Eurovision Update: U.K. Shortlist Whittled Down to Two Candidates for Host City

The host city for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in the U.K., is one step closer to being announced.

Last month the shortlist was unveiled, with Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all in the mix.

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Cardiff was also in the running to host but withdrew, citing the fact that their largest venue, the Principality Stadium, would have had to cancel a “significant number” of events.

Today, it was revealed that Glasgow and Liverpool will be the two cities to duke it out in a bid to host the contest, which takes place annually in May.

The host city will have a much shorter window to prepare for the two-week extravaganza, which sees thousands of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) staff, volunteers, security and musical acts from around Europe descend, after difficult decisions were made this year over where to host it.

As per the rules of the contest, the previous year’s winning country usually hosts the subsequent competition. Earlier this year Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra stormed to victory, meaning next year’s contest should have been held in Ukraine. However, due to the country’s ongoing battle against the Russian invasion, the EBU said the contest would not be held there next year. After some discussion, the U.K., which came second in May and has also been a close ally of Ukraine, was chosen to host on Ukraine’s behalf.

BBC Studios will produce the two semi-finals and grand final, all of which are televized.

“The EBU would like to warmly thank all the 7 British cities that put so much effort and enthusiasm into their bids to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine,” said Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, in a statement. “We very much appreciate their cooperation and the quality and creativity of all the bids received.”

“The Eurovision Song Contest is the most complex TV production in the world with very specific logistical requirements to accommodate around 40 delegations and thousands of crew, volunteers, press and fans. We’re confident our final two cities are the best placed to meet this challenge and look forward to continuing our discussions to choose the one which will stage the world’s largest music event next May.”

Both Glagow’s OVO Hydro Arena and Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena are currently not hosting any events in May bar violinist André Rieu.

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