Eurovision 2023: How will the bidding process work and could it be Liverpool who host?


Eurovision 2021 will be held in the UK and Liverpool are a contender for hosting duties – but how does the bidding process actually work?

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have announced that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the UK on behalf of Ukraine.

The BBC will act as host broadcaster for the 67th annual competition after Britain’s Sam Ryder came second this year.

How does the bidding process work?

The BBC has confirmed that the host city selection process for the 2023 contest will begin this week.

She will manage the tender with the EBU and expects it to be completed by the fall.

The BBC said relevant information for potential hosts will be released shortly and host cities wanting information packs should get in touch via an assigned email address.

Where has the competition already been held in the UK?

The UK has hosted the competition in London four times (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), and once in Edinburgh (1972), Brighton (1974) and Harrogate (1982).

He last hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998 in Birmingham after Katrina And The Waves won in Dublin with Love Shine A Light.

Hosting it in 2023 will make it the ninth time the competition has taken place in the UK – more than any other country.

Sam Ryder

How has the UK fared at Eurovision before?

This year, British hopeful Sam Ryder won over audiences with his catchy pop song Space Man, taking second place in the competition in Turin, Italy.

The 32-year-old Tik Tok star topped the national jury vote with 283 points, beating favorites Spain and Sweden.

It was a stark contrast to Britain’s 2021 entry James Newman, who scored no points and came bottom of the standings.

The UK has won the Eurovision Song Contest five times to date – with Sandie Shaw’s Puppet On A String in 1967, Lulu’s Boom Bang A Bang in 1969, Brotherhood Of Man’s Save Your Kisses For Me in 1976, Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up in 1981, and Katrina and the Waves in 1997.

Great Britain hold the record for the longest streak of consecutive Grand Final appearances – 59 – and have also finished runners-up a record 15 times.

How much would his accommodation cost?

Eurovision hosting can be expensive.

Azerbaijan spent £48 million to host the event in 2012, and Hungary pulled out of competition at the 2010 contest partly due to the global financial crisis.

It is unclear whether the BBC will have to pay to host the competition from its current license fee allocation or whether it will receive additional money.

It comes as the BBC is set to save a further £285million in response to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’ announcement in January that licensing fees will be frozen for the next two years.

The UK already spends more on Eurovision than most participants.

It is part of the so-called big five alongside France, Germany, Italy and Spain, who each get a free pass to the Grand Final due to their financial contributions.

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the Grand Final in 2023 alongside the Big Five.


Abba won the song contest in Brighton in 1974 (PA)

Could the competition take place in Liverpool?

Liverpool have officially expressed their interest in hosting Eurovision. The M&S Bank Arena seems like the perfect setting with a capacity of 11,000 and we are the UNESCO City of Music after all.

With an enviable calendar of events that showcases some of the best large-scale music activities – Africa Oyé, Liverpool International Music Festival and Sound City to name a few, a diverse music scene and of course one of the most great bands of all time along with the Beatles, Liverpool’s musical credentials are second to none.

What did the Mayor of Liverpool say about the bid?

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and want Liverpool to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 and in doing so pay tribute to their wonderful country.

“We are a city of events and no one can throw a party like us. Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year’s host – great venues, an enviable experience, world-renowned musical heritage, UNESCO City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome which simply cannot be beat.

“The event would become a beacon of hope around the world and we hope that Liverpool, as an unparalleled musical brand, will be given serious consideration by decision makers.”

M&S Bank Arena Liverpool

What other cities could be in the running?

London’s O2 is a strong contender as the capital’s largest indoor arena.

The 20,000-seat venue has hosted some of the world’s biggest stars, including Adele, Queen + Adam Lambert, Billie Eilish, The Rolling Stones, as well as events like the Brit Awards.

The OVO Arena Wembley could also be in contention as London’s second largest, with a capacity of 12,500.

A return to Brighton would be a nice tribute to when the Brighton Dome hosted the event in 1974, when Abba won with Waterloo.

Sites in major UK cities such as Manchester or Newcastle could be seen as compliant with the government’s ‘race to the top’ plan.

Glasgow’s OVO Hydro could also host the contest for the UK as Scotland’s biggest entertainment venue with a maximum capacity of 14,300 people.

Immediately after Monday’s announcement, Sheffield City Council and Manchester City Council both expressed an interest in hosting.

A tweet from Sheffield City Council said it told Eurovision organizers the city would “love” to hold the competition.

The official account tweeted: “We told Eurovision we would love to host…watch this space.”

And Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, tweeted: “Manchester will make a bid to host @Eurovision @bbceurovision. A world-class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events and, of course, one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the UK – we’re confident we’ll make this an unforgettable #eurovision . More soon.”

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