Eurovision Song Contest 2023: Liverpool and Glasgow make final shortlist

A final decision is expected "within weeks".


Words: Alastair James; pictures: Eurovison.tv/EBU

The BBC has announced that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will either be held in Liverpool or Glasgow.

In August, a shortlist of seven cities - Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield - was announced. That has now been whittled down to a final two with an ultimate decision due "within weeks," according to the broadcaster. 

It was announced in July that the UK would be hosting after Eurovision organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), concluded that Ukraine, which won the 2022 Contest, could not host given the ongoing war

In an update on Tuesday (27 September) the Beeb says that "a detailed assessment process" had led to its decision to pick between Glasgow and Liverpool.

"Further discussions will now take place with officials from Glasgow and Liverpool and a final decision will be made within weeks," it adds.

Phil Harrold, the chair of the BBC’s Host City Selection Committee also says that organisers "were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city bids, in what was a highly competitive field."

Continuing he goes on to say that, "The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city."

In July, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said when confirming the UK would host the 2023 contest that it would do so "on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC."

Speaking to this Harrold also says today, "We are determined to make the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest one that both reflects the winning position of Ukraine and is also an event that all of the UK can participate in."

The 2023 contest will feature "Ukrainian elements" with members of UA: PBC working with the BBC on these and the logo for the 2023 event will reflect the cicrumstances and the cooperation between the UK and Ukraine.

The BBC and EBU will now work together on a final decision. 

Recent criteria for a host venue has been based on space for at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), and being within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.

Eurovision organisers have also indicated the chosen venue will need to be free for six to eight weeks ahead of the COntest in May 2023 in order to get things ready. That would mean cancelling pre-booked shows/concerts. 

Ukraine, as is tradition for the winning country, will automatically qualify for next year's grand final, alongside the 'Big 5', which includes the UK. The UK came second in this year's contest with Sam Ryder's out-of-this-world tune 'Space Man' to Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra and their song 'Stefania'.

The 2023 contest will be the ninth time the UK has hosted the event.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.