Liverpool is one of several UK cities to show interest in hosting the Eurovision Song Contest next year.
It was announced on Thursday that the BBC is in talks with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to possibly hold next year’s competition in the UK after it was decided it would not be sure to organizing the event in Ukraine due to the continued invasion of Russia. the country.
In this year’s competition, British entrant Sam Ryder came out on top in the jury’s vote, but ultimately came second to Ukrainian rap-folk group Kalush Orchestra, who claimed an emotional victory in Turin. While the winning country is usually invited to host the following year’s event, the EBU said it conducted a study with Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC and external specialists, amid the dispute , confirming that the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event cannot be met in the war-torn country.
If the UK does indeed take over next year’s competition, cities will have to meet a number of criteria specified by Eurovision organizers to be in the running to host the event. The chosen venue should be able to accommodate approximately 10,000 spectators, be close to an international airport and have sufficient hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators.
We’ve put together a list of potential UK cities that could bid to host the event.
Liverpool’s culture director Claire McColgan CBE has described the city and Eurovision as a “perfect fit”. Of course, Liverpool has long been a place synonymous with music, and the 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena matches the size of the venue stipulated by the event organisers.
ECHO reported yesterday that the city would make a ‘serious case’ to hold the contest in plans backed by Mayor Joanne Anderson.
Mayor Anderson said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and want Liverpool to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 and in doing so pay tribute to their wonderful country.
“We are a city of events and no one can throw a party like us. Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year’s host – great venues, an enviable experience, world-renowned musical heritage, UNESCO City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome which simply cannot be beat. “
Down the M62, Manchester have already expressed interest in hosting the competition. Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said she ‘can’t think of anything better’ to welcome Europe.
She tweeted: “Hello BBC Eurovision this is Manchester calling. Not the circumstances anyone would want given the war in Ukraine. But if it’s to be a UK city – I can’t think of nothing better, a great musical city and deservedly home to a large Ukrainian community.
Manchester indeed has the largest Ukrainian population outside of London, and Eurovision organizers have said they are “fully committed to seeing Ukraine’s victory reflected in next year’s broadcasts”. .
The city certainly has the capacity to host, with the 23,500-seat Co-Op Live Arena opening next year set to overtake the city’s existing 21,000-seat AO Arena as the largest. UK indoor hall. There is also the Manchester Central with a capacity of 10,900 people.
With Salford in Greater Manchester also becoming the BBC’s Eurovision headquarters this year, the city has good reason to host the event.
The 2020 Netflix hit film ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ saw a fictionalized version of the contest taking place in the OVO Hydro arena.
And now Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered the 14,300 capacity venue as a possible host for next year’s competition.
We wish @Eurovision could be in Ukraine, but understand that in some circumstances this is not possible.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon)
The capital, of course, seems like the obvious venue for Eurovision if the UK is chosen to host it.
London has the largest Ukrainian population in the UK, and the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena and 12,500 capacity OVO Wembley Arena have hosted many major events.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that the city would “welcome Eurovision with open arms”, adding: “We are ready to step up and support Ukraine by organizing a competition that pays tribute and honors the Ukrainian people, and also celebrates the very best of Britain too.”
Birmingham was the last place to host Eurovision in the UK. While that was in 1998, next year the city will have had the recent experience of hosting a major international event, following the Commonwealth Games this summer.
The Utilita Arena and the Resorts World Arena each have a capacity of around 16,000, so both could enter the fray. A statement from Birmingham City Council said it was “always open to exploring new opportunities to showcase Birmingham on the international stage”.
He added: “We are therefore open to working with the UK government and other stakeholders to investigate the possibility of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
The Principality of Cardiff’s stadium can seat 70,000 and Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West, has suggested the roof could be closed in order to break the record for Europe’s highest ever attendance.
He wrote on Twitter: “Clearly Eurovision should be held at the Principality Stadium (roof closed) in Cardiff with 70,000 revelers – no brainer.”
Belfast, Leeds and Aberdeen also threw their hats into the ring.