Eurovision 2023: Final two potential UK host cities revealed

The United Kingdom will stage next year's competition on behalf of Ukraine

Either Glasgow or Liverpool will host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, it’s been announced.

The UK’s entry Sam Ryder came in at second place to Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra in this year’s competition, scoring an impressive 466 points overall with his song ‘Space Man’.

It was later confirmed that the BBC would host next year’s event in the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine due to the ongoing war in the latter country.

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Last month, organisers revealed the seven shortlisted cities: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Today (September 27), it’s been confirmed that Eurovision 2023 will take place at either the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool or the OVO Hydro in Glasgow. The BBC said that the two remaining locations had “the strongest overall offer”.

According to the broadcaster, a final decision will be made “within weeks”.

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, said: “The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) would like to warmly thank all the seven British cities that put so much effort and enthusiasm into their bids to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.

“We very much appreciate their cooperation and the quality and creativity of all the bids received.”

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The initial seven shortlisted cities were selected having met certain criteria, such as venue capacity, being within easy reach of an international airport, and having enough hotel accommodation to hold delegates, journalists and spectators.

Per the BBC, the selection process was heavily weighted towards the cities proving past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate their ability to stage a celebration of contemporary music.

Österdahl explained: “We’re confident our final two cities are the best placed to meet this challenge and look forward to continuing our discussions to choose the one which will stage the world’s largest music event next May.”

Phil Harrold, the chair of the BBC’s Host City Selection Committee, added: “We were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city bids, in what was a highly competitive field.

Eurovision
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra with their Eurovision trophy. CREDIT: Giorgio Perottino/Getty Images

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city.”

He continued: “We are determined to make the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest one that both reflects the winning position of Ukraine and is also an event that all of the UK can participate in.”

Responding to today’s news, Liverpool City Council tweeted: “Liverpool is very proud to make the final two on the BBC/EBU Eurovision shortlist. It would be our privilege to put on a show – for Ukraine, the UK & for Europe. #Eurovision2023 in Liverpool? Imagine…”.

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It’s really exciting that we’re down to the final two to host Eurovision in the UK next year.”

She continued: “We know that Glasgow’s got everything it takes to host an absolutely superb Eurovision experience for the fans. But also really importantly, not forgetting that we’re doing it on behalf of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”

Aitken went on to highlight the “huge benefits” Eurovision would bring to Glasgow for both its reputation and economy.

The UK has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest eight times previously: London (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), Edinburgh (1972), Brighton (1974), Harrogate (1982) and Birmingham (1998).

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