Eurovision 2023: What the song contest means to the people of Liverpool

Emma Dukes of our sister title LiverpoolWorld explains how Eurovision has transformed the city...

Liverpool’s EuroVillage. Liverpool’s EuroVillage.
Liverpool’s EuroVillage.

There is just one day left until the Eurovision Grand Final in Liverpool, and the incredible atmosphere can already be felt around the city.

Pubs, clubs, eateries and independent businesses around Liverpool have truly embraced the Eurovision spirit as the city hosts the huge event on behalf of Ukraine.

As well as showing off what Liverpool has to offer, efforts have been made to ensure Ukraine is kept at the centre of the celebrations, with a dedicated ‘Discover Ukraine’ section at the EuroVillage, where you can learn more about the country.

But what does the opportunity to host the song contest mean to us here in Liverpool?

I spoke to locals in the city centre, who discussed what Eurovision means to them. The sentiment was the same with all of the people we spoke to, who believed the song contest was great for the city:

- Lin said: “To me it’s fun times. It’s happiness and it’s the feeling of all European nations coming together.’

- Gill added: “Everyone’s happy, pleased to be with each other and very supportive.”

- Simon said: “It just brings people together. It’s such a uniting force. I love Eurovision for that reason.”

The song contest also gives Liverpool a chance to show just how great our people are, and comments are already flooding in from visitors in Eurovision online fan groups, stating just how friendly we are.

The event will leave a long legacy, and we can already see some things popping up around the city which will last beyond the competition - including The Ukrainian Peace Garden and a beautiful mural.

Financial benefits: Eurovision fans are expected spend around £40 million in Liverpool during the Song Contest, which is excellent news for the local economy, especially as so many small businesses have struggled throughout the cost of living crisis.

The Ukrainian Peace Garden: The beautiful garden has now opened on the Baltic Green, featuring flowers, concrete chess tables and allotment beds. The garden has been designed by award-winning landscape gardener Peter Lloyd and supported by the Baltic Triangle Area CIC. The space was created to be an inclusive, peaceful oasis for people to enjoy and escape the hustle and bustle during the Song Contest and Liverpool’s Ukrainian community has been involved in the garden’s design, which local children have helped decorate.

City centre mural: The huge mural, bringing together more than 60 Liverpool musicians, Sam Ryder and Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, has been unveiled on Paradise Street. Inspired by Peter Blake’s legendary Sgt Pepper album cover, it’s part of an artistic collaboration between Liverpool and Ukrainian artists. It features some of the city’s most influential musicians, from Gerry Marsden and Cilla Black to Echo and The Bunnymen.

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