Liverpool has been announced as the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Earlier this year, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the popular music competition after receiving a total of 631 points for their song Stefania.
However, due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, the show’s organisers announced that the 2023 competition would be held in the UK on behalf of Ukraine.
In August, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield were shortlisted as the potential hosts for the annual event.
According to the BBC, the aforementioned cities were chosen because of their “capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity”.
After weeks of anticipation, Liverpool was officially announced as the host city of the beloved song contest on BBC’s The One Show with Graham Norton.
While organisers refrained from revealing the competition’s exact location, it will most likely be held at the M&S Bank Arena – which is currently the biggest arena in Liverpool.
Shortly after the news was announced, Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl, expressed his excitement for next year’s festivities in a statement.
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“Liverpool is the ideal place to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine. The city is synonymous with music, and Liverpool Arena exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale,” he said via the Eurovision website.
“We have been very impressed with the passion the city has shown in embracing the contest and their inclusive ideas for placing last year’s winners, Ukraine, front and centre when thousands of fans visit next May.”
Claire McColgan, the director of Culture Liverpool, echoed similar sentiments during an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today.
“We’re just hosting it, it’s [Ukraine’s] party,” she explained. “This is a very different Eurovision, which is why we’re so excited and keen to do this, because we know we can do the best show for Ukraine because that’s who this is for.”
Even Kalush Orchestra seemed pleased with the selection, stating: “Playing in the same place that The Beatles started out will be a moment we’ll never forget!
“Although we are sad that next year’s competition cannot take place in our homeland, we know that the people of Liverpool will be warm hosts, and the organisers will be able to add a real Ukrainian flavour to Eurovision 2023 in this city.”
Eurovision 2023 is set to take place between 9 May and 11 May, with the final planned for 13 May.