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27th Sep 2022

Competition to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023 whittled down to two cities

Jack Peat

Seven cities were shortlisted after the UK was selected to host 

The competition to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest has been whittled down to two cities, the BBC has announced.

Seven cities were shortlisted when the UK stepped in to host the competition after Sam Ryder came second in Turin.

Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the annual event, decided the show cannot be safely held in the country following Russia’s invasion.

In August a list narrowed down from 20 UK cities that initially submitted an “expression of interest” was released by the BBC, with applicants across all four regions demonstrating how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities.

Of the seven cities named in August, six were in England, one in Scotland, with Belfast failing to make the cut for Northern Ireland.

Requirements included “a suitable venue and sufficient space to deliver the requirements of the Song Contest”, necessary commitment to the contest including a financial contribution, and “alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster”.

Liverpool and Glasgow are now the two cities which remain in the competition.

They have been selected after Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester were removed from contention to host the music event in place of Ukraine.

Liverpool, which has been a Unesco City of Music since 2015, is synonymous with The Beatles and has a rich music heritage.

In June Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year’s host, great venues, enviable experience, a world-renowned music heritage, Unesco City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome that just can’t be beaten.”

In 2008 Liverpool hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and it is also home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also previously voiced her support for Glasgow as the home of the contest in June, with the OVO Hydro arena, which features in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, in the city previously rumoured to be a favourite location to host the contest for the UK.

Scottish singer Lulu represented Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, with song Boom Bang-A-Bang. She was the joint winner that year as she shared the prize with France, Netherlands and Spain with 18 points apiece.

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