Eurovision 2023 venue: Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena door times, banned items, bag policy and seating plan

Everything attendees will need to know about the Eurovision 2023 venue ahead of the Grand Final

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After months of build-up and anticipation, this year's Eurovision Song Contest is underway and the final is just moments from kicking off. As the host city is Liverpool in the UK, the first time it has been held in the country since 1998, first-time goers will need to know all the rules and policies of the singing competition's main venue; the M&S Bank Arena.

Two semi-finals have already take place in Merseyside from its M&S Bank Arena on May 9 and May 11. All before the much-anticipated Eurovision2023 Grand Final on May 13.

Even though the United Kingdom did not emerge from Turin victorious last year, with Sam Ryder finishing a close second to Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra, it was awarded hosting duties. It was deemed that Ukraine could not host Eurovision due to its ongoing war with Vladimir Putin and Russia, so the honour was passed on.

Now that most if not all preparations have been finalised, including each country's musician and song, as well as the TV schedule of the event, it is imperative for anyone who is attending Eurovision in person is up to date with the policies, rules and regulations of the M&S Bank Arena. This includes a list of banned items, the venue's bag policy and what time the doors open for the much-anticipated show.

Here is everything you need to know about all the important Eurovision 2023 venue rules and timings, as UK's TikTok sensation entry Mae Muller aims to keep the famous title on home soil.

What time do doors open to the M&S Bank Arena for Eurovision 2023?

M&S Bank Arena, the venue of Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank ArenaM&S Bank Arena, the venue of Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank Arena
M&S Bank Arena, the venue of Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank Arena

Doors to the M&S Bank Arena are expected to be open for Eurovision Song Contest ticket holders at approximately 6.45pm.

M&S Bank Arena bag policy for Eurovision 2023 - Can I bring a bag in with me?

Venue bosses recommend against Eurovision 2023 ticket holders from bringing a bag in with them for safety and security reasons and to minimise queuing times. Though if a bag is absolutely necessary, such as for holding essential items, visitors will be allowed a maximum of one small bag no larger than A4 that will ideally be clear.

Can I take a flag in with me to the Eurovision 2023 venue?

Fans will be able to bring in hand-held flags to celebrate this year’s Eurovision. However, those larger than .5 m x 1 m. as well as flag sticks have been banned. While flags of countries that are not participating in the event, such as Russia, are also not allowed to be brought in with you.

M&S Bank Arena capacity and seating plan for Eurovision 2023

M&S Bank Arena seating plan and layout for Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank ArenaM&S Bank Arena seating plan and layout for Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank Arena
M&S Bank Arena seating plan and layout for Eurovision 2023 - Credit: M&S Bank Arena

The M&S Bank Arena has a capacity of 11,000 people. The venue, which is renowned across the world for being a hub of culture and entertainment, will follow the seating plan shown above.

Full list of banned items at the M&S Bank Arena for Eurovision 2023

Below are the items you are prohibited from taking into the M&S Bank Arena for Eurovision 2023 with you. Note that this applies to all Eurovision Song Contest events being held at the venue.

  • Any item that is illegal to carry or possess under UK Law
  • Liquids, Aerosols, Creams, & Gels in containers above 100ml (Maximum size 100 ml per container)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Clothing, items, or signage with the likely purpose of engaging in Ambush Marketing
  • Ammunition
  • Animals with the exception of certified assistance dogs
  • Bags larger than A4 in size
  • Helium balloons, frisbees or similar objects or projectiles - including inflatables
  • Bicycles, rollerblades, skates, skateboards, scooters, Segways, or similar
  • Chairs, folding chairs or similar, prams and baby carriers
  • Glass/plastic/metal bottles or containers
  • Controlled drugs or items having the appearance of controlled drugs - Medically prescribed medicine permitted
  • CS / Pava Incapacitant Spray
  • Explosive devices, fireworks, flares, pyrotechnics, smoke canisters or similar (including stink bombs)
  • Firearms, replica firearms or any device suspected to be a firearm or component part
  • Flags of countries not participating in the Eurovision Song Contest
  • Flags larger than .5 m x 1 m. or flags, flag sticks, signs and banners
  • Flammable substances, liquids and fuel - Cigarette lighters, matches and size-compliant personnel use toiletries are permitted
  • Food and drink - a reasonable quantity of baby food is permitted if attending with a baby
  • Gas cylinders and similar items
  • Hand or power tools, metal spikes, nails, or tacks.
  • Hazardous substances include powders, pastes, chemicals, irritants, and toxic and flammable substances.
  • Items for sale or distribution
  • Knives and other items with edged blades and/or sharp points including large scissors, pocketknife or other cutting devices, or items designed or constructed to hold an edge
  • Large items: any item too large to fit comfortably under a spectator seat or is likely to present a threat to safety in the event of an evacuation.
  • Laser pointers, strobe lights and similar emitting devices.
  • Noisemaking devices likely to impact on artist and spectator experience including vuvuzelas, horns, air horns, rattles, loud hailers, musical instruments
  • Offensive messaging: messaged clothing, banners, posters, flags - including regional flags of participating countries with political overtones - or material of any kind displaying inappropriate or offensive images or writing as deemed by Venue personnel. Including, but not limited to, those meant to offend any protected classes or characteristics, politics, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability.
  • Offensive weapon or implements (anything made, adapted, or intended for use for causing injury to a person, including bayonets, flick knives, martial arts weapons, extendable batons, and sharpened combs)
  • Professional photographic and broadcast equipment including tripods and monopod
  • Protest items and materials
  • Restricted frequency transmitting or receiving equipment or devices (Radio transmitters, walkie-talkies, radio scanners, cell, or radio jamming devices)
  • Remote-controlled items, including drones
  • Selfie sticks
  • Umbrellas
  • Crash Helmets
  • Masks or any item which covers the face with the exception of masks used for medical or hygiene reasons. Masks must be momentarily removed if requested for identification purposes.
  • Chains, and Spiked / Studded items of clothing including bracelets or belts
  • Packages/Parcels
  • Any other items at the discretion of the Venue which is likely to have an adverse effect on the successful delivery of the Eurovision Song Contest

The BBC has warned Eurovision ticket holders that all prohibited items must be surrendered at the entrance and they will not be returned.