Montenegro and North Macedonia withdraw from Eurovision 2023 due to financial costs

The contest is due to take place in Liverpool next May

Montenegro and North Macedonia have pulled out of Eurovision 2023 as a result of the costs of taking part in the contest.

As previously reported, due to the ongoing war with Russia, this year’s winners Ukraine will not host the 2023 edition of the singing competition and it will instead be held in Liverpool next May.

However, both Montenegro and North Macedonia have now announced they will not be heading to Merseyside due to “high costs”.

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“In addition to the significant costs of the registration fee, as well as the cost of staying in Great Britain – we also faced a lack of interest from sponsors, so we decided to direct existing resources to the financing of current and planned national projects,” Montenegro’s broadcaster RTCG said in a statement.

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

North Macedonia’s state broadcaster added: “Due to the economic and energy crisis and high costs, [North] Macedonia will not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, which will be held in May in Liverpool, UK.”

It’s not known what each broadcaster has to pay to participate in Eurovision but the total costs for all broadcasters reportedly totals around £5million.

Song contest organisers – the EBU – said it is “committed to keeping the costs of taking part as affordable as possible”, explaining that fees are “calculated based on the number of countries competing” while considering “the member’s relative size and financial status”.

News of Montenegro and North Macedonia’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2023 comes just weeks after Liverpool was announced as the host city for next year’s contest. It will mark the ninth time the UK has staged the competition having previously hosted in London (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), Edinburgh (1972), Brighton (1974), Harrogate (1982) and Birmingham (1998).

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“It means everything,” Liverpool’s director of culture, Claire McColgan, said following the announcement of Liverpool as next year’s host city. “We’re doing it for Ukraine first of all, for our brilliant city and for the people who come here. It’s going to be incredible.”

A full list of countries taking part in Eurovision 2023 is expected to be confirmed later this week.

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