Despite the lack of an official confirmation by the European Broadcasting Union, several UK cities bidding to host Eurovision 2023 have made their intentions clear. Currently, six cities across the UK are vying to host next year’s Contest.
Profile of the cities bidding
As of 17:00 GMT on Friday 17th June, there are six cities across 3 countries of the UK announcing their intention to host Eurovision. This comes after the EBU declared that Ukraine, winner of this year’s Contest, would be unable to host due to the ongoing war in its territory.
With that being said, which cities are looking to welcome Europe for Eurovision 2023?
The Welsh capital Cardiff is one of the cities that has announced its intention to host the Contest next year. Local parliamentary representative and leader of the Welsh Conservative Party Andrew Davies suggested Cardiff as a potential host city on Twitter.
Should Cardiff win the right to host the show, Mr Davies suggested the Principality Stadium – a UEFA-approved stadium with a retractable roof in the centre of the city. With a capacity of at least 73,000, it would be one of the biggest venues to ever host the show, if selected.
Ahead of the EBU’s decision, it had been speculated that Glasgow could play host as part of a dual co-operation initiative. However, following the EBU’s decision to revoke Ukraine’s right to host the show, Glasgow is the apparent favourite to host next year’s show.
Should Glasgow get the chance to host Eurovision 2023, the venue would be the SSE Hydro Arena. Based in the Pacific Quay area of the city, the stadium is near the SEC Centre, which saw the Eurovision Dance Contest 2008 being held. Other Eurovision fans will know the arena as the host venue in the Netflix film “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”. However, the arena is not set in Edinburgh but rather in Glasgow.
The West Yorkshire city of Leeds has offered to also host Eurovision 2023. In a press release released on Twitter, Leeds City Council offered the First Direct Arena as a potential venue for the show. This arena was the first concert-oriented arena to be constructed in the UK, and has a typical capacity of 13,781 people.
The press release also expressed its sadness that Ukraine could not host Eurovision 2023. However, the city would ensure that the Ukrainian community had a say in how the show could be directed.
Liverpool also has expressed its interest for hosting Eurovision next year. The home of iconic bands including The Beatles, CamelPhat and Jemini (yes, that Jemini), Liverpool City Council laid out the reasons why it should be picked as the host city for next year’s Contest.
No specific venue has been suggested by the Council. However, the most fitting venue in the city would be the M&S Bank Arena, situated on Liverpool’s iconic seafront. The arena plays host to a plethora of concerts and sporting events, with a capacity of 11,000 people. Liverpool City Council also stipulated that the show would be entirely based around Ukrainian culture, so that the Contest would remain as close to being in Ukraine as possible.
The capital of the United Kingdom, London, also threw its hat into the ring for hosting next year’s competition. London is no stranger to Eurovision, having already hosted the Contest on four separate occasions – in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977 respectively.
Speaking on Twitter, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that the city would happily step up to host the competition next year. Similar to Liverpool, no specific venue has been pitched to potentially host the show in 2023. However, the city would also ensure that a Ukrainian presence would be felt throughout the show, which “pays tribute and honours” Ukrainians.
Finally, the city of Manchester expressed its interest to host the competition. Manchester is the only major city in England to have not hosted the Contest, despite having bid to host Eurovision 1998. On Twitter, Manchester City Council said regarding the EBU’s statement:
The northern city does have previous experience of hosting Eurovision events. In 1982, the Free Trade Hall hosted the first ever edition of Eurovision Young Musicians. If Manchester was granted the opportunity to host Eurovision 2023, the AO Arena would be the selected venue. With a capacity of 21,000, the arena has been the home of a host of various concerts from high-profile names including Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande.
United Kingdom’s Eurovision journey
Despite a recent slump in results, the UK is one of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest. Debuting at the second edition ever of the Contest in 1957, the United Kingdom has won the competition on five separate occasions. The most recent win for the UK was in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves, singing “Love Shine A Light”. The UK also holds the record for the number of second place finishes – currently at 16.
In 2022, the UK was represented by Sam Ryder with his song “SPACE MAN”. The performance managed to impress juries and televoters, and the UK finished in second place with 466 points, their best placing since 1998.
What do you make of the cities bidding across the UK? Where would you like Eurovision 2023 to be hosted? Do you think the BBC will make the right choice? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all things Eurovision 2023!
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