The official shortlist of British cities hoping to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed.
The cities that may host Eurovision 2023 are: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
The news was shared on Radio 2 by Scott Mills on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show on Friday morning. Twenty cities originally bid to participate.
The cities that offer to participate are assessed on various criteria, including having a place that can host at least 10,000 people, and access to an international airport.
It’s a two-stage selection process – now we have a shortlist where the cities will be assessed again, looking at things like the availability of resources and experience of hosting major events.
While it is the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union who ultimately decide on the host city, the government can also be consulted on the decision.
Ukraine won this year’s competition, with Kalush Orchestra takes the top spot with their song Stephania. It has since become an anthem in the country as the fight against Russia continues.
The United Kingdom took second place, with Sam Ryder’s Space Man.
Last month, the EBU ruled that the event could not be held in Ukraine next year if the risk of Russian airstrikes and mass casualties was too high.
The BBC will broadcast the competition on behalf of Ukraine’s national broadcaster, UA:PBC.
The UK holds the record for hosting the event, with next year being the ninth time it has been held here.
It has previously been performed at Brighton Dome, Wembley Arena, Harrogate’s international center and most recently in 1998 at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena.
And four of those times were as hosts – stepping in to host the event despite not winning the previous year.
Eurovision is the world’s biggest live music event – the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest reached a global audience of over 180 million across TV and digital platforms.
Ukraine is expected to have a big part in putting together the show, and there is expectation that the hosts and entertainment sections will be Ukrainian.
British charity British Future has suggested that Ukrainian refugees and their British host families be given priority tickets to attend the event, to celebrate the welcoming efforts of those in the UK and around Europe who have offered their homes to people in need.
As winners, Ukraine will automatically enter the final next year, alongside what is known as “the big five” nations (the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany), which contribute the most financially to the event.
There will also be questions about the millions in funding and where it will come from, amid concerns about the cost of living crisis, BBC cuts and whether Ukraine can contribute.
It is not yet confirmed how to get tickets or prizes – that will all be decided after the host city is chosen.
The host city is expected to be announced in the autumn. The competition is usually held in May, and the date will be announced later.
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