Liverpool announced as Eurovision 2023 host city

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine pose after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest - Reuters
Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine pose after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest - Reuters

Liverpool will host the 67th Eurovision song contest in 2023, it has been announced.

The city was in the running alongside Glasgow to take over hosting of the music event next year in place of Ukraine.

Graham Norton made the announcement during BBC's The One Show on Friday.

Michelle Donelan, the culture secretary, said: “Huge congratulations to Liverpool. The city loves music and knows how to throw a party, so I’ve no doubt it will host a spectacular experience for the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home on the BBC.

“Putin’s illegal war means the competition cannot take place in Ukraine, but Eurovision brings people together and, together with the government, I am sure Liverpool and the BBC will honour the country’s culture and creativity with an event to remember.”

Liverpool has been a Unesco City of Music since 2015 - Peter Byrne
Liverpool has been a Unesco City of Music since 2015 - Peter Byrne

Liverpool, which has been a Unesco City of Music since 2015, is synonymous with The Beatles and has a rich music heritage.

In June, Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: "Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year's host - great venues, enviable experience, a world-renowned music heritage, Unesco City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome that just can't be beaten."

In 2008 Liverpool hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and it is also home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The final two cities battling it out were revealed last month following a seven-strong shortlist which also included Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester.

Kalush Orchestra triumphed at the 2022 competition in Turin but due to the war in Ukraine it was decided the UK, who were runners up, should host - Luca Bruno
Kalush Orchestra triumphed at the 2022 competition in Turin but due to the war in Ukraine it was decided the UK, who were runners up, should host - Luca Bruno

Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed at the 2022 competition in Turin, Italy, but the EBU, which produces the annual event, decided the show cannot be safely held in the country following Russia's invasion.

It was later decided that the UK would host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest as Sam Ryder came second in the competition.

This will be the ninth time the UK will have hosted the competition, more than any other country.

In August, a list narrowed down from 20 UK cities that initially submitted an "expression of interest" was released by the BBC, with applicants across all four regions demonstrating how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities.

Of the seven cities named in August, six were in England, one in Scotland, with Belfast failing to make the cut for Northern Ireland.

Requirements included "a suitable venue and sufficient space to deliver the requirements of the Song Contest", necessary commitment to the contest including a financial contribution, and "alignment with the BBC's strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously voiced her support for Glasgow as the home of the contest in June, with the OVO Hydro arena, which features in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga, in the city previously rumoured to be a favourite location to host the contest for the UK.

Scottish singer Lulu represented Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, with song Boom Bang-A-Bang. She was the joint winner that year as she shared the prize with France, Netherlands and Spain with 18 points apiece.