Disappointment for Glasgow as Liverpool named Eurovision host

Scottish city misses out on chance to host annual music extravaganza.

Disappointment for Glasgow as Liverpool named Eurovision Song Contest host

Glasgow has lost out to Liverpool in its bid to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The city had hoped to host the annual music extravaganza at the 14,300-capacity OVO Hydro on the banks of the River Clyde.

But it will instead take place on May 13, 2023, at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, which has a capacity of 11,000.

The event is being moved to the UK after organisers decided it could not be hosted by 2022 champions Ukraine due to the ongoing war.

An initial shortlist of seven cities was whittled down to a final two last week, before officials inspected Glasgow and Liverpool.

Broadcaster and Eurovision TV host Graham Norton announced that the English city had been selected on the BBC programme The One Show on Friday evening.

Cities were judged on criteria including a suitable venue, commitment to making a financial contribution and “alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities”.

It also saw the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) unveil the official logo for the 2023 contest containing the Ukrainian flag within a heart, reflecting that the show is taking place in the UK on behalf of the country.

For the first time, the two semi-finals on Tuesday May 9 and Thursday May 11 will also be shown on BBC One as well as the iPlayer.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her support for the winner: “Congratulations, Liverpool. Gutted for Glasgow, but no doubt you’ll do @Eurovision and Ukraine proud.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “While we came up against stiff competition from Glasgow, who deserve more than the nil points they have received on this occasion, nowhere is more experienced or qualified, and nowhere throws a party quite like we do.

“We want to put on a show that Ukraine would be proud of, and we have been working closely with Liverpool’s sister city of Odesa to ensure that this is their event as much as our own.”

Prime Minister Liz Truss congratulated the city, tweeting: “Huge congratulations to Liverpool for having been selected as the hosts of @bbceurovision 2023.

“A welcoming city with a proud musical heritage, Liverpool will put on an unforgettable show which celebrates the rich culture and creativity of Ukraine.”

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan added: “Huge congratulations to Liverpool.

“The city loves music and knows how to throw a party, so I’ve no doubt it will host a spectacular experience for the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home on the BBC.”

Kalush Orchestra, who won the 2022 contest for Ukraine, said: “Playing in the same place that The Beatles started out will be a moment we’ll never forget!

“Although we are sad that next year’s competition cannot take place in our homeland, we know that the people of Liverpool will be warm hosts and the organisers will be able to add a real Ukrainian flavour to Eurovision 2023 in this city.”

The BBC said both cities had provided “incredibly strong bids” and each “proposed to reflect Ukrainian culture and music in their own unique way” but that Liverpool eventually won out.

Glasgow – the bookmakers’ favourite from the start of the process – had hoped to benefit from a massive influx of tourists.

STV News reported recently that hotels across the city were already seeing soaring bookings as room prices surged, even though the exact dates had not been announced.

A television audience of 160 million is expected to tune in as a week-long extravaganza culminates in a spectacular live show.

Organisers decided to more Eurovision to the UK because its entrant Sam Ryder finished runner-up to Ukrainian act Kalush Orchestra at the 2022 event in Italy.

Other cities in the early running included Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield – with entries from Aberdeen and Edinburgh falling short.

Glasgow showed off its Eurovision credentials in Will Ferrell’s 2020 Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

And the city is home to Lulu, who won the 1960 contest with Boom Bang-a-Bang, and Scott Fitzgerald, who was beaten to the title by Celine Dion in 1988.

Scotland has hosted Eurovision once before, when the contest took place at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh in 1972.

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