Some 16 cities across the UK have thrown their hats in the ring to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, which cannot take place in Ukraine due to security concerns.
After weeks of discussions, it was announced on Monday that Britain would be hosting the event on behalf of the war-torn nation – and the idea has evidently gone down well with cities across the country. Less than six hours after the news broke, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the competition, said in a statement that 16 cities plan to apply.
“The tender is expected to be competitive as several mayors, councilors and MPs have already informally indicated their intention to apply including representatives from: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester , Leeds, Liverpool, London , Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton,” the EBU said.
The BBC has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster, in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.
Once it was confirmed that the UK would be the host country, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of four-time host city London, tweeted: “London is ready and willing to step in. We would be honored to run a competition that celebrates the people of Ukraine and showcases the best of Britain.”
diversity has contacted the administrations of all competing cities and the mood seems to be good.
Birmingham and Leeds had announced their decision to bid in June, with the former having first-hand experience of hosting a global event in the form of the Commonwealth Games, which begin on Thursday. Newcastle joined the fray earlier this month, with Councilor Alex Hay describing the city as “hospitable, well-connected and ambitious… with a proven track record of hosting world-class events”.
Liverpool’s cultural director Claire McColgan made a similar statement diversity: “We are a city that knows big events and if we meet the criteria we will definitely make an offer. As a UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool is filled with joy, color and exuberance which would suit Eurovision perfectly and we would take the opportunity to pay tribute to Ukraine, stand in solidarity with its wonderful people and honor their incredible determination . ”
Brighton and Hove had also announced their intention to bid in June and had already contacted the relevant UK authorities to clarify their plans. Council President Phélim Mac Cafferty said diversity: “The circumstances in Ukraine that have led to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 being held in Great Britain are more than tragic. But at Brighton & Hove we would pull out all the stops to be the ‘next best’ host. We truly believe that as the UK city that has previously hosted Eurovision, we have the people, sheer musical talent and a proud place on the global stage to make Eurovision 2023 just as memorable and awesome as it was in 1974. “
Cafferty says Brighton and Hove administration is currently awaiting further information on dates, event capacities and other requirements from the EBU. Although this year’s requirements have not yet been published, in addition to their vision for the competition, candidate cities are expected to demonstrate that they can meet a list of expectations presented by the EBU. Last year the EBU’s host city criteria were based on providing a venue that could seat at least 10,000 spectators and a press center close to an international airport and with sufficient hotel accommodation.
Edinburgh, a city with deep ties to Ukraine, having officially partnered with Kyiv in 1989, is another enthusiastic potential host. Cammy Day, Chairwoman of Edinburgh City Council diversity: “Edinburgh had the pleasure of hosting Eurovision in our own Usher Hall 50 years ago – the first time it was held outside of London. Of course, I would much prefer the event to take place in Kyiv, but as a sister city and new home to many thousands of Ukrainians, Edinburgh would be a fitting host. The scope of the event has of course grown since 1972, but we will review all options and decide whether to bid as soon as possible.”
Sheffield, located in South Yorkshire, was twinned with Donetsk in Ukraine in 1956. South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard told Variety that Sheffield seems the “obvious choice” to host the competition. “With Tramlines – the biggest urban music festival in Europe – we just showed what a great show we are capable of. We have an international airport on our doorstep and world-class venues.” And administrators in Aberdeen echo their rivals in saying they have the people and infrastructure to support international events like the competition. “It would provide a major boost to the economies of Aberdeen and Scotland and raise the city’s profile with potential investors and visitors,” the administrators add.
Meanwhile, the BBC and EBU are awaiting official requests and applications from this week and will publish the long list later in the summer.
https://variety.com/2022/music/global/eurovision-song-contest-uk-host-cities-1235324783/ Sixteen UK cities are competing to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest