To the surprise of many, Liverpool has beaten off a strong challenge from Glasgow to be selected as the host city for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.
Having finished second in the 2022 edition, the UK is stepping in to host next year’s contest due to the obvious barriers to holding the event in Ukraine right now. Seven candidate cities had previously been announced on the shortlist, with Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle losing out in the next step of selection process that took us to the final two contenders. And tonight, on the BBC’s early-evening One Show entertainment programme, it was revealed that the music-rich port city of Liverpool – twinned with Odesa, Ukraine, since 1957 – will be the staging ground for ESC 2023.
The contest will be held at the 11,000-capacity Liverpool Arena, usually known as the M&S Bank Arena for sponsorship reasons (something that is frowned upon in a Eurovision context).
The dates for the 2023 event were also announced. The semi-finals will take place on 9 and 11 May, with the grand final taking place on Saturday 13 May.
Congratulations to Liverpool and here’s to the first UK-hosted Eurovision Song Contest in 25 years! We look forward to Sonia making a lot of appearances at the Eurovision Village.