Eurovision 2023: Liverpool to host Song Contest for Ukraine as BBC makes final announcement

Glasgow and Liverpool were the two remaining candidates to host the popular event, with Graham Norton making the final announcement on BBC One’s The One Show

It’s confirmed - Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023.

The city will welcome thousands of performers, crew and spectators in May 2023, as the UK prepares to host the world famous song contest for Ukraine. Ukraine, which won the 2022 edition, was ruled out from hosting due to security concerns regarding its active conflict with Russia.

The UK was chosen as host country in lieu of Ukraine after Sam Ryder finished in second place behind Kalush Orchestra - the UK’s highest position for decades. Now attention will turn to Liverpool as preparations ramp up.

The UK was chosen to host Eurovision 2023 after Sam Ryder finished second behind Ukraine (Credit: Getty Images)The UK was chosen to host Eurovision 2023 after Sam Ryder finished second behind Ukraine (Credit: Getty Images)
The UK was chosen to host Eurovision 2023 after Sam Ryder finished second behind Ukraine (Credit: Getty Images)

Where will Eurovision 2023 be held?

In a special edition of The One Show, Eurovision legend Graham Norton revealed that Liverpool will host the show. Both Glasgow and Liverpool were the final two candidates in the running, with cities such as Birmingham and Manchester dropping out in previous rounds.

The show therefore will take place at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. Excitement was high for eagle-eyed fans who had been investigating every little clue to the host city, including looking at the listings for each venue around the time the contest is usually held.

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “I’m over the moon that Eurovision is coming to Liverpool! We knew that we faced strong competition from Glasgow, but we also knew that we had a great bid underpinned by the expertise of our award-winning Culture Liverpool team and supported by all our brilliant partners.

“This is a massive event and the eyes of the world will be on us in May, especially those of our friends in Ukraine. Now begins months of work to put on the best party ever. Ukraine – you have my promise we will do you proud.”

Tim Davie, BBC director-general, said: “Congratulations to Liverpool. They will be an amazing host for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Liverpool is such an exciting, warm and vibrant city. It’s the undisputed capital of pop music and is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its twinning with the Ukrainian city of Odesa. I know the people of Liverpool will welcome Europe, and the rest of the world, with open arms, and in partnership we will create something truly special.”

Why is Eurovision not being held in Ukraine?

It was announced in June that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had decided to pull the plug on Ukraine hosting the show amid security concerns for participants and visitors. As the winning nation, it is tradition that the next contest is held in that nation.

However, as Ukraine still grappled with the ongoing conflict with Russia, the EBU said that it was handing hosting duties over to the UK. In a statement, the group said: ”At least 10,000 people are usually accredited to work on, or at, the Eurovision Song Contest including crew, staff and journalists. A further 30,000 fans are expected to travel to the event from across the world. Their welfare is our prime concern.

“It is therefore critical that decisions made in relation to such a complex live television event are made by broadcasting professionals and do not become politicised.

“The Rules of the ESC, that all participating broadcasters agree upon, clearly state that the event can be moved in a force majeure situation such as an ongoing war.”

When is Eurovision 2023?

The song contest - which regularly draws in hundreds of millions of viewers each year - is traditionally held in May. This includes the dress rehearsals, semi-finals and the grand final.

However, the date may vary year-to-year. The date for Eurovision 2023 was also confirmed alongside the host city.

The grand final will take place on 13 May 2023. This means that the semi-finals are expected to take place on 9 and 11 May 2023.