Newcastle is the latest city to announce it will bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
The event’s organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), previously decided the event cannot be held in the war-torn Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
Newcastle City Council has announced it will join a variety of UK cities including London, Manchester and Glasgow in bidding to host the annual music competition.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative is delivering the bid on behalf of Newcastle City Council, with its destination director Ian Thomas saying: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to welcome a huge number of international visitors, performers and media to the north east of England and to showcase our world-class culture, rich heritage and vibrant region to the world.
“The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.
The United Kingdom will host #Eurovision 2023! 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) July 25, 2022
“We’ve seen other large events such as the European Professional Rugby Club finals attract 95,000 fans to the region which contributed £24 million to our visitor economy in 2019, and World Transplant Games also in 2019 brought in attendees from over 50 countries which pushed hotel occupancy rates up by 13%, supporting the hospitality supply chain and helping to sustain jobs within the industry.
“Eurovision will be on an even bigger scale, and we welcome this fantastic opportunity to bring this to the region.”
Ukraine’s entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed at this year’s competition in Turin, Italy.
The UK was given the chance to host Eurovision for the ninth time – more than any other country – after Sam Ryder came second in the competition.
Councillor Alex Hay of Newcastle City Council said: “We are delighted to be bidding to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with its people.
“We are collaborating with partners across the region to help make this a reality for Newcastle, to do Ukraine proud and to embody everything that Eurovision stands for.”
According to the BBC – which broadcasts the contest in the UK and will make the selection alongside the EBU – the winner will be chosen in a two-stage process against requirements that assess the city’s capacity and capability.
Once all the applications have been received, a shortlist will be announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on August 12.
Announcing London’s bid, Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city is “ready and willing to step in” with a contest that “celebrates the people of Ukraine and shows off the very best of Britain”.
Sheffield City Council was also among the first to announce a bid, saying on Twitter: “We’ve told Eurovision we’d love to host… watch this space.”
Leeds City Council said it makes “total sense” for it to host next year as Leeds is the city of culture for 2023.
Two of Scotland’s largest cities, Glasgow and Aberdeen, have also announced they will be vying to host the contest in 2023.
Ukraine will automatically qualify for the grand final alongside the so-called big five nations – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, who each get a free pass because of their financial contributions to the event.
The host city is expected to be announced by the autumn.