olly Murs concerts, which are currently scheduled to take place during that period.
The final of the Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place on Saturday, 13 May 2023, with the semi-finals on the 9th and 11th May.